FlickrPhotoI signed up for a Flickr Pro account the day that they announced the new Collections feature. I keep all of my photos organized in a nice hierarchical structure that is difficult or impossible to replicate using only tags. Once Flickr implemented the feature, I knew that it was exactly what I was waiting for.

For the $24.95 per year you receive unlimited everything (bandwidth, photo storage, etc…) and I can honestly say that it was worth every penny. Getting to know the interface and their Organizr took a little bit of time, but they did a truly amazing job of making it intuitive yet powerful.

I now have all 6,000 of my photos on their service neatly organized in sets and collections, which are two things that make up their folder-like structures. All of my photos are private and only for viewing by family members, which brings up another point: Flickr’s privacy features are very well implemented. You can choose to make your photos completely private so that only you can see them, private so that you and your family/friends can see them, or public so that they are available to anyone. You keep a contact list of friends and family so that Flickr knows who can see what.

Now the thing that I love about Flickr is that there are 100’s of services online that can interact with your account as well as a large selection of offline applications. I’ve tinkered around with some of the various tools available for uploading and find that the standard Flickr Uploadr is the fastest tool to get the job done.

Some people I know don’t want to use Flickr because at first glance it might seem a little complicated to a casual user. After all, there are still a lot of people who don’t understand tags and geo-tagging which are two different things that can be done on Flickr. Webware just posted a great article for anyone who is just starting out on Flickr and trying to learn the ropes. They walk you through tagging and geo-tagging photos, and they also help you understand how to use notes, sets, and collections.

One thing is for sure and it’s that you can never be too safe with your photos, which is why I wanted an offsite backup of my most important photos. And if you think that the $25 for a Pro account sounds expensive then look at the prices for Google’s PicasaWeb photo storage:

  • 6.25GB ($25 USD per year)
  • 25GB ($100 USD per year)
  • 100GB ($250 USD per year)
  • 250GB ($500 USD per year)

Not to mention the insecure privacy features that are constantly being found with PicasaWeb.

Now that I’m a Flickr Pro user I would highly recommend it to anyone wanting to post photos online, and there are definitely a lot of features under-the-hood that you don’t even know exists on there yet.