We live in an amazing digital age and digital files are how most of us capture and preserve our memories. Everything from professional photo sessions to cell phone photos.
But what happens when your computer crashes, cell phone is no longer works or a natural disaster like a flood or fire happens? I want to share some helpful tips for preserving those moments for generations to come.
Let's start with what to do after I send you your digital download gallery.
1) First one is easy...DOWNLOAD the files right away. It is so easy to get excited, look at the gallery over and over, but once that initial excitement is over, it is easy to forget this simple step. My galleries have an expiry date because after that point, I have them backed up in other programs. For me to resend your gallery, I need to find it and upload it all over again (which is why there is a $50 charge now).
2) Back that whole gallery up somewhere else. Computers fail. Laptops can be stolen. Natural disasters can happen. Backing them up is like insurance. You can get an inexpensive external hard drive and back up countless digital files. An even better option is to keep that hard drive in a fire/waterproof safe like I do. iCloud options are also a great option. Dropbox, google photos or websites like smugmug can have anywhere from limited to unlimited JPEG storage. Personally, I use smugmug and have 9+ years of personal and work photos backed up with an annual fee.
3) iCloud options for your whole computer. I also use Backblaze. For $5 a month it backs up my whole computer 24/7. If something where to ever happen, I can contact them and they will send me everything that was backed up on an external hard drive.
4) This is not to sound preachy or force sales but PRINT your digital files. Simply printing a 4x6 of your professional photo sessions will create a hard copy that is easy for generations to enjoy. I get the old school albums and slide in my 4x6 prints. And bonus...my kids love them! The reality is, digital files are only as good as the format they are in. Floppy disks, CD roms and soon flash drives will be a thing of the past. Those images will be trapped unless you keep up with technology and transfer them over as it changes.
So what about those cell phone photos?? We all know someone (maybe yourself) that lost a phone or had it just die. It is heart breaking when those images are gone forever and can be VERY costly to try to get them back. Most of the above procedures can be carried over. Here are a few extra tips.
1) Programs like Dropbox allow you to back up cell phone images right to their program so they are available not only on your device, but your home computer or anywhere else you want to access them.
2) Make it a habit to plug your phone into your computer on a scheduled basis and back the whole thing up.
2) PRINT those cell photos. YES...I do this every year. My habit is to print all of my cell phone photos every boxing day when the print sales are on. We all capture sweet family and personal moments on our phones, but again, where will that phone be in 20 years?
I hope these tips help you protect and cherish your memories for years to come.
Oh, and if you are curious about the photo it is one I took years ago in an abandoned house. Photos speak louder than words in a lot of cases.