Vacation time is filled with many great trips. We are on vacation as I write this. There are plenty of opportunities to take pictures so we can view them later and bring to remembrance the good times we had. Many of my pictures are uploaded to Facebook so family and friends can see what is happening in our lives.
When I was growing up, picture taking was expensive. My parents would purchase a couple of rolls of film before leaving for vacation then we would snap one or two pictures at strategic points on our trip. Pictures were not candid at all– we would pose for a family shot every now and then in front of a sign or building that would clue us in later as to where it was taken.
Digital cameras and smartphones have changed all that. We go on vacation and hundreds of pictures are taken, but what do we do with them? How can we safeguard them so they won’t be lost?
I have experienced many a computer user in a panic because their computer had stopped working and all their years of pictures might be lost. It is like our vehicle– we expect it to start every time we turn the key. When it doesn’t, it is inconvenient and perhaps costly, but we don’t lose anything. The car is the same car and the features we enjoy are still there. When our computer crashes we could lose all the programs we have been using and all our data.
My first bit of advice is to do a regular image backup of each computer you have. I do mine once a month using free image backup software and an external hard drive. If the hard drive crashes I can still get to my data. All my data from the time of that backup is in another location. (Backup details is another article for later.)
This article is not about all the ways to accomplish these tasks. It is about what I do and what I suggest to anyone who asks. There are other ways and I hope you will comment on what you find useful for your photos.
I have a Google account and use Google Docs for most of my writing. I am using it on my iPhone to write this. It is free to use and all my data is stored in the Google Cloud. The files I create in Google Docs are stored for free and not counted against my 15 GB of free storage with my free Google account.
My iPhone is used for all my picture taking. As a result of that, I have thousands of pictures. I use the Google Photos App so every photo I take is automatically uploaded to the Google Cloud where I can access them from any device and all my pictures are stored for free as well.
I do not have to upload them to my computer from the phone. If I want them there I bring them up in Google Photos and download the ones I need.
They are in the cloud and searchable in many ways such as facial recognition, by date, place the picture was taken, and more. I can organize them into albums and even edit the pictures.
Did I mention that this service is free? Yes, store as many as you like at no charge. I have over 18,000 with more being added daily.
You can also add the Google Photos App to your computer and it will upload any image on your computer to your Google Cloud and any new image you download from email, Facebook, etc.
With Google Photos all your pictures are safe in the cloud, so if you lose your phone or your computer crashes you still have those important pictures.
You might ask, “Why not use OneDrive?” It is free and easy to use but its free account has a cap of 4GB and that is not enough for all my pictures. Unlike Google Photos, each photo counts against the OneDrive data cap.
In summary, the primary location for my photos is Google cloud. I don’t worry about losing them and I can access them on my phone and any place with an internet connection. I would be interested in hearing about where you keep your pictures for safekeeping and access.