Sharing photos with friends has become even easier with the latest improvements in Windows Live Photo Gallery, Live Mail, and Hotmail. Sharing by storing pictures on SkyDrive – thus avoiding the hassle of long downloads – is a new and very welcome feature.
Here are the simple steps – I am using Windows Live Essentials 2011 (beta 2) so this is even easier:
In Photo Gallery select the pictures to share.
On the Ribbon in the Share group click Photo email – click Send photo email.
A Live Mail New Message window opens with thumbnails of the pictures already inserted. There is a placeholder for the title of the “album” you are sending. Just type in a name for the set. Filling in the To… box, Subject and any additional message is all that is left.
Click Send and the photos are on their way.
This is amazingly simple, but you are not restricted to having to follow these steps. You can add additional photos – just drag them over from Photo Gallery.
What happens is that the email with the thumbnails is sent to the recipient and the photos are uploaded to you SkyDrive.
How does it look to the recipient?
Just the way you saw it. The email contains the small thumbnails and there are links to view the photos as a slide show or to download them. Here a couple of views of the slide show:
Of course, being an engineer, I had to explore this process in more depth. My alma mater has kept track of me and my fellow alumni by providing us with email accounts. Recently they changed their service provider to Google Gmail, the email addresses stayed the same. I added this account in Live Mail – works nicely, I can receive and send messages and my old buddies still see and use my university email address. Can I send a photo email from this account? You bet, works like a charm!
I logged into my online account to see if it would show up in “sent messages”. Sure enough, here is how it looked:
This is Gmail here! The message looks just as it did in Windows Live Mail. To the recipients it looks the same, even in Gmail.
So what has happened to the photos? Where are they stored? Gmail doesn’t have “SkyDrive”.
As you expect, the folks doing Live Mail are clever and have taken care of that. The photos are stored on the SkyDrive of the Live Mail primary account.
You can go to your Live account and the photos will be there in a separate album – the name you assigned to the group in the email.
If you read the fine print, you will see a message in the email like this: “This album has 5 photos and will be available on SkyDrive until 12/10/2010.”
If you have not explored the options for your SkyDrive photo albums, you will really be surprised at what all you can do.
The photos in the email are stored in an album with the sharing properties set to you alone and the recipients of the email. Click on the album then click on More and Properties to see the “expiration” settings:
You can change the “clean up settings” to add additional time before the album is discarded, or set it to “Keep until deleted” – the default setting for normal albums and other items on the SkyDrive.
What about Hotmail?
Yes, Hotmail now also offers photo emails. It works just a little bit differently, but the results are the same.
You can initiate a photo email by selecting Insert – Photos – Create album on SkyDrive. Then you select the photos from your computer.
The resulting email looks just the same as the emails created in Live Mail.
There you have it, photo sharing – simple, elegant, fun!
Please also visit my blog on “things photographic”: Café Ludwig