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The Best Way to Store Digital Photos

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For anyone out there with an obscene amount of digital photos (I’m definitely in the group), this one’s for you. I’m talking to both my fellow photographers as well as my mom friends, knowing the best way to store your digital photos can be a lifesaver. For starters, it frees up space on your phone and your computer. And second, if something were to happen to your phone or computer you would have all your photos saved in a different secure location.

My number one recommendation is to have an external hard drive. If you’re a mom or a photographer, you should be keeping your photos on an external hard drive instead of your computer. In fact, I would suggest keeping all of your photos on an external hard drive because they take up a huge amount of computer space and really slow down your computer speed. Added bonus is that you still have easy access to your photos, just plug it into your computer and everything is there in one place.

For my external hard drive, I organize by year and then date. For example, I have a 2021 folder that holds subfolders of all of my sessions or photos from that year like 2.1 blossom photos, 2.27 kids at the playground, etc. I use the numerical version of the dates because it keeps things very clear and organized for when I have 12 months worth of folders in my giant year folder.

If you edit your photos with Lightroom on your computer it’s important to consider what you want to do with the raw photos. For me, I have a RAW 2021 folder with the same numbering and labeling and a different 2021 folder for the edited versions. I think it’s a thousand times easier to keep them separate and not have the edited and not edited mingling in the same folder. When you’re dealing with a large number of photos, I think the more organization and separation the better. You’re just setting yourself up for success in the future when you want to refer back to something years from now.

Another thing to note, you can never have too many backups. I also use Backblaze to constantly back up my computer and external hard drives. I’ve lost personal photos from computer crashes and it’s always extremely tragic. Like I said before, set yourself up for success, not heartache. Backup your photos in a variety of ways.

If you have too many photos on your phone, I recommend doing a monthly photo dump onto your external hard drive. For me, the main folder is titled Phone 2021 (the current year) and then each subfolder is labeled for the month, January, February, March, etc. It’s easy and organized.

Don’t forget to take advantage of online hosting services. I pay for iCloud to back up and host my phone photos and I also use Amazon Prime Photo Backup since it’s FREE with Amazon Prime Membership. Definitely check that out! The more places you’re storing your photos, the more space you’ll have on your devices and the more secure your photos will be in the long run.

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