A few months ago, one of my dear friends had something somewhat disastrous happen. No one was hurt, nothing was broken, and there was no financial loss. But it was heartbreaking.
Several years worth of photos – gone. The hard drive on their computer suddenly crashed, and poof. Everything was gone. There was no hard drive backup, and that was where all of their photos were stored. Wedding pictures, baby pictures, first steps, first days of school were all just a memory.
It’s crazy how quickly the times have changed. Just 15 years ago, photography was still on physical paper. So your photo collection was in an album or a box. And unless your house burned down, there was really no risk of your treasured photos suddenly disappearing. But it’s a different day and age.
I know I am guilty of taking pictures and never uploading them to anything – they either sit on my hard drive or in my phone. It is always one of those things I keep on saying I need to get around to, but I never have until now.
If you don’t want to lose your photos, here are my tips to make sure that your precious photographs will be safe:
1.) Back up your hard drive.
This is something that we all should do, but most of us don’t. Or we only back it up like once a year, or when we are in the process of getting a new computer. But guess what? It’s super easy to do. I can only comment on what it’s like for a Mac (since that’s what I use), but Time Machine on my Mac is a snap. And it seems that on Windows 8 and above, Microsoft has a Time Machine program too that works very similar to Apple’s.
You could use cloud storage, but it can get pretty expensive when you have a growing library of photos and music. Plus, if you’re without an internet connection, you can’t access it. The cheapest solution is to just buy an external hard drive. Get something roughly twice the size of your computer’s hard drive.
Then you just plug it in via USB and Time Machine will automatically pop up on your screen. Click “Use this hard drive as a backup” and then click ok. That’s it.
I have mine plugged in everytime I charge my computer, so my backup is always very recent.
2.) Create physical photo books.
Computers, phones and tablets will never completely replace physical photos. Did you just go on a family vacation? Attend a good friend’s wedding? You probably took photos. Instead of simply creating another Facebook photo album, what if you made the real thing?
There are a few services out there today that allow you to create some awesome looking photo albums right from your computer. Then in a couple weeks, you get a hardcover photobook mailed to you. These are AMAZING gifts.
My sister got my family a photobook of our beach vacation in 2012, and my kids still LOVE it.
3.) Keep space available on your phone.
For most of us, our phone is now our camera. The newer phones from Apple, Samsung and HTC have AMAZING cameras. And we snap away without abandon. But all of those photos take up space. How much room does your phone have? These days, 16GB won’t get you very far.
My phone gets used a lot… by me and my kids. I’ve always had trouble running out of room. And when I sync with your computer, I have the option of either keeping the photos on my phone, or deleting them. What if I want to put them back on? Or what if I need to free up space but I’m on the road? Super annoying. So I generally sync my phone with my computer, but keep the photos on my phone.
But I’ve found an awesome solution to keep those photos safe in case something happens to my iPhone.
One of the knocks on iPhones has been a lack of expandable storage. Well… Sandisk seems to have solved that problem. With this product called the Sandisk iXpand, you can easily move files back and forth between your phone, the storage unit, and your computer.
As much as I love Apple’s syncing technology, this is just WAY easier. Sometimes I just want to get some photos, videos or movies off my phone without going through the whole syncing process on my computer.
The syncing software used for the iXpand really makes this a snap. And when you plug it in, it immediately tells you how much free space you have left on your phone. So you can take photos and videos off and immediately see how much space you’ve freed up. And the free iXpand Synch app is ridiculously easy to use. I was a pro at it in all of about 30 seconds.
Once I’ve grabbed the photos or videos I want, I can either leave them on the iXpand, or easily put them on my computer using the USB connector. By using the iXpand, I now have a backup of my photos and my phone has plenty of free space to take as many pictures as I want. And I can store the backup right in my purse.
I recently read that 71% of all digital images today are captured on mobile devices but yet iPhone and iPad users are struggling with how to transfer, backup and share content. If you are in that 71% – I am too!
And right now, there’s a $50 off coupon code to get the Sandisk iXpand – so head on over and grab one if you want your photos safe. If it’s not in your budget now, make sure you sign up for their email because they may send future offers to you.
4.) Take less photos.
Yup, you read that right. A couple weeks ago, we attended my daughters’ ballet recital (Hannah and Kaylee). They danced a duet together, which in my opinion was the highlight of the entire recital. I told Mark to make sure he took a video of it. Well, he didn’t. His response was “I needed to enjoy the moment. I needed to be looking right at them, not at them through my phone.”
Point taken. Sometimes, we just need to take in the moment and let the photo be the one imprinted on our minds. And, photos in our brains take up less space on our hard drives 🙂
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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of SanDisk. The opinions and text are all mine.