Most everyone has experienced a computer crash or a memory card failure. Its inevitable, and it happens. Unfortunately, technology is not flawless, although we rely so heavily on it. I am here to tell you now, it is super important you back up your photos IMMEDIATELY after you upload them to your computer!
Here are 10 ideas to help you preserve those memories, forever!
1) Purchase an External Hard Drive. They come in all shapes and sizes and can hold a variety of different media. I have seen them for as low as $70 at Walmart, and can hold quite a bit of data. Note: If you are removing your files from your computer after you move them to your external hard drive, it is important to find a second back up option, as External Hard Drives have been known to crash (I have had one take a poo and know from experience!)
2) Look into Online Photo Storage Options: This is a really nifty photo storage option. Their are websites out there that offer storage online, and you can access your files from any different computer. One that I particularily like (and up to a certain amount is free) is Dropbox. (www.dropbox.com) but as a photographer I use SmugMug. (www.smugmug.com) but have also used the FREE Instaproofs (www.instaproofs.com)
3) Another Option: CD’s and DVD’s: These are probably the most popular forms of backup, but come with a lot of unknown risks. CDs and DVD’s break down over time, and it is important that you continually make copies of them, and store them in a cool, dry and out of sunlight.
4) Another Option: Flash Drives: This is another popular form of backdrop, and is a great, easy storage option as well. They can hold little to a lot of information and data, and seem to with hold time well.
5) Make sure you transfer your images to your computer and back them up immediately! Don’t risk your data being lost, stolen, or damaged!
6) Use as many back up options as you possibly can!
7) Print your Pictures! I know this sounds really “strange” for an article like this, but keeping them on those data devices is not what photography is intended for! Plus, if you do happen to fail at backing your images up, at least you have the hard copies, and vice versa. Note: Just because you print them doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t back them up; anything could happen to the hard copies of your images!
8) Keep Them in a Safe: Once your hard drives, CD’s, Flash Drives, etc are full, store them in a safe that is in a cool, dry area.
9) Read Reviews: Find online reviews of products and services that other people really like!
10) Organize! If you are like me and have 100,000 images on one external hard drive, keep it organized so your files are easy to find! Some organize them by month, date, year, event, etc. Whatever your method is, stay consistent!
Photo Sharing & Storing Websites: