Doesn’t it seem like there’s a made-up holiday for everything these days?! Some I can get behind (like National Donut Day), and some are just plain silly (ahem… Math Storytelling Day), but today just happens to be a holiday near and dear to my heart – National Save Your Photos Day. Obviously, as a photographer I value having captured memories, but one of the reasons saving these memories is so important to me begins with a photo-losing horror story.
We live in a time where there’s cameras everywhere, carried in our pockets as our phones. Between Facebook, Instagram, and all the digital ways to share photos, it’s easy to assume that those photos are perfectly safe and will never disappear – but remember MySpace? We didn’t think that would disappear either!
I’ve always been careful about photo storage, and used to think that backups to an external hard drive were enough – but when my main hard drive got corrupted and I lost three years’ worth of photos, I started to think differently. Losing those memories, including baby photos of my sons, was devastating and now I keep my photos in at least two or three places, as well as printing them to protect from digital corruption.
Just because you put photos online doesn’t mean they’re there forever, so back them up and print them!
I still keep an external hard drive for photos, but it’s just one link in a system now! Here’s some more of my favorite ways to store photos.
I use a Mac to edit and store photos, and using Time Machine for automatic backups helps give me more peace of mind. Read more about how to set it up here – you’ll need an external hard drive!
Yes, Facebook. Did you know you can set your post settings to “Only Me” to avoid sharing with friends or the public? I use this feature to upload personal photos as a backup without overwhelming friends with all of my images! This method lets me keep pictures in a digital space that’s private, but lends itself to even more photo storage, like…
Remember when I told you to print your photos? You’re probably thinking about how much time that would take, right? That’s why I use Chatbooks to print out custom photo books that pull images directly from those Facebook albums I mentioned (not sponsored, I just love Chatbooks!). They start at $8 and I have mine set up to automatically generate themselves, making for a cheap and low-maintenance way to have memories printed.
I also use Amazon Prime Photos to back up my storage, which is free with my Prime membership (again, not sponsored – just my favorite!). It syncs to my computer and phone and lets me automatically store photos in a cloud to provide another location! When it comes to storage locations, there really is strength in numbers.
When it comes to actually storing and finding photos, I use a date + description file naming system to make life much easier! Putting file names in the yyyy-mm-dd “Event” format sorts my photo folders chronologically and lets me see what the photos are at a glance.
And that’s how it’s done! How do you sort and store your photos?