Backup Family Photos
Ultimate Guide: How to Easily Backup Family Photos
How to backup family photos? Honestly, sometimes I lay awake at night thinking about the what'ifs of losing my family photos and I've got backup down! Digital photos can feel pretty flimsy - plus there are a lot of them. It's genuinely hard to keep on top of backing things up. Maybe you've never even really plugged your phone in and there they are just sitting precariously on a device that can be dropped in the loo, lost or stolen. Eek!
Really we're in a much better position in this era of having things like iCloud there to automatically run some of these backup tasks for us. BUT things happen. There's a golden rule on backing things up: a rule of three. And I'm going to tell you how to start to implement this so you can backup family photos and your backups have backups and your memories are safe.
1. The "Rule of Three" for Fortifying Family Photo Collections
Let's kickstart things with a tripod strategy for ensuring the security of your family photos. Familiarise yourself with the "Rule of Three,". This entails having one copy in the cloud and two exact replicas on dedicated hard drives.
2. Navigating the World of Family Photo Backup
While the convenience of digital storage is undeniable, there's a quite something in holding printed photographs. The tangible stuff is so GOOD. Don't underestimate this step in further securing your absolute favourite images.
3. Choosing the Right Cloud Service for Family Photo Safeguarding
Selecting the right cloud service is important for the safety and accessibility of your digital archives. Although something like iCloud is convenient because it auto updates I've always been more fond (and it feels safer) of static storage - this does however involves a regular physical step of either setting up or manually backing up your images. To navigate the decision of what to use, you should have a look at popular options like Dropbox, Backblaze, Google Drive or Google One. Explore the features, security, and pricing to make an informed choice that suits your needs. Dropbox is a great place to start with a fair chunk of free storage available. I use Backblaze (their B2 system) to store files I want to keep safe but don't have to access readily (Very no frills... but it's also very inexpensive). Backblaze have other storage models available as well those that sit closer to something like Dropbox - which makes it easier to retrieve and see files. Another one to check out is iDrive.
4. Selecting an Ideal External Hard Drive for Local Backups
The hardware component of your backup strategy is equally important but it doesn't need to be complicated. I buy two small portable drives a year - a bit like this one from Officeworks and make EXACT copies of my backups on to each. And to go one step further - you ideally then want to be storing one of these drives offsite OR in a protective safe (Bunnings have these!) to protect from damage - such as water/fire. Handle them carefully, store them safely!
5. Organising Family Photos for Effortless Retrieval
Effective photo organisation is helpful in two ways - the first is easy retrieval. You suddenly need that first birthday photo for you kids milestone birthday - you can find it in two minutes instead of trawling through masses of images. AND it can really help you save space (eg. you don't have to buy as big or so many drives) by not backing up images that are unimportant. BUT this is often a massive hurdle and I'd rather you have a copy of even 'the crap stuff' than no copy at all. Starting from today though you can learn how to categorise your photos. Keep it simple - Make a folder for the year and then one folder a month and then any specific events in subfolders such as birthdays or holidays. Name them sensible names - the types of names you'd look for if you went to look for them five years down the track.
6. Gather your photos before you backup your family photos
It's time to gather your images. Plug in your phone and download those. Grab all those image folders and drag them into a master folder. If you have the headspace, do some preliminary organisation (as basic or as detailed as you can handle).
7. The Initial Setup: Overcoming Hurdles
Though the initial setup might seem daunting, it's an essential step in preserving your family memories. Sit down at your computer - plug in BOTH hard-drives and copy your images across to them. Copy/save the same files to your cloud. It'll take a bit of time but your system will provide long-term peace of mind. THEN set a calendar reminder to add to your backup regularly - once every month or two, whatever makes sense for your life.
8. Print those Family Photos
Consider printing. A hard copy is undoubtedly one of the best ways to enjoy your images and serve as yet another backup. For really wonderful print quality use labs like Atkins (this is what your Gallery connects to if you have had a session with me - you'll get better pricing printing through your gallery than direct through them) but for a more cost effective print that's still pretty great I quite like Streets Imaging. Please avoid the kiosk machines at Kmart/Officeworks etc - unless you're printing a copy for your kids wall.
9. Turn Family Photos into Artwork
For the best of the best of your images you can print/frame use other wonderful methods to turn your images into artwork. I really love OnStone who will print your images on to stone and frame them in beautiful upcycled wooden frames. These are available at a reduced rate in your Gallery or you can use them directly. OR somewhere like Arlo and Co can print your images on to wood.
10. Future-Proofing Your Family Photo Strategy
You can set and forget but you're much better off checking in on your backups now and then. Technology changes and updates might need to happen. Plug in your hard-drives, test your cloud service out. Use your drives.
Safeguarding and preserving your family photos is super important, it doesn't have to be difficult and will definitely help you sleep better. You can do it! Start today, break it up into chunks if it feels like a lot. Pour a wine or a coffee and get stuck in to safeguarding your family's history. 📸❤️
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