Today we are going to talk about backing up your digital images and why it’s so important that your pictures are saved in multiple places to make sure that they are around for forever. With a little initial work to get a good system in place backing up your pictures can be easy (and even fun) and save you so much time and future frustration or even heartbreak. Technology is amazing but can fail and for that reason it is SO important to back up any important photographs (or even documents) that you want to save forever. Not only is it important to back up the images you receive from a professional photographer but also your cell phone and digital camera pictures too.
External hard drives. Using an external hard drive is one of my favorite ways to back up, organize, and save my pictures. They are affordable, easy to use, and can hold a lot of data. But because external hard drives can fail (and because natural disasters like fires/floods happen), I also suggest backing up anything on your hard drive onto the internet as well. Which brings us to our next back up method…
Online storage. Google Photos, Amazon Photos, and Apple’s Time Machine app are such awesome online back up options. Google can sync with your cell phone and will automatically back up the pictures you take as you take them. If you ever break or damage your phone having an app like this may be the only way you ever see your pictures again.
Old printed pictures. I’m really lucky and my grandparents have given me tons of old pictures from when they first met, when my parents were born and were growing up, and even from when I was growing up. The best way to back up and utilize these pictures is to scan each one (I use this all-in-one printer/scanner), save it as a JPEG, organize it into a folder on an external hard drive by date/year, and then back each folder up via your favorite method of online back up. If your family is like mine this may take some time because you may have a million 4x6s to scan onto your computer but what a great rainy day project so you can easily access those pictures in the future (hello perfect 50th anniversary present for Nana and Papa!) and so they are saved and backed up in multiple places in case they ever got lost in a move or damaged because of unexpected water that got into an old tote full of picture albums in the basement. And if you are reading this right now thinking wow my grandma has a million old totes full of photo albums in her basement that haven’t been touched or looked at in years… call her and ask her if you can do something with those for her! What a gift it would be for her and your family if you took the time to upload and organize all of those old pictures onto Google Photos into organized albums for her that she could pull up any time to look at on her iPad. You will forever win the title of favorite grandchild lol!
Prints and albums. Besides backing up your pictures printing your pictures is the most important thing you can and should do with your digital images. While I love going through old hard drives full of my kids’ baby pictures there is nothing like pulling out the physical albums full of their pictures that we’ve made or our wedding album and flipping through the pages together looking back at all our most loved memories and how everyone has changed over the years. Fill your home with pictures. Your children will thank you! It’s the only reason my kids know so well what their Papa and their Great Great Grandma look like even though they didn’t get to spend much time with them before they passed away. Mpix.com, Nations Photo Lab, Shutterfly, Blurb, and Chatbooks are all great companies to look into when considering making prints and albums.
Photo gifts and sharing. When you have your pictures organized well (by date/occasion and in folders by year) and backed up where you can easily get to them it makes sharing your pictures with family and friends or using your pictures for photo gifts so easy which is so awesome. Every year with our family’s new Christmas picture that we have taken that year we order metal ornaments from Mpix.com (they are so cute and only $10) and give those as gifts to all of our children’s grandparents and great-grandparents. They are such perfect gifts and so easy to make when you have your pictures easily accessible.
My favorite fun idea. Because I have been doing photography for so much of my life I am really blessed to have a ton of really beautiful pictures of my family. After realizing that I had some really special pictures like pictures of me and my mom making homemade raviolis with my grandma for the first time, pictures of Jamey as a baby on the counter helping me making brownies, and baby pictures of Emma and Liam COVERED in Nathan’s mom and dad’s famous homemade spaghetti I got the idea to start a cook book full of beloved family recipes and any pictures I may have to go with them to turn into gifts that I can give my children at their weddings some day. Now don’t get discouraged if you don’t have professional quality pictures of your kids making Grandma’s homemade chocolate cake together last Easter like you are now reading this and wishing you had. Get your phone out and take those pictures now! They don’t have to be on the fanciest camera or in the perfect light to be special and perfect to you. Capturing those memories is ALL that matters and someday may be all you have. After years of doing photography I realized that I have never regretted taking out my camera and documenting my own kids. Even if the light wasn’t perfect or they weren’t in brand new outfits or I didn’t clean the kitchen table all the way off the day. Years later looking back I was just SO thankful to have those pictures. The one from my “big” camera and from my cell phone. They ALL matter.
So the bottom line is keep your pictures safe, organized, and print them out! It’s important.
I hope this helped you get some ideas and get excited about backing up and organizing your pictures! Preserving your family’s memories for a lifetime to come is such a special gift to give your children and all generations to follow 🙂
And thank you for reading! If you enjoyed this post or found it helpful please write a comment or give it a quick share so we can get the word out about backing up your pictures! Thank you! xoxoxoxo