Sharing Doll Pictures

The first thing to realize about Dollation's Pictures section is that its purpose is to let other people see your doll pictures, not to host your pictures. Picture hosting sites like Flickr and Photobucket keep a full-size version of your uploaded picture that you can download later or have printed. By contrast, the Dollation is going to resize your pictures on upload to a maximum size that fits within its windows and that doesn't take up too much space on the server. It is meant to share your pictures with other doll lovers, not to store your pictures unaltered. (Note that this can be particularly handy when you then share the picture on message board sites like Proboards that require you to link to an external image; you can just right click on the Dollation image and choose "Copy Image URL" and then use it in an [img][/img] tag on the message board.)

Picture Albums

When you are ready to start sharing pictures of your dolls, visit the Pictures section and create a top-level album for yourself. (You can create more than one top-level album, but having one per member makes the top page less cluttered.) If you do not see the Add Album link, make sure you are logged in.

Inside of your top-level album add pictures and/or create child albums to organize them any way you would like.

Albums can be nested as deeply as you would like. If you have a small collection, you may only need one. In my (JustMagicMaria's) case, I have a child album in my top-level album for portraits of my dolls ("Meet Maria's Dolls"), for pictures from doll events I've attended ("Maria's Doll Travels"), for a virtual tour of the doll spaces in my home ("Doll Spaces Virtual Tour") and for another for "Picture Stories". You can choose to organize your albums any way you'd like.

You can reorder the pictures and child albums in your albums using the appropriate tabs at the top. You can also choose which picture to use as the cover picture (by default, the first one you add).

There is a "View as Slideshow" option at the top of every album and there is also a "View as Picture Story" tab which lets you page through the pictures, one at a time showing captions.

Pictures

Before you upload a picture from your computer, make sure it is rotated right way up. You don't need to resize your picture (it will be resized on upload) but if you do you will save space on the server, it will probably look sharper, and it will upload faster. Save your picture as 72dpi and to max 650px height / width if you resize it before upload.

The most important thing to do when you create your pictures is to add links to the items in your collection. Add them at the bottom of the edit picture page -- the names of your items will auto-complete as you type them. Adding these links will allow people to see your pictures in the Collector's Guide with the associated product. And you'll also be able to see all pictures associated with your collection item in the Collection Tracker using the My Pictures tab at the top of your item (regardless of what albums they are in).

You can also add pictures directly from items in your My Collection list and you can choose your favorite picture to represent that item in your list. Note that it is not necessary to have every picture in an album (for instance if it is just a picture of an accessory with all the pieces laid out, meant to illustrate your review) but you should have every picture associated with at least one collection item. This way people can tell what your picture is picture of. If you don't have the picture either in an album or associated with a collection item, it's going to be very hard to find. Users will only see it in the homepage slideshow or in the Pictures > Browse Pictures "stream". Note that you can use the My Orphan Pictures feature (under Pictures > Browse Pictures) to find these.

Also note that you can exclude pictures from the homepage slideshow using a checkbox at the bottom of the edit picture page. Please do this for pictures that are just informational (like the aforementioned accessory with all the pieces laid out that you added just to your collection item).

You can see your "Picture stream" on the My Pictures tab on the Pictures > Browse Pictures page. You can see all pictures uploaded by another member by clicking on their username and choosing the Pictures tab on their profile.

Tagging

Both albums and pictures can be given tags. Tags are a way to organize and find your pictures across albums. (The tags will be listed as links in the Show Only box on the left in the My Pictures list.) For instance, I use the tag "portrait" on all my pictures that are close-ups of a single doll.

Liking & Comments

When you "Like" a picture using the link at the bottom of the picture page, above the comments, you make it appear higher in certain lists in the Collector's Guide. You can also comment on any pictures or albums.

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