HAPPY NEW YEARS Everyone!
A wise man once told me his New Years resolution is: to never make another new years resolution again. I am not the kind of person to make a resolution just because it’s a new year. Why not improve on ourselves all year long? This year though, I think everyone should have the same resolution, which is to backup your photos! My photos are my memories and if I lost these I would be completely devastated, which is exactly what happened to me a few years ago. About 9 years ago, I got a new camera for Christmas and like most new moms I went trigger happy and took a ton of photos of my 2 year old daughter. One day they were just… gone, just like that. An entire year of my daughter and my memories…gone. I couldn’t even tell you what memories they were of. Did we have pictures from the park, visits from Grandma and Grandpa, birthday parties or just lazy Sunday pictures? I’ve always had a really bad memory and when I look back at photographs, they’ve always helped me remember the event or parts of the day. I don’t even know what happened….did I reformat my memory card, did I forget to copy them over, or did they get deleted from my computer somehow? Who knows. All I know, is they are gone and my daughter will never be two again.
In this post, I’ll hopefully help you with ways of backing up your photos with tips I’ve learned along the way. Let’s start with how many copies of your photos you should have, which based off of my personal opinion, is 3. Maybe three copies seems excessive but you have to think, what if your house started on fire while you were on vacation or sleeping soundly in your bedroom? It’s most likely, you have no time to grab your phone, computer, or even the flash drive you backed up your photos onto. All of those photos would be gone. Sure, you might have the photos stored somewhere on your Facebook or Instagram, but those are usually very low resolution so even if you could recover them you probably couldn’t print them at the same quality as the original. Let’s go into the three ways of backing up your photos….
1. A Flash Drive or an External Hard Drive – I would recommend that it stays in a Fire/waterproof safe somewhere in your house. These types of safes for your home can start at $30 but you could spend $100’s. While the cheaper ones are only rated for a half hour fire this is usually enough for most people. It’s not likely the fire department will take hours to get to your house to extinguish the blaze, so your photo drives should be fine. Here’s a link to the one we currently use: SentrySafe Fire-Safe Waterproof Chest.
It usually comes with two keys, so you should store one of those keys someplace away from your home in the instance a fire does occur.
2. Another Flash Drive or External Hard Drive – You should keep this somewhere outside of your home, like at a parents house or your workplace. Let’s say in the event your house burns to a crisp and the fire/waterproof safe malfunctions, you’ll still have another backup somewhere else.
3. An Online Cloud Storage – If you have an iPhone, then you’re probably aware of iCloud backup plans that you can pay a small monthly fee. Which works if say your phone fails or you get a new phone and want to restore from your backup plan, but what happens when you have taken thousands of photos throughout the year (like I do) and your 32 GB phone is not enough space to store all your photos? I just found out that if you delete a photo from your phone, to clear up more storage, the photo disappears on your icloud because it acts as mirror of the IOS device. There are other cloud drives out there that will store all your photos on an online drive, so you can delete the photos off your phone to free up more space. Some of the different options are DropBox, Box, OneDrive, Amazon Drive, Flickr etc. The types of storage solutions on the web are endless. You would need to find out what works best for you, whether you are ok with losing the quality of the photo, how much space you really need, and what you are wiling to pay. To be honest I don’t even have a solution for myself yet, but I am working on finding my families best option, so good luck to you!
A little tidbit I’ve learned from working at a photography studio is if you accidentally reformat your memory card and delete all the photos before you’ve backed them up, DON’T PANIC, there are ways to recover the photos. Just google, “Oh No, I’ve Formatted my Memory Card” and there will be videos and links on how to recover your photos.
In conclusion, if you have any spare time during your holidays you should really take this time to back-up all your photo files. Invest in an external hard drive for $100 and a fire-proof safe for $30 to hold onto those very important moments for years to come, look into online cloud storage as well but we all know technology can fail at any time so make sure you have your precious memories stored in many locations. Once you take the time to get all caught up on backing up your photos, make it a goal to take 15 minutes to a half hour every couple of months or once a month (depending on how many photos you take) to back-up your new photo files because what good is a back up if you never back anything up.
Wishing you a fresh start to your new year and all the best in 2019!