Back Up Those Travel Photos

Jim Ludwick, CFP®

As a frequent traveler and budding photographer, I face the same challenge most tourists do by taking lots of digital snapshots because the cost is almost nothing (that is called a sunk cost and don’t ask me how much was sunk).

 My smartphone is very handy and my camera is frequently along on daily excursions.  That enables me to shoot lots of snapshots, mostly for Facebook, and capture some more artsy stuff to play around with later using my camera.

 During my recent read of “How to Create Stunning Digital Photography” by Tony Northrup, I learned that we should be naming, dating, cataloging and backing up our images daily. We should also be rating them from one to five stars and eliminating the ones, twos, and threes.

 Now I’m one to look at friend’s pictures by the hundreds.  I have plenty of capacity to look at pictures, but my wife reminds me that is boring to lots of people.  Tony Northrup says the same thing.  Limit it to your best 50 pictures for any trip or viewing session.  I’ve told both I’ll do my best to pick out my top 50 photos for any book or viewing session.

 So now it comes to the topic of our discussion, backing up our photos. Here are the decisions I’ve made and the alternatives I discarded.

 ·      My iPhone backs up photos to iCloud so as soon as I have Wi-Fi on, so I feel I’m in good shape. Costs about a $1 a month. I could back up to a remote hard drive daily, but I declined this alternative as too time-consuming.

·      I copy my camera SD card contents onto my Mac and file it under the appropriate folder, subfolder, and sub-sub folder, if necessary.  Then my cloud backup system, SugarSync, takes over and backs that up to the cloud service that costs $50 a year for all my needs including photos. I bypassed or discontinued using other backup services, which at last count were more than 22 vendors.

·      Backup external hard drive. I backup my Mac at least once a month just for having a secondary source in case my cloud service is not available when and if I need it.

·      Photo sharing using Instagram from my iPhone, but not from my camera photos. I’ve abandoned sites like Flickr, Cluster, Google Photos, and Shutterfly as they were too much to control and most of the people I want to enjoy my photos are on Instagram too.

·      Website created for my very best shots.  The top five all-time best shots in twelve categories. This is a work in progress but I’m using to develop the site. Too many to list that I didn’t choose.

So, there you have it. A system to capture and preserve photos so you can find that great shot in a timely manner.  There’s nothing worse than losing a shot than knowing it’s there someplace and not be able to find it.





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