How do YOU store your photos? It might not be the sexiest of topics, but it’s one you can’t afford to ignore – digital storage.
Admit it. You’ve got hundreds, thousands, possibly even hundreds of thousands of photographs stored across several different devices. You do back up your digital storage from time to time, but there’s often something more urgent to do. Before you know it, you’ve dropped your phone down the loo or had your laptop stolen and you realise that the last back up you made was months ago.
Many among you will not be worrying at this point. You know that your devices send your data to your cloud-based storage.
Cloud storage has some obvious advantages. If you set your devices to back up to the cloud automatically, you rarely need to worry about your photos in the event of the scenario above happening. You can access photos anywhere with an internet connection, so it’s easy to show potential clients your portfolio or Auntie Sofia your new baby photos. Plus, it’s the cloud storage provider’s job to keep their software up-to-date. No more unearthing digital storage you can no longer view! Remember floppy discs?
However, you should not rely on cloud storage alone. What happens if your internet connection goes down? Or, much worse, if the company goes bust? Or hackers infiltrate it and wipe the data?
Another issue with cloud storage is that you need to make sure your photo files are saved at the correct size. Some free cloud-based storage will reduce the resolution of your photographs so that they’re high quality when viewed online, but not if you want to print them out. If you want to store large files, you’ll need to pay.
To be safe you should always back up your data in more than one place and ideally several. Just a few years ago, being able to buy 1TB of storage seemed astonishing to me—now it’s commonplace, cheap and the hardware is palm sized. If it’s security you’re worried about, many have built-in encryption. Just be aware that external hard drives, USB sticks and DVD/Blu-rays all have a finite lifetime. Make sure that you do your back-ups to all your storage hardware at the same time so that if one piece of hardware stops functioning, you haven’t lost anything.
Make digital storage back-ups a regular part of your routine and you’ll be smiling in real life as well as in your photos.