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This post was most recently updated on June 26th, 2022

Once you have taken the photographs, edited them, and have them ready, you might want to upload them to a social media platform, or send them over to the client or a friend, so that they can be seen. After all, art is made to be shared and seen by people, not to be kept in your camera or computer, hidden away!

But there’s a problem. When you upload a photo to a social media platform or send it to someone else, usually the image will be compressed. This means that the file becomes smaller, at the cost of quality. So your beautiful high-definition image will become blurry and low-quality, not at all an accurate depiction of the effort and skill you put into it!

So…how do you stop this? Or rather, how do you avoid image compression on uploads? Is there a way to retain the high quality and definition of an image when uploading it to any sort of server or platform? Let’s get right into it!

Why Do Images Compress On Uploads?

When you upload an image, be it to a social media platform, an online cloud storage service, or a messaging app to share it with friends or clients, the main problem is compression. Platforms and servers will, by default, automatically compress an image file, and this can lead to a reduction in the quality of the image itself.

But why does this happen?

Well, there are a few main reasons why online servers and platforms compress images upon upload:

  • To reduce the load on the server. A smaller file means it is easier for the server to manage, reducing the risk of the server collapsing, freezing, or slowing down.
  • To speed up the upload time. The bigger a file is, the more time it is going to take to fully upload to a server. So by compressing the file, the server is speeding up the process. This especially affects image files that are particularly big, because they have lots of details or are very high in the definition.
  • To improve the user experience. Servers aren’t trying to ruin your image on purpose, they think that by ensuring the upload is quick and more manageable, they are helping out. Of course, if it ruins the image along the way, it is doing the opposite of making things easier for you!
  • To save on storage. The more compressed an image is, the more images the server will be able to store and manage. So if you upload many images at once, chances are they are going to be compressed even more, in order for all of them to be able to be uploaded to the same place.

If the image file isn’t too big, to begin with, then it probably won’t be compressed that much, and the quality should remain the same. But when you are uploading high-quality professional images, they can suffer, which is why you have to be constantly aware of whether they are being compressed or not, so that you can avoid it.

How To Share Photos Without Losing Quality

First of all, we are going to talk about how to share high-quality images with clients or friends, without losing out on the quality. Because as a photographer, you are going to find yourself in need of a good online cloud storage service to upload and share a gallery of images from a specific session, at any given time.

You might have noticed (if you have tried sending images via email lately), that these platforms no longer allow you to simply attach the image files within the message. The compression would be too big, and the images would lose out on a lot of quality. This is why nowadays you are usually forced to use an online cloud storage service, off the bat.

But which one should you use? To which online cloud storage should you upload your photos, to retain the quality?
The truth is, it is completely up to you. They all have their pros and cons, and you should choose depending on your own personal needs and preferences.

Nevertheless, here are some of the best cloud storage options for high-quality images, that we recommend checking out:

Microsoft OneDrive

You can get this with the Microsoft package, and it includes 5GB of storage space. It allows you to upload and store your images, keeping them private, while also being able to share a link with your friends or clients so that they may access any albums you wish.

There is also the option of buying extra storage so that you don’t have to reduce the quality or run out of space.

Amazon Drive

Amazon Drive comes with 5GB of free cloud storage, and you can also send high-resolution photos without compromising quality whatsoever. It also allows you to organize and store the images, share them with friends or clients, and back up files for security. Not to mention, it links with a photo-printing Amazon service.

Apple iCloud

Apple iCloud can only be used by Apple users, both for sending and receiving, which limits things a bit. But it comes with 5GB of storage space, which can be further upgraded. It stores the images without reducing the quality or resolution.

Dropbox

Dropbox is one of the most popular cloud storage options because it is one of the easiest ones to use. It comes with an initial 2GB of free storage, to upload and share high-quality images. However, you can then pay for premium storage, which ranges from 500GB to 1TB.

Google Drive

Google Drive comes with an impressive 15GB of free storage, which makes it a very convenient option. You can upload your images, and then share a link to the albums you wish to send to friends or clients. You can also pay for even more space.

FileWhopper

FileWhopper is very popular in regards to sending and transferring big image files, without reducing the quality. Although it can be used as cloud storage, it is best used to simply send the images over, and it has a handy pay-as-you-go feature so that you only pay for the amount of storage needed at any given time.

How To Upload Photos To A Social Media Platform Without Losing Quality

Social media is not only a way in which to keep in contact with friends and interact within a community of like-minded people, it is also an important marketing tool for photographers and those with small businesses.

For a photographer to make business, it is vital that they share some of their portfolios and work online, to create a following and gain clients.

Of course, social media platforms are one of the main culprits of compressing images and lowering the quality, which has a negative impact on the reputation and brand of the photographer. So how do you upload the images while retaining the quality?

It depends on each social media platform, although all of them are quite similar. But we will be taking Instagram as our main point of reference, as it is the social media most popularly used for sharing images. Here are some of the things you need to do when uploading high-quality images:

  • Check the settings of your account and make sure you give permission to the app to upload images in the highest quality possible
  • Upload images when you are using WIFI, as this will usually stop the server from compressing the photo
  • Always check the ratio requirements of the posts beforehand, and crop or adapt the photograph before it is uploaded. Otherwise, it will be adapted on the platform, and the quality will be altered
  • Do not add music or filters onto an image, as this will lower the quality massively

Final Thoughts

Avoiding image compression on uploads is vital to retaining the original quality of the photograph in question. Always make sure to use the right online servers and storage options, as well as adjust the upload settings so that maximum definition is allowed.

As for uploading on social media, make sure to adjust the photo before uploading it, so that the platform doesn’t make any changes to it.