How to take care of your digital photos

I’m sure at some point in time someone has asked you this question.

“If your house was on fire and you could only grab one item to save, what would it be”

Ask the question to a room of people and I’m sure there would be at least a few who say they would save their photo albums.

Why, because our memories connect us to our loved ones, to moments in time that we can’t get back.

And the idea of loosing those images forever is devastating.

Why it’s important to care for your digitals.

So you may be reading this and thinking the obvious… we live in a digital world, photos don’t only exist in the form of prints and film negatives anymore.

And you are so right, however there is a huge difference between simply having a digital copy of your photos and taking the time to properly organise and protect them.

So what are the main considerations when it comes to digital photo storage.

1) Disaster proofing

If your photos are stored on your phone or your computer they are still at risk of being lost due to fire, floods and other natural disasters as well as hardware failures and human error.

2) Getting all your important images in one place

Most people have their photos scattered all over. On their phone, computer, hard drive, a USB or two, cloud storage and maybe even an old school CDROM. Without a central storage location, it will be almost impossible to keep your images safe, let alone organised.

Having your photos in one place will also make it so much easier to pass them onto your children in the future.

3) Creating an organised filing system

Taking the time to create a system for your images will make it so much easier to find them when you need them.

Where to store your files

My recommendation is to store your most important images to one central database.

Then make sure that database is backed up to at least one more location.

For best protection, make sure you have at least one physical storage location and at least one online location.

I personally use a solid state drive (SSD) because they are really reliable and can handle a lot more wear and tear than other options. You can also use a hardrive, USB or simply a folder in your phone or computer.

For online storage there are so many options; ICloud, Google Drive, Dropbox, Flickr etc

Simply pick the one that works best for you and make sure it either automatically syncs with your database or you back it up regularly.

Saving images after a photoshoot

If you book a professionally photoshoot, your photographer will likely provide you with two file sizes; full res and web size.

Make sure to save both file sizes when you download your gallery to save you from running into trouble down the road.

Web sized images will work best for sharing to social media – they will load quicker and are optimised for the platforms

When it comes to printing photos, use the full resolution files to make sure they print at the best quality.

File organisation

Once you’ve created a central database of photos you can add some organisation to make it easier to access specific images and actually enjoy them.

I like to create a new folder for each photoshoot, but you could also choose to create folder for every month, one for each family member or whatever makes the most sense to you.

Be sure to choose logical names for your folders that you will be able to search, for example “family photos with Got You Babe Photography July 2021”.

You can even go so far as to rename the individual photos and use tags or colour labels to make your favourites easier to find.

One more thing

Lastly, the best way to make the most of your photos is to get them printed.

You will enjoy them so much more if they are displayed around your home and not just hidden on a device.

Plus, no technology will ever compare to feeling the paper in your hands.

Next week I will be posting a follow up post on caring for your printed photos so be sure to check it out.

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