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Archive for the ‘Back up’ Category

Here is another post on the importance of backing up your digital pictures! I resurrect this topic often, usually right after I hear a story of someone that has lost all of their digital photos because the hard drive crashed on their computer. It breaks my heart every time and I’m hoping that as you read this you think, “Oh here is my reminder to do my own back up right now!”
An external hard driveMost people take their digital pictures off of their camera and store them on the hard drive on their computer or on an external hard drive. An external hard drive is not built into the body of your computer or laptop. It instead gets plugged in through the USB connection.
Both of these options are better than to simply leave them on memory cards and going through your memory card on your camera to delete photos to make room for new ones. Memory cards can get lost or corrupted very easily.
Putting your digital photos onto your computer hard drive is a good primary/temporary solution. Keep in mind, that your computer can hold only so much information. An external hard drive is a GREAT investment and you can get a terabyte drive for less than $100. Shop online for the best deals or use my first post for places to check. Click here. Unless you are a professional photographer or you take thousands of pictures on a daily basis, this size external hard drive will serve your needs for a very long time.
The other nice thing about an external is that you can attach it to any computer. So if something were to happen to your desktop, you could plug it into your laptop and still be able to access your digital photos.
Keep in mind, this is your primary location, so do not consider this solution as a ‘back up’ for your photos.
Upcoming posts will share more detailed options for truly backing up your photos. If you want an overview of your choices see my previous post here.

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I recently attended an event where renowned photographer Nick Kelsh shared this very interesting quote. “There are two kinds of people in the world. Those who have had their hard drives crash and have lost everything and those who are going to have their hard drives crash.”  Well there might be a third – those who don’t own any computers! But if you are reading this post, you likely don’t fit into the third category!

Think about this. Do you take digital photos? Where are they? If they are not printed, you better not have all your eggs (digital photos) in one basket (hard drive)! You truly need to have those photos copied in more than one location.

There are several options to choose from and to play it really safe you might want to choose more than two of these. I personally know someone that had not only the hard drive on her computer crash, but her external hard drive crashed the same weekend! YIKES!

  • Hard drive on your computer – yes, this is better than the memory card in your camera, but this is now your primary location so you should choose at least one other of the following and maybe even two!
  • External hard drive – this plugs into your computer and sometimes needs its own power source to run as well. You can read more about this in my very first post. Click here.
  • CD’s & DVD’s – these at least do not have any running parts. They may still become corrupt but they are a good 3rd backup location. You should do this with ALL your photos periodically. More will be covered on this in another post.
  • Off-site backup services – this usually involves a monthly fee where the service connects to your computer connects to the remote location and backs up everything on your hard drive. Another post to follow.
  • Photo sites – some companies that you use to order your digital photos as 4×6 prints will store your photos and allow you to re-download them if you need to for a per photo fee. Be sure that they will allow you to re-download the photo at the original resolution and size that you uploaded if you want to use this as one of your options – often the file will be reduced greatly. More to come.
  • Finally, there are software programs that will help and even prompt you that it is time to do a back up of your photos. And the really great software programs back up every time you use the program. And the smart ones know to only do a backup of the new photos or those you changed so it only takes a few minutes as you close the program. If you want to know which software I use, subscribe to my newsletter for more information.

Do you have additional back ups of your digital photos? Which method(s) are you using?

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Since I’ve recently moved, I thought you might like some tips on making use of your camera as a tool outside of taking pictures of people and places.
We are a military family and moving has been part of our life for the last 20 years. After some initial moves on our own, we decided to let the experts move us. Sometimes letting your possessions go with someone else can be a little nerve-wracking. We have had some good moves and some moves that did not go very well at all. I’m going to share some tips of where your camera can come in handy especially if you are using a digital camera.

