Posts Tagged ‘photo backup’

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.

Never lose your precious photos again! Here are three ways you need to be backing up your photos and videos. The easiest and best ways to save your memories.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.

The Cloud

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.

iPhone-backup-tutorial_0021-copyAnother 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.

Lyve-Home-Review_0006-copyMy 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 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!

winner 13 winner-13Winner Alert: Lucky #13: Trenton Robertson. If the winner fails to claim their prize an alternate will be chosen at random.

I was nine months pregnant with my daughter, eager to meet her, and excited to capture our many moments together. Little did I know this would be the beginning of a photo addiction I can’t contain. My iPhone 3 didn’t have video capabilities built in, so I used an app called Qik to capture some of her first moments on video. It quickly filled up, and began to run slow. Before I knew it, it was time to upgrade because my phone was running out of space for my photo-load. Fast forward two years, several phones, hundreds of videos, and thousands of photos later. The iPhone is still my favorite phone for photo and video capturing. Each time I got a new one, my photos automatically appeared in my new camera roll like they had been there all along. It was fantastic. But eventually I ran into a problem.

The fastest and cheapest way to backup and print all of your smart phon/ cell phone photos. So easy it's crazy! Now I can finally stop getting that dreaded "not enough space" warning when I try to take a photo.

I didn’t like having to physically connect my phone. And ever since my computer AND backup harddrive crash of 2012, I’m extremely picky about how I organize and backup my photos. I import and save my images by year -> month -> event and beyond.  So I don’t connect my phone to my computer anymore, and I no longer use iPhoto.

But after hoarding all of my images and video on my phone, I got the dreaded message “Usage Full.” I couldn’t take another picture, and if you know me, you know we can’t have that.

If you’re a parent, chances are you’ve run into a similar problem. So many pictures, all on my phone. It’s sad but I had never printed an image from my iPhone. I only collected them in my digital space. I wanted to find a way to easily backup my photos, as well as a way to have a physical copies of the images with me.

I did a lot of research and I think I’ve found the best way to backup & print all of your iPhone photos. Back up, easily for free, and print them out for pennies.

The fastest and cheapest way to backup and print all of your smart phon/ cell phone photos. So easy it's crazy! Now I can finally stop getting that dreaded "not enough space" warning when I try to take a photo.

Backing up virtually


Google Plus (Update 10/22/15: Now called Google Photos). It’s an underrated social media site, sure, but I LOVE it for cloud storage. I hear a lot of buzz about Dropbox, and I have it too, but I keep coming back to Google Plus, and here’s why:
1. It’s free, and you get 15GB (Update- Unlimited backups of high res (not full-sized) files  of storage. Dropbox only gives you a few GBs to start and I have over 4GB worth of pictures/ videos on my phone today (this is after deleting 1800 photos). I also tend to reserve Dropbox for temporary large file sharing and professional work since I don’t pay for the premium service. Google Plus is a great value.
2. It automatically backs up ALL of my photos, whether or not the app is open, if I’m connected to wifi or 3G. Other apps either need to be opened while it’s trying to upload, or I have to physically select which photos I want. I don’t want that extra step. Out of sight, out of mind, done and done.
3. All of my photos are organized in my mobile album, by date. The other day BabyCenter asked to use a photo I had posted on Instagram in a banner, but they needed the original (non-square) version. It was easy to scroll down my album to the time frame I took the photo, pinpoint, and download it.
4. You can delete off your phone, it stays in you online album. Some cloud services copy your drive exactly, so if you delete the original, it deletes the copy. Google Plus doesn’t do that.
5. Automatically backs up video as well.

A couple other nice things to note: You can set your albums privacy settings. And if you want to download several or all of your files at once, to save to your computer or an external drive, you can easily do that with a few clicks.

One other quirky thing I just realized… If you’re like me and take a burst of photos (5 or more) in a series, and don’t have the heart to delete any of them, Google Plus automatically makes an extra moving gif image and saves it to your album. Like this:

AND (one more sorta-creepy fact) it automatically edits photos together so if you have a series of people smiling and not smiling, it “photoshops” them together to make a “best of smiles” photo. I just noticed this today!

