It seems that every photo sharing service requires that you share one of their web page links. I am so frustrated. I do not WANT to share a whole page, just a single file at a time in my own chosen manner. That is, I want to be able to share a link similar to:


Flickr is the only one I've found that comes close, but you have to hack the service: If you go to share their embedded code the href link contains an image link to their static farm. Sharing only that static farm link goes against their written policy.

Dropbox will no longer share just a link to a file.

Google: Ditto

23: Ditto

Google is the most frustrating because I PAY for their storage. I'm so mad at Google right now I could spit nails.

I've looked around. I really wanted to avoid signing up for every blasted service on the planet to find one that will do this.

I hope someone is using a service that will let you share just a link to the photo itself. Please share! I would so very much appreciate it.

  • I would go with a web hosting service. One that let's you design your own content. I've used One and Surftown in the past. While their main focus is on hosting websites and e-mail, there's nothing to stop you from just using the provided space for file sharing. The two I mentioned are, to my knowledge, based in Sweden and Denmark.
    – user36865
    Jan 13 '15 at 17:06
  • 1
    Imgur or a personal server.
    – user34145
    Jan 13 '15 at 20:25

Smugmug allows this, in fact, it has extensive capability to help you share an image, in your choice of image sizes. As you can see from the attached photo, you can also share the Gallery, create embedded links, etc. You can place restrictions on Galleries (not individual images), share privately, etc.

A nice feature of the individual image share is that the Gallery name and the file name are randomized or obfuscated within the link. Of course, once you click the link, the gallery and image name are in the URL for the current site, but its a good feature to keep others from linking to the gallery from the shared URL.

Of course, Smugmug is not free, but well worth the price.

enter image description here

  • Yes, this is exactly the answer I'm looking for. Thank you. I marked it as the answer.
    – user25986
    Jan 13 '15 at 21:44
  • 1
    Other paid photo hosting sites, such as zenfolio, also allow this.
    – Michael C
    Jan 14 '15 at 2:04

You don't need a "photo sharing site" at all if you want to provide URLs directly to image files. Any web hosting space will do. Just upload the image files like any other binary file, the give out the URLs to them as you like. Check with your ISP, but you probably have some web space already available to you. If not, there are many cheap hosting sites nowadays.


Dropbox does it for me. I do have a paying account; maybe that makes a difference?

Works both from the website and from the client. How I do it:


  1. go to folder containing photo (in Files mode)
  2. hover over file name of photo
  3. a "Share" button appears; click it
  4. Copy that link to the clipboard and paste it anywhere you need it (or email it from there)

Local client: right-click the file, select "Share Dropbox link"; the link is now in your clipboard

Both work fine, AFAICS. For now, at least; as with any cloud service, there are no guarantees what Dropbox will do in the future.

  • When I do this in DropBox I only get a link to a webpage that has the picture in it. I can't get a link directly to the image itself. I do know that my DropBox used to work that way. I suppose it might be possible that they only offer that to paying customers.
    – user25986
    Jan 13 '15 at 21:44
  • Ah, yes, indeed, that's what I get too. I didnt't get that that wasn't what you wanted. Sorry for the noise. Jan 13 '15 at 22:59

There are various options:

  • ImgUr

    After uploading one or more images, the direct link is displayed in the sidebar. (You can also right-click the picture to get the direct link.) You can find the direct link in the sidebar at ImgUr.

    Unfortunately, if you're not embedding the image (in an e-mail/web page) ImgUr has the habit of redirecting mobile users to a web page with ads and other annoyances.
    You could use StackExchange's image upload (which uses ImgUr under the hood) and share that image link to avoid this, but that's probably more of a hack than hotlinking to Flickr.

  • Dropbox

    It is possible to get the direct link, although it takes a bit of work.

    • If the image is in the Public folder, you can simply right click and choose Copy public link. Choose "Copy public link" in the context menu.

    • If the image is not in the Public folder, it is somewhat more complicated:
      1. Right-click the file and choose Share. Share
      2. Copy the link. Copy the link
      3. Change dl=0 into dl=1.

         The disadvantage of this method is that it prompts people to download the photo if they view the link. However, it can be easily embedded in a web page.


In fact, it's possible with Picasa Web Albums at the moment (2015/03).
The following procedure works in Google Chrome (not in Firefox as it closes the download link tab).

  1. Log to Picasa Web Albums.
  2. Switch from the "new" Google+ mode to old Picasa Web Albums. (There's a pop-up just after logging-in in the upper part of the screen with this option.)
  3. Navigate to your picture and get "Link to this Photo" from the right pane.
  4. Sign Out and paste the link to your browser address bar.
  5. Click "More" and "Download Photo".
  6. In time when File download dialog is shown, address bar above shows the permanent link to the photo which you can embed as you wish. The original link to the picture below is: "https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-ZnYdv7FNe5I/SDlp2IYDGcI/AAAAAAAACe0/6vh7KOCfW7s/s0-d-ip/01-musik_slunecnice.jpg"

Another option is the Microsoft OneDrive (SkyDrive) but you also need to experiment a bit to get the image link.


  • I've been using both of them in last months. The image links are valid so far.
  • Both services are for free.



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