What to do before your Kodak Gallery photos move to Shutterfly

On July 2, Kodak Gallery customers will have their photos transferred to a free Shutterfly account. The transition itself won't require much input from Kodak Gallery customers, but there are a few Kodak Gallery features you should take advantage of before there's no turning back.

1. Download high-resolution versions of your photos

One of Shutterfly's biggest weaknesses is that it doesn't let you download full-resolution copies of the photos you've uploaded to the service. In fact, Shutterfly doesn't have any image-download options at all, unless you right-click each image at its biggest display size of 720-by-480 pixels and download that image. It's a really time-consuming process for getting a bunch of low-res images.

The only way to get a copy of all your full-resolution images from Shutterfly is to pay them at least $10 for an archive DVD. The disc costs $10 for an archive of one to 100 images, $15 for 101 to 500 images, and $20 for an archive DVD of 501 to 1000 images.

Kodak Gallery lets you download your full-resolution images for free, so it's a good idea to take advantage of that before the July 2 cut-off date. You may also want to download your favorite images if you want to look at them in the next month or so; the Kodak Gallery site says that some accounts may take some time to show up on Shutterfly due to the massive amounts of photos they have to move over to the service, so any photos you have on Kodak Gallery may not be viewable on Shutterfly for a little while.

Unfortunately, Kodak Gallery doesn't have a batch download feature; you'll need to download each photo to your hard drive, one at a time. That may sound tedious, but it's a far better backup option than Shutterfly provides, and it's free. (Get instructions on how to download images from Kodak Gallery here.)

The Kodak Gallery FAQ says that, during the transition, Kodak and Shutterfly "will make every attempt to maintain your album structure when moving your photos." That doesn't sound like a guarantee, so it's a good idea to organize your photos into folders named after each album on your own hard drive. That way, you can create new versions of your Kodak Gallery albums on Shutterfly or another photo-sharing service after the switchover.

2. Print large photos for bargain prices

Shutterfly and Kodak Gallery both have a wide range of printing options for your photos. Both services provide a lot of different print sizes, the ability to create greeting cards with your pictures, and photo gifts such as customized mugs and calendars, among other things.

Shutterfly is offering 50 free 4-by-6 prints to new customers, which is a nice benefit for the Kodak Gallery crowd. However, if you want to print larger sizes of your pictures, Kodak Gallery's prices will be much cheaper for the next few weeks. Kodak is offering 25 percent off its paid services until July 2, so it's a good opportunity to order any larger prints you'd like as soon as you can.

Kodak Gallery also has a few more options than Shutterfly when it comes to photo prints. On the Kodak site, you get a wider variety of photo-paper types, the ability to print black-and-white or color-tinted photos, and the ability to add a border to your photo prints.

3. Finish up any photo books, calendars, or other projects

It's also important to finish up and order any Kodak Gallery projects you may have been working on as soon as you can. Your own photos will all port over to Shutterfly, but any ongoing photo books, custom calendars, and other projects you're still putting together won't make the move.

Along with those projects, any photo albums your friends have shared with you and any group albums you and your friends have created will not appear on Shutterfly. If you can, it's a good idea to download any photos you like from those albums before July 2, as well.

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