Looking after your digital family photos.
In our modern digital era, our files and photos are being turned into digital format. Most of us have now stopped printing our pictures to put them into books which can be shelved; instead preferring to use our computers and mobile devices as a way to access and show those pictures to others. We now rely on programs such as Facebook or Instagram which allow us to share those images easily to our friends around the world. This makes us more and more reliant on external services to keep copies of those photos.
Staying in control
One of the bad things about using Facebook as a main way to distribute our pictures is that it downsizes the quality of our pictures, meaning the published picture might not look as good as the original one. Furthermore, our pictures get buried further down our timeline as we post more every day, making those old pictures harder to access. In fact, being dependent from Facebook and the way they decide to display our pictures doesn’t give us enough control over the basic storage of our photos, and there are better ways that we can do this.
Image Source: Pixabay
Storing our photos on a hard drive
The easiest way to keep all our photos in their original format is to copy them onto our hard drives. Most people will use an external USB drive, so that it can operate independently from our computers and can be transported easily. Using an external hard drive also means our photos will still be safe if our computer’s hard drive crashes. Of course hard drives do have a limited shelf life but they should last long enough providing we look after them. On the worst case that our external hard drive ceases to function, we can always send it to hard drive recovery companies which will most likely be able to recover our data at a certain cost.
Using cloud storage.
Cloud storage is probably the best and safest alternative to hard drive storage when it comes to storing our digital photos. Services such as Google Drive or Dropbox offer great online storage capacities for a relatively small cost, enabling us to access those photos from any computer, smart phone or tablet connected to the internet; providing we have the right credentials to access those photos. This makes cloud storage a much better option for sharing our photos online and from person to person. Not only is it convenient, but it is also safe. Cloud storage use complex servers which ensure that our data will be kept safe even in the advent that the Dropbox or Google Drive servers do suffer from hardware or software failures.
Keeping up with maintenance
No matter what method of storage we chose, the truth is that it remains up to us to make sure that we upload or copy our pictures correctly. Storage services will help contain our photos but the greatest factor influencing how those get stored is the human factor. So with this in mind, the best way to ensure we never lose our digital family photos is to establish a maintenance routine. It is best practice to transfer our photos from our phones or cameras onto our storage at least once a week. Furthermore, creating the right folders and using a naming and dating convention which works for us will allow us to find our photos much easier. We cannot solely rely on technology to do things for us but we can use it to work with our needs and wants. In this sense, electronic storage works like traditional storage: it necessitates us to make a regular effort and to use it properly.