Digital devices have opened up the world of photography to all. Many of us take hundreds or thousands of photos or videos on our cell phones every year. And even if we do have a separate camera too, most of us have a digital one, rather than film. That is an incredible amount of digital imagery. But how should we be ensuring we keep all these images – our treasured memories – safe?
Smartphones have changed the habits of many. Many people owned a camera before the age of smartphones, but it’s not something that would go with them everywhere they went. You’d take a camera on vacation or to special meet-ups with friends or family. And when most people had film cameras, you’d choose your shots very carefully, as you only had a limited number of photos to take.
Digital photography and smartphones now mean we can take an unlimited number of photos – and we often do. Smartphones in particular mean we capture elements of our lives we wouldn’t have before. The quality of smartphone cameras even means standalone digital cameras are losing popularity. In fact, sales of digital cameras have fallen by 87% since 2010.
It is also estimated that 85% of all photos are taken with a smartphone. Statistics even show that the average person takes one or two selfies a day! That’s hundreds of photos a year that are selfies alone. In fact, you can find them all over the internet. Some people even add emojis to photos or edit them with filters and captions before uploading them to Instagram or other social media platforms.
While smartphones have brought a whole new way to document our lives, they also bring a fear that we could lose our digital photography easily. If a phone gets lost, stolen or damaged – our photos could disappear with it. Even if we have taken all the right data backup steps, we may still worry about losing our important memories.
So what is the best way to save your photos to ensure they are safe?
Use a Disk Drive
Experts say that the safest way to keep photos safe is to have all photos saved in more than one place. A disk drive (or external hard drive) can be one of the most straightforward solutions for storing photos, as you can buy disk drives with very high memory. The memory of a standard computer can become used up very quickly when you have a large number of photos to save, so an alternative like a disk drive is essential.
It is important to be aware that even a disk drive is not a fool proof plan. Disk drives can and do fail, so a better plan is usually to get a couple of different disk drives to store your images on. Also keep on top of changing software and file formats, and convert your files when newer technologies emerge. This reduces the risk of your disk drive being unreadable in the future.
Another good plan for safely storing your photos is to use some form of online storage. Many cell phones providers will offer you the option to use their own cloud storage, and a benefit to this is that it can be set to automatically save every photo you take on your phone to the cloud.
However, there are plenty of other online storage options out there, so do your research to find a provider that works for you. You should also be aware of the risks to having your photos in online storage. For example, you should keep your password secure so you don’t risk getting hacked and having your photos deleted. It is risks like these that show why it is sensible to have your photos saved in a few different places.
Another simple idea for backing up your photos is to burn a few CDs or DVDs. It’s quick and easy and you can create new discs for different themes, events or date stamps. CDs and DVDs can tend to become scratched or damaged, but if you are only creating them as a backup solution, all you’ll probably do is burn them and file them away.
When thinking about how to safely store much loved digital images, it is common to overlook the fact that printing some photos is a great way to keep some safe. It’s not feasible to print all your photos, of course, but if you decide to print a select few, it will make you choose the best photos. After all, many of our digital photos are when we try to capture the perfect shot multiple times.
You could print some photos and put them in old fashioned albums. There are many companies out there who will help you easily print photobooks, canvases and other personalized products as well. Printing photos can be relatively cheap, particularly if you download an app that gives you an allowance of free photos to print every month. Most of these apps simply charge for postage.