I had 2400 photos on my phone, I backed them all up to Google Plus, and I have a zipped copy saved to an external hard drive. It’s easy to continue to select the ones I want from Google Plus and download them to my computer all at once for an additional copy on my local drive.

Now I wanted to have an additional hard copy of the images to enjoy in-hand. This brings me to my next phase of backup.

Printing my images.

Figuring this out was a serious pain in the rear, but hopefully my trial and errors will help make the process easier for you.

Most of my 2400 photos were similar photos taken 5 or 6 different ways. If I want to print one of each of those, that’s 400 prints.

I’m not sure if you’ve looked lately, but that’s not cheap. These are iPhone photos I sometimes take in the dark, or with the help of a mirror. They’re not edited or anything I’m dying to display. I just wanted decent prints taken from my phone I could throw in a box so the kids and I can thumb through for fun.

I downloaded a Shutterfly app and saw a sale for 50% off 4×6 prints. So instead of their regular price of $.14/ picture they were $.07/ picture. Sweet! And after spending $30 you get free shipping. I hand-selected about 400 photos to print then added them to my cart. ERROR. I can only upload 250 from the mobile app. This meant no free shipping for me as I couldn’t hit the $30 mark. By placing two orders I’d have to pay a $11 shipping fee twice and it would have cost me about $50 total.

Online, I could fit all of the items in my cart (no limit), but the 50% off rate didn’t apply! GAH! I was so frustrated. Back to the drawing board.

I decided the easiest way to figure out the best deal was to add in the cost of photos plus shipping and divide it out too see how much it costs per photo.

I ran into similar issues with other cheap printing companies, price per picture from $.19 up to $.27! Not a lot for a few photos, but a bid deal when you’re purging nearly 400!

I turned to Twitter in my haste and a friend told me she uses GrooveBook. I did some background research and decided this is exactly what I was looking for. Here’s why:
1. Solely for iPhone photos. That’s what I’m looking for. But you can save other photos to your iPhone and print those too.
2. Cheap. For $2.99 you get 100 photos shipped to you for free. Or 100 free photos shipped to you for $2.99… However you want to look at it. And I got my first book free by using a coupon. (They’ve since sent me a coupon code you can use to get one for free: ‘BABYMAKINGGROOVE’)
3. No limit. If you want an extra book before your month is up you can order another one, still for just $2.99. So I ordered 3, 100-page books for $6 (cause I got my first book free). That’s less than $.02 a photo.
4. The photos are organized neatly in a simple flip photo book with perforated pages, so you can pull them out to hang on the fridge, frame, scrapbook, whatever.
5. Each page has a date stamp on the perforated tab left behind. Cool if you want to remember when it was taken for journaling or whatnot.


A couple other things to note. The photo quality isn’t terrible like I expected. They’re all on glossy photo paper, and some of the high-quality images I had saved to my camera roll (not taken on my iPhone) came out very nicely. Ones taken with my frontal camera are definitely more grainy, but I think that has to do with pixels. It is a subscription model, so you have to sign up and it’ll automatically bill you $2.99/month, but you can cancel it at any time.

If you take tons of photos on your phone, like I do, it’s perfect because throughout the month I upload the photos I want next, and on my deadline it orders it to print and automatically mails it to me. If you upload less than 100 photos, you’ll get duplicates to give you an even 100 number. Eventually I’ll probably use this to print extra cheap copies of my pregnancy journal and 365 images that the kids can thumb through. I’m more delicate with my expensive books.

It doesn’t hurt to try, especially since you can get the first one free. Use code ‘BABYMAKINGGROOVE’.


Finally I have photos that were trapped on my phone for years. My daughter giggled looking through my first Groovebook. “Mommy, look, there’s Baby Ty!”

“No sweetie, that’s you!”

Saving, printing, and de-hoarding my phone has been three years in the making. Now we can finally enjoy them together. Better late than never!

The fastest and cheapest way to backup and print all of your smart phon/ cell phone photos. So easy it's crazy! Now I can finally stop getting that dreaded "not enough space" warning when I try to take a photo.

I hope this was helpful. Let me know if you have any questions in the comments!

Hi! I’m Jennifer Borget

I'm a part-time journalist, full-time wife and mother striving to make the world a better place and inspiring others to do the same. This is the space where I share my journey in making the most of every day.

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