I’m currently using Picasa 3 to manage my photos. There are a number of Picasa reviews online, so I won’t go into all of the features in detail. If you want to know about all of the features, check out the Google Photos Blog. I just want to highlight some of the things I really like.
Not only does Picasa manage your photos so that you can search through them, you can edit your photos as well. It’s not Adobe Photoshop, but there are enough editing tools to make most beginners like me happy. For example, try out the “I’m Feeling Lucky” button. Anyways, who wants to spend all their time editing their photos? Picasa also does a really nice job of managing photos online (via Picasa Web Albums) as well as on your personal computer so that you can share your photos with friends and family. Unfortunately, you’re limited to 1GB of free online storage. 20GBs of storage will cost you $5 per year – not a bad deal.
I haven’t had a chance to try out Flickr, so I can’t comment on how it compares to Picasa. I’ve read a number of online reviews comparing Flickr and Picasa (just Google “Flickr vs Picasa”). Ultimately, I think it just depends on what you want to do with your online photos. Actually, it looks like most people use both Flickr and Picasa.
A number of friends have recommended commercial online photo sharing sites, like Shutterfly and Smugmug, but I haven’t tried these services out yet either. Digital Photography Website as an article comparing all of the online photo-sharing websites.
All I have to say is that Picasa is a great software package for a beginner, and it’s hard to beat the price since it’s free.