Welcome to the sixth tip ~ Back Up Photos ~ in our series on digital photo organization – It’s Time For a Photo Revolution – Get control over the digital media cluttering up your devices and life! This series will help you organize and store all those photos on your various devices. Back up photos properly so they are protected. With these simple steps you can get control over the digital media in your life!
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If you missed the first posts in the series you can check out our big picture discussion, literally, where we went and counted how many photos we had on our various devices, and those numbers were scary big! So many photos and memories that are getting lost in the shuffle.
Then we talked about taking the crud out and scaling down the masses into a somewhat easier to manage pile. Then we talked about the whens and whys of downloading, followed by the hows and organizing your downloads so your photos will start to be organized!
We further organized our photos by pulling out the best of the best, giving them a little extra love, then creating some beautiful, lasting physical memories in the form of photobooks.
Next up we want to protect your photos by storing them properly. So this tip is: BACK IT UP!
So you have your photos on your phone, on your computer, the best ones are up on the cloud, plus printed into wonderful keepsake books. So your covered, right?
Not yet. You need to look in to backing up those photos in a way that you control and will help you keep those memories safe for as long as possible.
Storing our digital media on a cloud or server controlled by another party is never optimal. In the end you truly are not in control of what might happen. So we need to back up our photos in a way that keeps the control with us.
But not all forms of digital storage are equal and technology is constantly changing. So my strategies for back up storage need to be flexible and adapt constantly.
At this time, this is my process…
When I create my photobook, I also take a USB drive (also known as a thumb drive or flash drive) and copy over all my photos from the previous year. Not just my favourites, but all of them. At this time I will also copy over any special documents from the previous year (such as wills, adoption decrees, etc.), so those files are backed up too. Then I label the drive with the year and put it into my safe deposit box at the bank.
In addition, I highly recommend everyone have a large capacity external hard drive (USB ones are the simplest to use). I copy the previous year’s photo folder to the external drive (plus I add a documents folder with those special documents from the year that I don’t want to lose). Often at this time I will also go in and delete old folders of photos and clear out extra content. My main working computer doesn’t have a massive hard drive, and I don’t want to bog it down. If I need access to the old photos from previous years I can just grab them from the external hard drive.
Now putting the USB drives in the safe deposit box might seem like a bit much and you may wonder why bother since we have so many other back ups in place… but here’s the thing, those cloud storage solutions are not under my control and hold a limited amount of my precious memories, those physical storage options in my home are great but what if something happens like a fire or flood or break in? Even home safes are only rated to withstand a certain amount of heat and a recent wildfire in a near by community brought this issue to the forefront in our area. The fires burned for so long those safes gave way, and those precious items people thought were safe, were lost. So that bit of time it takes to create a USB back up and put it in the safety deposit box is a step I’m not willing to skip. It doesn’t need to be stored at a bank though, you could store it at a family members house or some other secure location.
So take the time and develop your plan for backing up and securing your photos. You’ve already got them all organized, so take those steps needed to preserve them and keep them safe.
Next up we are going to explore how to preserve those memories that are not digital.