Here are my top tips for saving and preserving your photos, but first…
I wanted to share a story with you — about how my music pirating habit cost me ALL of my photos.
It was back in “the day”. (To clarify, “the day” was sometime in 2002.) For several years, I had been obsessively using Napster and Limewire to save music to my computer. Looking back now, it was pirating. I was stealing music from the internet. But I had an iPod full of newly downloaded MP3s, and life was great! I didn’t give it much thought.
Until the karma police caught up with me. (Friends, that was a Radiohead reference to one of the songs I stole, which played on repeat on my iPod.)
Have a listen…
Anyway, back to my story:
During a music download, I had unknowingly also downloaded a no-good, nasty virus directly to my computer, which effectively killed it. Like, dead on arrival. Done.
And, all of my digital photos were stored on my now useless computer. So in one fateful download, all of my photos went …. Poof! Into the digital photo graveyard, never to be resurrected again.
I know that MANY of you reading this have had the same horrible thing happen to you.
It’s completely devastating, right?!!
Let’s all make a pact right now that we’re going to cherish and take care of our precious memories.
I’m here to help you!!
I’m going to break it down into three topics:
- Saving photos to the cloud
- Backing up your computers and hard drives
- Printing photos
SAVING PHOTOS TO THE CLOUD:
If you’re not doing this yet, you clearly haven’t lost photos after dropping your phone in a toilet or had your phone stolen.
Once this happens to you, you realize quickly that the cloud is now your new BFF. Here’s how to ensure that your photos live off your device:
- How to Back Up Photos from your Phone:
- How to Back Up Photos from your Computer:
- This article written by a National Geographic photographer does a great job of breaking down all the options. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/11/smarter-living/backing-up-your-photos.html
BACKING UP YOUR PHOTOS
Yes, the cloud is so wonderful, but tech happens, so you should have the original high-resolution digital files stored on your computer and/or hard drive, with a backup in place.
When I work with a client I always send their final photos via Dropbox or Shootproof, my favorite cloud-based storage systems. I also have files on my hard drives, backed up to a 2nd location on the cloud. And you should too!!
Adding a 2nd and 3rd layer of redundancy might seem like overkill but if you want to have peace of mind, I suggest using BackBlaze. This service gives me unlimited storage while backing up ALL my computers and multiple hard drives to the cloud for $7 a month.
PRINTING AND PRESERVING Your DIGITAL PHOTOS
“Want to make sure a photograph survives your lifetime? Print it out.” That’s the warning Internet pioneer Vint Cerf gives, saying that vast amounts of digital information may soon be lost in a new digital “dark age.”
I wrote this blog post for my photography clients, to ensure they’re printing correctly:
Spoiler alert: don’t print at Costco or Walmart.
If you follow these 3 steps, you can rest easy knowing that you’ve successfully backed up your photos and are preserving them for future generations.