Musings // How I Store Photos

February 26, 2018


I'm guessing that it's no secret that I'm a complete photo addict. My phone currently stands at the grand total of 35, 309 photos in my camera roll {I made sure I bought the biggest storage option for this sole reason}, my Macbook has been completely full more than a couple of times and I feel like every few months I'm shelling out for a new hard drive, it's definitely an ongoing battle. But photos mean the world to me & my life is made up of photographic memories. A few of you have been in touch recently to ask for any tips of how I sort and store my photos so I thought I'd put together a quick guide if you're interested...

- Most of my photos are taken on my iPhone X, I'd say around 95%?. So the main issue is getting these off of the phone and backed up elsewhere. I find camera photos with a memory card fairly easy to deal with, just plug it in and copy onto an external hard drive whereas phones can be a little more tricky.

- I like to have at least one physical back-up on an external hard drive of each photo and at least one cloud {online} back-up.

- Ideally I have two physical back-ups and keep one off site, just in case there was a fire.

- Around once a month, I'll open up iPhotos on my Macbook {it's connected via the iCloud and Photo Stream} and I'll go through the photo stream to where I last backed up. I select them all and click 'export' where I'll then transfer them into a new folder on an external hard drive {I use this brand}. Normally saved with the month name and year. If you're using a Windows computer, or don't have an iPhone, then you can connect your phone to your computer using a USB lead and open it in My Computer like it's a camera where you should be able to copy and paste the photo files across. Sometimes you have to unlock your phone and click 'trust' or allow first.

- If I have time, I'll then back-up that backup onto another hard drive. In the early days, I dropped one of my external hard drives and lost thousands of photos! Luckily I had the most treasured ones on a laptop/facebook but it taught me a big lesson. You can never 100% rely on them so it's best to have a couple of different locations along with a cloud.

- Cloud wise, I can't recommend the Google Photos app enough. A Mac specialist told me about it to help with photo storage & I can't believe I didn't have it sooner. It's a free app, with unlimited free photo storage, I think you just need a Google Account. It will then start backing up all of the images on your phone and organises them automatically for you into categories, as well as the location where they were taken & the date range. It took ages initially for it to back up everything, but once that was done, it now only backs up the most recent photos you've taken when you're connected to Wifi.
It's worth noting that it does compress the images a little, you only get a limited amount of free full size photo storage, but I think it's well worth having. Just make sure you leave your wifi on and open it once a week or so {I find it to be especially good when we're travelling to back up photos at the end of each day}. It means you can free up space on your phone but still have access to all of your photos in an easily searchable way.

- I don't bother with the iCloud photo back up as you only get 5GB of free space which I'd fill in a couple of weeks. But I do like the way that it links up with iPhoto on my Mac as mentioned for ease of transferring.

- As a final cloud base I upload any of my most special photos to Facebook {again, especially when travelling} as although they will be compressed down, it's another cloud back up and they're easy to find. You can create private photo albums on there if you don't want to share with friends.

And finally, not just specific to photos, but I use the Time machine back-up on Mac, again once a month or so, which has it's own dedicated external hard drive to back up everything on my laptop. I never knew what the function was until I had to get a few repairs done and the Mac genius showed me how to use it. It's really useful as it only back-ups the new data each time and means that if you ever lose, or have to restart your Mac, you've got your whole computer ready to load onto it again.


What have I missed? Please feel free to share any of your photo storage/organisation tips with me. I guess the easiest thing for me to do would be to simply take less photos in the first place, but we all know that that's not very likely. I should probably also try & get into the habit of deleting the ones I don't ever want to keep. One day at least!

R <3 xx

{Photo by Binky Nixon for this Day in a Life Shoot}

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