My friends and family get what they want for free. However, I don't give anybody a full sized image file. Aperture will export an image to a JPEG and limit the longest dimension of the image to no more than 1024 pixels. That's what they get, "1024 x whatever".
I take it you're not a professional photographer "yet". I'd like to sell some of my better stuff someday, too. When that day comes I'll probably re-think my giveaway policy and maybe restrict the image size to a longest dimension something smaller. And I'll reassess who gets free images too. For now, as I establish myself as the new Ansel Adams I'll give away restricted size images so my friends and colleagues can spread the word about what a good photographer I am. So far it's working; I've sold a few prints and had a few requests to do some family portraits
Thanks for the replies. In a sense, I am a professional photographer as I make extensive use of scanning and transmission electron micorscopy in my research (as a biologist). These images are published in scientific journals and are sometimes featured on journal covers. In fact, a couple of my scanning electron micrographs will be used in the next edition Cambell's Biology, a first year biology text used by just about every college freshman biology student in the english-speaking world. The organisms I study are microbes that are very poorly studied and understood, and yet they are quite spectacular visually. Colleagues ask me for these images too, and of course if I am collaborating on a paper or something with them, I have no problem handing them over. But, as I am interested in the commercial potential of these as well, I still have some of the same reservations when requests come from others not directly involved in my projects.
This is a whole other ball of wax however that will require discussions with my boss, and possibly lawyers and journals in which my images are published (still, I have many unpublished images with possible commercial potential). So, I'm not really seeking answers for this issue on this forum.
After years of using film (mostly Kodachrome), I recently bought a digital camera (Olympus sp-500). Buying a dSLR is certainly on my list of things to do, but will probably not happen for a while. I have been enjoying this camera a great deal even if the image quality is not all that great compared to my friend's Nikon D-200 rig. Nevertheless, I do mostly nature and landscape photography with forays into cityscapes, architecture, aviation, and other subjects now and then.