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Use them or lose them

You've taken some great photos with your digital camera (or at least some that you like). The memory card is full. Now what do you do?

When everyone used film cameras, it was simple. There was basically one answer: you take the film, get it developed, and get a set of prints. But with digital files there are so many possibilities that it can be overwhelming.

There are some great ways to share your photos, including posting them on social media, emailing them, and displaying them in a digital picture frame. Then there are the more traditional ways, with a modern twist: sending them to a printer or printing them yourself. Here are a few more suggestions:

Books: There are many companies out there making press printed books from photos. Shutterfly, MyPublisher, Blurb, and Picaboo, just to name a few of the most popular, offer quick options for making a photo book. For Mac users, iPhoto even makes it possible to order a book straight from the program.

Slide shows: Upload your photos to create a slide show. Do a Web search for "free photo slide show" and a whole list of results come up: Imageloop, Slideroll, Slide, One True Media. Also take a look Animoto. You can try them all and pick your favorite.

Hand them out: Use a printer like Moo.com to print your photos and hand them out to friends or even people you just met.

Go traditional: Everyone seems to have their favorite photo sharing site. Even WalMart offers online printing. Then there are the companies that specialize in online photo orders, like Shutterfly and Snapfish. A more upscale option is MPix, the partner company to a pro lab that many professional photographers use.

Go crazy: calendars, bags, T-shirts, keychains, mugs, boxes, playing cards. Do an online search for "photo" along with any of the above, or just search for "photo products." Find the coolest or craziest thing offered. If you find something really unusual, post it in the comments below.

The main idea is to enjoy your photos, and the incredible range of possibilities for sharing them. Until they are shared, they are just ones and zeros -- just data on a card -- so don't hold back.

Author's Note: Although I have dealt with many of the companies above, I have never received any free products that are not offered to the general public.

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