The fastest way to send photos is to attach them to an e-mail.
What you need to know: Unless you want to annoy friends whose e-mail servers have filtering devices and size limits, only send four to six photos at once and resize them so they're not enormous. Jeff Keller, editor of the Digital Camera Resource Page (dcresource.com), a Web site that reviews digital cameras, recommends that you use the uploading software that comes with your camera (Mac's iPhoto, or Windows' My Pictures) to reduce the photos to 640 by 480 pixels. (Some cameras will even let you change the size of your photos while they're still on the camera.)
Words of warning: If your parents want prints, you'll either have to resend them individually at a higher resolution (try 1280 by 960 pixels) or make them yourself.You've got 15 minutes >>
If e-mail is too old-school for you but you don't have time for anything more complicated, a sharing service is the way to go. Bonus: Your mom can get her own prints made.
What you need to know: The Web is flooded with sharing sites. Some of the most popular are Snapfish.com, Kodakgallery.com, Shutterfly.com, Photos.yahoo.com, and Pictures.aol.com. Create a free account, upload any photos you want to share into online albums, and enter your friends' e-mail addresses so the link gets sent to them. We like Shutterfly and Kodakgallery because they allow friends to see your photos without having to register (they do need to create an account to buy prints, however). Most of the sites will let you do some basic red-eye fixing, cropping, and effects. Prices for prints vary -- Snapfish.com was the cheapest we found, at 12 cents per 4-x-6-inch photo.
Words of warning: Although sharing sites generally keep your albums posted indefinitely, David D. Busch, author of Digital Photography All-In-One Desk Reference for Dummies, recommends burning your photos onto a CD instead of relying on a sharing site as backup. "Even though they keep backups, a major service could have a catastrophic computer crash and lose all of your photos," says Busch.