Gmail, Picasa and Flickr

I’m a big fan of the Flickr photo sharing and publication service. It is an amazing web application that lets you present your photographs on the web. It uses a tagging system to allow you to easily categorize your photographs. One of the neatest features, is that you can also view photos from other people who use the service, and because of the tagging features, you can easily look for photographs from other people that share the same interests or tags.

But, I’ve always found it a bit tedious to upload images to the service. You can use Flickr’s web based image upload tool or you can use their small Windows application to upload your images. Both methods are extremly inefficient especially if you have alot of photos. The other problem is that if you use their free accounts, you can only upload 10MB worth of images every month. With my Nikon Coolpix 5000 camera, each photo I take is about 2MB in size. This means that I can only upload 5 high quality images per month. But I’m not really interested in uploading high quality images, so I resize my images before I upload. This means going into Fireworks, resizing, saving and uploading. Quite a few steps.

The third way you can get photos to your Flickr account is by using email. Enter Picasa and Gmail. Picasa is a great free photo management tool that lets you organize and perform simple edits and manipulations to your photos.

With the recent release of Picasa 2.0, you can now email directly from this great image management software. When you email from Picasa, you can tell the application to automatically resize your photos before sending them. So uploading to Flickr has become much easier.

Here are the steps:

  • Login to your Flickr account. Near the bottom of the page click on the link that says Upload by Email
  • Copy the email address that is presented to you. This is a personalized email address that you can use to send photos to your Flickr account.
  • Now, open Picasa and click on the Tools>Options… menu.
  • On the Email tab, choose Use my GMail Account then set the picture size (using the slider) to whatever size you want. This is the size that Picasa will scale your image to before sending it.
  • Click the OK button and you’re ready to start sending images to Flickr.
  • Click on the image that you want to upload then click on the Email button near the bottom of the Picasa application window.
  • Picasa will ask you to enter your GMail login details
  • In the To field, enter the email address that Flickr gave you.
  • Enter the title of the picture in the subject line. This is the title that Picasa will use when it displays your picture.
  • Enter the description of the photo in the message area. This is the description that Picasa will use when it displays your picture.
  • Finally, click the Send button and the photo is uploaded to Flickr.

The only limitation with this method is that you cannot tag the image. You will need to login to Flickr to do that.

Happy uploading, and if you want to check out my photos, you can find my photostream at

75 thoughts on “Gmail, Picasa and Flickr

  1. Seems pretty rudimentary… can’t believe there’s no plug-in or something. iPhoto has a direct Flickr plugin that allows tagging, creation of groups, resizing, privacy settings, etc. Too bad Picasa is owned by Google and will probably never cooperate with a Yahoo product.

  2. I’ve been ignoring flicr for who-knows-why but this is great – I just tried picasa over the weekend, so now i’m going to flickr too. Just signed up. thanks.

  3. You don’t even need to use GMail to send in the photos. I use Thunderbird and it works fine.

    Also, you can email pictures to Flickr with any email address, not just the one that your account is registered under.

  4. If you use the newest version of the Flickr uploader it will resize photos for you. But I agreee, Picasa is great for editing photos.

  5. Nice idea.

    There is a 4th way to get images to Flickr: their “Send To Flickr” extension for Windows XP Explorer:

    Flickr Upload Tools Page

    You can upload a boatload of pictures at once this way, and even assign tags to them (as a batch). It will also resize images on the fly, although there are only 3 size settings available (640, 800, 1024).

    The only downside is you can’t assign a title or description to the set. I get around this by renaming the images before uploading. Flickr uses the image name as the default title when one is not supplied.

  6. If you are Linux-person, digikam will resize pictures and send them via email (and do 1000 other useful things). Now if only free Flikr allowed to view more than 100 pictures…

  7. i like flickr because it’s easy to get phonecam photos to the web almost instantly. put a flickr badge on your blog, set to “latest” so it displays the last 5 pics or so, and take pictures anywhere. send them to your flickr account and they’re auto to your blog through the badge.

    good post!

  8. Picasa is great. Just starting to try out Flickr.

    There is a way to make Flickr assign tags to the emailed image.
    1) In Picasa, select the image you want to send
    2) Click “View” > “Keywords…” from the menu bar.
    3) Enter your tags (keywords)
    4) Email to Flickr.

