Backing Up Your Photos

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Cell phones have made it easy to take picture after picture of every attended event. But what do you do to protect those precious memories from disappearing? Accidents happen. Hard drives crash. Flash drives get lost or corrupted. CD’s scratch. Boxes of printed photos fade or mold. Protecting your photos requires multiple levels of protection.

When choosing backup methods for your photos, most professional photographers recommend backing up at least two or three different ways. Ellen of Ellen’s Media Photography uses multiple systems to back up her photos. “First on my computer hard drive which then automatically backs up to an external drive…Then, once the photos are edited and complete I upload them to cloud storage.”

With the use of cell phones, it is even easier to back up to your service providers cloud system. A cloud system is not the same as saving it to your phone or your computer. Cloud systems back your photos up onto a network server at another location. This means that in the event that your phone has an unfortunate accident, your photos can be restored. Cloud systems also have the advantage of being accessible on multiple media devices. This means that you can access your photos from your phone, your computer (with internet access), and your tablet. Be sure to check into how much space is available to you on your particular cloud. Sometimes there is a small fee to upgrade to more space. Sometimes you may have to download outside apps, such as Dropbox if your provider does not offer what you are needing.

Another common backup method used is an external hard drive. An external hard drive allows you to save your photos in a location that is similar to the computer, but with the mobility of a flash drive. External hard drives usually attach directly to your device for file transfers and downloads. It is recommended that you keep your external drives in a separate location, to keep them safe from disasters such as a house fire or flooding. Some recommend a safety deposit box or a fireproof safe. You can find compact externals with large storage space for fairly cheap online.

There are still others who choose to back up their photos onto flash drives or CDs. The ease of use mixed with their compact sizes makes this an easy mode of transfer. I would caution you to pick a safe location where you store your drives and CDs, so that they are not scratched or corrupted. Usually, flash drives are used as temporary storage or a way to transfer photos from one device to another. When storing photos on CDs, it is recommended that you do not use the rewritable ones, as there is a great margin of error in overwriting your photos.

Choosing multiple storage places for your precious memories will help to secure them for future reference and generations.

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