Are your family photos stored in the cloud?
How much space do you have left in the cloud?
Tell me about your backup strategy…do you use an external hard-drive, an online service, a zip file on a thumb drive, or are you strictly cloud-based?
These are standard questions that photo organizers like me ask every day and they are overwhelming. It can be SO confusing and disheartening when all you want to do is make sense of your family photos and suddenly you feel like an A-class technical dummy.
We’ve all been there…I’m there whenever anyone asks me about the storage capabilities of my phone…I don’t know…and I don’t care. There I’ve said it.
What the well-meaning person above is asking you is what method do you use to store your photos. It’s the same as asking do you prefer print photos, or digital, or slides. The technology has just developed new words and you should not be intimidated if you haven’t learned them yet. You will. I can help.
Today I want to talk about photo cloud storage. If you’re confused about what that means right now you are not alone.
Technically: it’s a way of storing your photos digitally on a server.
Practically: think of it as a giant file cabinet in someone else’s office.
The bottom-line goal of storing your photos in the cloud is that they won’t take up space in your space, photos are space HOGS, and if something happens to your computer, natural or technological disaster, your photos are still safe.
It’s the safest, easiest, most effective way to preserve your family photos. I strongly recommend it to all my clients. However, saving your photos to the cloud also happens to be the method you have the least control over and that can be tough when it comes to something as precious as your family photo history.
I’m going to give you 5 tips for organizing your family photos for digital cloud storage.
- Sort through your photos and place the photos you want to store in their own folder.
You don’t have to save every photo onto the cloud. Cloud space is generally limited and there is no reason to have all of your Instagram or Facebook pictures saved. Those platforms are already saving those shots for you.
- Edit your photos before you upload/send them to the cloud.
While some cloud services let you edit photos after they are uploaded most do not. And even those who do, the editing functions are not great. So, take a moment to make sure all your photos are turned the right way. The lighting is right. The cropping is perfect. The filter is awesome. Bottom line: only send finished pieces to the cloud, not projects.
- Check your meta-data.
Did I just scare you with another word you have NO idea what it means? Breathe deep…you got this. It’s another term people will throw around to sound techy and is actually just another word for information. So, take a minute and check that the date is right. If there’s location info or facial recognition that it’s right…turns out the Mona Lisa is NOT my friend…whatever.
- Rename your pictures.
When you take a digital photo it gets a name like this: IMG_2433.jpg
Not a lot of help there. In the future when you visit your pictures in the cloud this is going to mean next to nothing to you.
What you want your photo’s name to look like is this: 2003-09-Honeymoon-Boston-Newport-Nantucket.jpg
I know without even seeing the image that this is a photo from my September 2003 honeymoon trip to Boston, Newport, and Nantucket…very helpful.
If you read my blog… or talk to me for five minutes you’ve heard about tagging. Those are the little words/phrases that get attached to each photo so that you can do quick searches. I recommend that you tag the heck out of your photos as a HUGE favor to your future self.
Let’s say time has gone by…you’ve just returned from a fantastic ski vacation with your friends and want to send a cute photo book as a thank you. An easy way to take a cute gift and make it an amazing gift is to add older photos. Now, if you tagged those old photos all you have to do is go to your cloud service type in “ski trip” and Bam!! all your old photos of ski trips pop up…how easy is that?! You can make an awesome gift with little work. If you haven’t…ugh…settle in for a long search…
I hope this post has not only given you some insight into preparing your family photos for cloud storage but has reduced some of the anxiety I know many have about cloud storage. It’s not anything to be intimidated by. It’s just a different way to store your photos.
What are some of the questions or concerns you have about cloud storage?