  9. I was able to sucessfully upload a batch of photos via Picasa+Gmail. However, I tried another batch later and could not get it to upload. Is there a limit to how many I can upload? The email size was only 2MB. I see the email in the sent folder of my Gmail account, but the images never show up in my flickr account.

    any suggestions?


  10. Actualy, you could go to Microsoft Windows website and download one of their powertoys, the image resizer. It simplifies the resizing process greatly, and you can just resize a picture (or multiple pictures) by right clicking and selecting Resize Pictures. Hope that helped.

  11. hey guys,
    great tip there on using picasa with flickr.
    however, you can just use the flickr uploadr tool. after you install it, you can just right click on any image files and an option will be there to send it to flickr. if the photo is big, it will also ask you if you want it to resize it for you, turing a photothat was a few mb into just a few kb.

  12. Nice one! Very Handy indeed. It’s a pitty there’s no pluggin though, but I guess it would have to be a cold day in hell for Google to make a plugin to talk to a Yahoo! product.

  13. My only comment would be that Picasa has no ability to store the Flickr e mail address that is given you. I there any way around this?

  14. Can you not include in the description the “tag:” marker? When you post by email to flickr, anything after the tag: should be listed as the tags.

    just wondering…

  15. Hi
    If you’re looking for an easy upload solution to an online album, and also want to get away from monthly upload limits, chech out
    all the features of flickr, plus video, camera phone support and advanced sharing functionality. Use BigMouth for uploading masses and masses of files.

  16. Why don’t you just buy a pro account. It’s quite inexpensive – then you don’t have the limit.

  17. is it possible to email more than 4 pictures via email? I selected more than 4 in Picasa but only 4 pictures arrived at flikr. Any suggestions ?

  18. Now !!! i have seen everything…
    a Gmail account,picasa and flikr.
    what more can a person want/

  19. Greatp tip – thanks! I’ve been looking for a simple way to get my “picasaized” pictures into flickr and this looks like the ticket.

  20. you are a genius – I kneel down in front of you!! Thanks !!!
    This will save me so much time. Can I also do this from Microsoft Word? I am making a photo album in MS word and want to make it web 2.0 – this will surely help!! thanks again!! :) :) you are awesome. Thanks

  21. I got a lot out of the comments attached to your site. In particular, on photo/s, resize, and send to flickr. I have been having trouble forwarding photos by email, as they are too big.

  22. People, don’t forget that there is a Windows Powertoy called Image Resize Tool (google for ‘Image Resize Windows Powertoy’) that allows resizing your photos to your needs directly from windows explorer with just a right click.

    You can use this tool along with the Flickr windows explorer uploader.

  23. Flock (mozilla based web browser) has an integrated flick photo uploader.
    Just drag&drop the photo…
    Then you can set the size, crop, title, desc and tags…
    All that for individual photos or in batch for you selection of photo…
    You suggested trick is neat, but this way Looks much faster and versatile than what you are suggesting.
    ‘hope this help

  24. Picasa that my cookie settings are too strict to log into gmail. I have IE set to allow all cookies and FF as well. I googled the phrase and got nothing.

  25. Many many thanks! As a user of both Picasa and Flickr my current work flow is to catalog and do minor edits in Picasa then tag and upload in the ‘upload to Flickr’ program. It works just fine except I have to star and export my photos. That can be a pain. Now with this I can just upload via email! Ahhh…. Very nice.

  26. Hey, great tutorial. I was wondering if I can do such a thing with Picasa, since this beautiful bit of software grew on me…but without a support for flickr…no dice until now. Thanks a lot, I will spend my evening archiving and uploading my photos!

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  28. Great tips indeed, only the search does not always work at flickr as it should.

    I don’t seem to find how to check the numbre of people who have looked at every picture.


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  30. How can I sync all my pictures in Flickr to Picasa ? Nearly all my photos are inf Flickr but I want to have them in Picasa as well so I can edit them there.

  31. flickr is nice, but why do i have to pay as soon i have more than 3 albums (folders) online?
    on picasa webalbum i don’t have this limit, and uploading is more convenient.

  32. Ryan said: “I don’t like that picasa forces you to have your images resized. Why can’t they just send it as the original size?”

    If you have a non-pro free account, then the resize is a blessing. Many email recipients don’t have anyway to control the size of the pictures you send them, and the picasa size is actually quite large for you average web picture.

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