For my husband’s academy graduation I rented the beautiful Canon 135L lens to capture the special occasion. I took tons of photos, maybe around a hundred. I can’t tell you the exact amount because I lost all of them after my daughter knocked over my laptop of seven years, and it was not worth the price of repair. Then what do you know, the external hard drive I used as a backup crashed the same week.
The only photos from that event I have are web-sized versions I happened to send to my mother-in-law. Thankfully she hounded me for pictures or I wouldn’t even have those. Pictures from that event and a period of my daughter’s life are all gone, forever.
I’m generally not an obsessive-compulsive person, but that terrible experience triggered this fixation with backing up photos. I spent so much time researching multiple ways, to back up my photos. ALL of my photos. Including images from my iPhone, our iPads and most of all, my camera.
Last year I shared with you a way to backup and print all of your iPhone (and Android) photos for next to nothing. This time I’m going to share the ways I archive and my opinion of the best ways to backup photos and videos (you know how I love my videos!) so that you nor I will ever lose another cherished captured moment again.
First let me explain why it’s SO important to organize your photos. It’s one thing to have a million photos backed up, but it’s an entirely different issue when there’s no rhyme or reason to how you have them saved. I could dedicate an entire post to this but let me just briefly explain how I organize mine.
Any time I import new photos I make a new folder with the event. That folder is saved inside a folder for events for that month, which a subfolder of the current year folder. For example I’d import Lil’ J’s ballet recital pictures which would be in Pictures à 2014 Pictures à August 2014 à Lil’ J’s Ballet Recital.
Then each picture in that folder is titled “Lil’ J’s Ballet Recital01, …02, ..03 etc. It makes it much easier when looking for specific images. Especially when you can’t remember the name of the event but have a general idea for when you took the photos. As I back my images up, I keep them organized the same way as often as possible.
Now here are some of the best ways to back up your photos.
I am a huge fan of web backups, especially if they can be automated. Like I explained here, I have all of my iPhone photos automatically backup to Google Plus in a private album (you don’t even need the app to be open for them to upload), then I print out the month’s worth of photos using Groovebook for $2.99 (free shipping). You can also upload images from your computer to Google Plus but I haven’t been doing this unless it’s a super important event I want to save because of the amount of images I take. Storing images and whatnot on Google Plus is free up to 15GB then you have to pay for more space.
Another option for backing up large photos from your computer is using Flickr. Flicker is awesome for storing your photos and videos because you get a full TB of storage for free. Even I can’t imagine filling that up. However videos have a time limit of 3 minutes, so keep that in mind with your uploads. I haven’t been using their mobile app to backup my photos because my app had to be open in order for it to update, and I aint got time for that. But I love using it to back up my large photos from my computer. I try to log in once a month and upload my photo event folders for the month. Most of those albums I keep private, or select which photos I want to show publicly.
External Hard Drive
This is an obvious necessary backup. You never know when the Internet may fail you, so back up your stuff to another hard copy you can keep your hands on. I have a few Western Digital drives that I use to backup my entire Macbook Pro and iMac. I even connect it to my wireless router so it can backup both of my computers wirelessly and have less of an issue with plugging and unplugging it in, or it getting knocked off my lap when using my laptop (which I think is one of the reasons my previous one failed). I have two 500GB drives and a TB drive. Believe it or not my TB drive is full already because I was backing both of my computers up to it. I’ll probably do them each on separate drives from now on to conserve space, or upgrade to a 2TB drive. My plan is to keep one in my fireproof safe and update it every month in case of a fire (is my OCD showing again?).
This device is my latest backup endeavor and it’s the perfect addition to the methods I already have in place. In fact, if I had this first, I’d be tempted to skip my other two means all together.
The LyveHome is a wireless photo and video manager. It works in conjunction with the Lyve App that I have downloaded on my iPad mini, my iPhone and my iMac. So every time I take a photo on my phone, or upload a photo to my computer, it automatically pulls it over to the LyveHome and stores it as a backup. It has 2TB of storage so until I reach about a million photos, or an insane amount of videos, I won’t run out of space. (So far I’ve imported 14,038 photos and 617 videos and I’ve only used 4% of my storage). I love my external hard drives to backup EVERYTHING(all of my programs, documents, files, etc) but it’s nice to have a device specifically for our memories.
My favorite aspect is seeing photos I take on my iPhone now automatically sent to my computer. My iCloud account has long since been full, so I had to manually sync my phone (which I rarely did) or search my Google Plus backup to find a pic I wanted to edit. Or just email it to myself. ANNOYING.
I can also view all of the images from my computer on my iPad or iPhone. When you reach storage capacity on your phone and get that dreaded warning, you can delete your photos and videos from your iphone library without worrying because you’ll have an extra copy already on your LyveHome and stored in your LyveApp. This also comes in handy when I want to show off a photo I took on my DSLR that I haven’t uploaded online yet. I can access the photos from my computer while I’m out.
Another little bonus is the cute clock it adds to my desk, and the fact that it scrolls through all of my old photos so I can feel a bit of nostalgia while I work.
Here are a few things worth noting:
-Although it has a touch screen, you can’t watch videos or delete photos/videos by toughing the LyveHome device, but you can through the app on any of your other devices. I was a little confused by this at first. You control it from the app, not the cube itself.
– It doesn’t import photos shot in RAW format. So if you are like me and don’t shoot in JPEG or RAW+JPEG, you’ll have to convert your images before they’ll be added to LyveHome. This will probably motivate me to hurry and edit all of the images I love so they’ll immediately be backed up in an additional spot, instead of just saving them to edit later.
-It scrolls through all the images, and right now the only way to “hide” them from being displayed on the LyveHome cube is by deleting the photo from your LyveApp. So those boudoir photos I wanted to save for myself but maybe not have my friends from church see when they come over… Umm, I’ll probably just stick to my alternate backup methods.
Overall, I love it for automatically syncing photos as I take them, and for peace of mind. I wish I had this back when my computer and hard drive crashed. It could have saved me a lot of heartache.
One of these will run you about $299. You can learn more by visiting their website.
Hopefully you’ve enjoyed reading about the best ways to backup your photos. Now here’s the fun part. I LOVE sharing ways to document and preserve your family legacy and you know I love feeling like Oprah. Lyve sent me an extra device to give away to one of my readers. To enter the giveaway just check out the video about LyveHome and let me know what you thought, and what memories you’re most excited to backup and why by leaving a comment. You have until
August 28th EXTENDED TO SEPTEMBER 2ND to enter. I’ll randomly draw the winner using random.org. Entrants must be at least 18 years old and live in the United States. Good luck my friends!
*I’d like to give a huge thanks to Lyve for allowing me to review their product and give one away to one of my fabulous readers. I was sent the device to try for free, and compensated to include an honest review in my post. All opinions expressed are mine, ALL MINE!