Take photos of bikes or collectibles

Take photos of bikes or collectibles

On this most recent move, we found out from the moving company that they need exact descriptions of many items. The description needs to include not only style, model, and serial numbers but also colors of things like bicycles for example. Take close up photos of your family’s bicycles. You can even zoom in and take a picture of the serial number.
Take photos of your furniture – it serves as an inventory for you as well as helping show the condition of the furniture before it is moved.
Quick & easy way to know the contents of your box

Quick & easy way to know the contents of your box


If you have a large CD or book collection, take a photo of the items on the shelf or in the box. This way you can zoom in on the photo to read the titles and you don’t have to type everything up. Include a box number in the photo and then write the number on the box. This way if you need a certain item, you know what box to look in to quickly find it.
Hopefully these tips will come in handy the next time you need to move or even put some items into storage. This way if you find yourself searching for an item, you can pull up your photos on the computer and find that missing item. Think of it as a ‘backup’ of your possessions.
This works well if you need to put things in storage too. Number them too!

This works well if you need to put things in storage too. Number them too!


With my move nearly complete, we’ll be returning to our regular topics next week.

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Many people struggle with the decision of whether to download their digital photos from their camera’s memory cards onto their desktop or laptop computers. Once our family began taking digital photos in the late ‘90s, we moved them off the memory card and onto our desktop computer. Then as the number of images grew, we were glad they were on the desktop since the laptop had a lot less storage space. These days, you can get larger hard drives for laptops at good prices and they can hold thousands of images. For example, I have well over 17,000 photos on our laptop computer.
Additionally, to back up your images, you can simply plug an external drive into the laptop’s USB port and create a fast and easy back up of not only your family’s photos but everything on your laptop.
Here are some things to think about:
1.    You must back up your photos regardless of which you use. (read the previous post on the importance of backing up)
2.    By having your photos on the laptop, you can work with them on the go. If you need to edit some photos or put together a digital album, you can do this at the local coffee shop, waiting for kids at practice, on long road trips (while someone else drives LOL!) or when traveling by plane.
3.    If you are struggling with not enough space for all of your pictures, you can replace the existing hard drive with a larger one without having to purchase a brand new laptop.
Since making the switch to keep our pictures on the laptop, it has been fantastic.
What do you think? Which do you use for your digital photos? Do you think you will switch? Post your thoughts.

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I hear more stories than I would like to of family after family losing ALL of the pictures they have taken in the last 2 or 3 years. It breaks my heart since there is no reason for this. Simply dumping your pictures onto your hard drive from the memory card on your digital camera is just not enough. Hard drives crash – it’s just a matter of when. The biggest problem is that the public in general has not been informed. So I am here to help you find solutions and avoid heart ache.

Here are some simple steps.

1. Whenever you purchase a new memory card for your digital camera – make sure it works before taking any memorable once-in-a-lifetime photos to find that it was not properly formatted!

2. Download your photos from your memory card or digital camera onto your computer.

3. Before you erase the memory card, make sure the pictures are there!

4. Back up! Back up! Back up!

Where do you back up your photos and how often? There are some great programs* that can walk you through this step by step and even remind you that it’s time to perform a back up. But here is a short and sweet way to do it now.

First thing is how often. This is a personal choice. As a general rule, every 100-200 photos you should do a back up of just those images. If you are anything like my family, that’s just ONE event! Most importantly, if those photos you just took are something priceless that cannot be re-created and especially if no one else has copies of them, such as a once in a lifetime trip, your child’s first steps, or graduation day then make back ups right away. Every 500 or so images or every 2-3 months, depending on how many pictures you have taken you should do a back up of ALL your images. You should also perform a back up after doing any extensive editing of your pictures.

You can back up to CDs and DVDs – but as your digital photography enthusiasm grows, so will your JPEG collection. Also, you need to perform complete backups of all images occasionally since the life of a CD can be from 2-99 years and you have no way of knowing which one you will get. You can lessen this chance by purchasing archival quality DVDs.

The ideal way to back up is by using an external hard drive. These have become very cost effective and can hold a lot of images. Again, purchasing a better quality is preferred. Right now, you can get a 1 Terabyte from NewEgg for $84.99 after rebate and FREE shipping. Fantom Drives G-Force GF1000EU 1TB External Hard Drive http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822204069 for details. The best deals can usually be found at newegg.com and buy.com – my husband cringes whenever anyone says they purchased their computer items at place like WalMart or Best Buy so shop around online for a good deal. I have no affiliation to these sites, I have simply had excellent personal experience and they have a great return policy.

So, what are you waiting for? Go back up your digital photos now!

*Subscribe to my newsletter to find out what products I use for our family photos.

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