The other day my brother and I wanted to rent this movie and it was ONLY on sale on iTunes. We did not want to spend $20 to watch a movie we knew we would only watch once, so he came up with the genius idea to run across the street to get the DVD from Redbox. I sang his praise for the idea until he came home with the DVD, and we spent roughly 45 minutes looking for a way to play it...though we got it to work (and a funny story!) looking back on it I would have spent the $20!
It honestly felt like yesterday I was renting video tapes at blockbuster...let alone the creation of CD/DVD, and now those are becoming obsolete. I'm sharing this story because we have some of our FAVORITE moments documented and saved digitally. Be it on your phone, or asking your photographer for the digitals – if we loose those memories we would be utterly distraught.
1 | Storing Digital Files on the Actual Device Hard Drive
A good starting off point is to simply save your photos on your hard drive to your computer or even taking up memory space on your phone. It's probably what you are already doing. However, this isn't the most reliable storage offering. Though this is a good place to start it shouldn't be your safe haven.
2 | External Hard Drives
Those WesternDigital (or my personal favorite G-Technology G-Drives) are a great backup option. Hard drives are getting slimmer, cheaper, and offer more memory space than ever before. I also recommend having two of these drives, because I have had them crash on me, or not perform at the same quality as before. If you are not a professional (I wrote a blog post for professional storage here) having two external hard drives is more than enough space. You can also back up important documents, music, you name it! As for ports, you'll need just a basic USB at the time of this post USB 3.0 is lighting fast! You can also get wireless drives which are awesome for streaming movies to smartTVs that can pick them up, as well as backing up files from your phone directly or even viewing files on your drive. (Wireless Data transfer can be extremely slow! It's always faster to connect correctly!)
3 | Online Storage/Cloud Storage
Places like Flickr, Smugmug, Facebook are good places to also store photos! You are putting them on servers that are backed up and taken care of by professionals. Especially going with a route like Flickr or Smugmug.
Cloud Storage is one of the newer, that many find too confusing. I'm always hearing people say they don't understand what the cloud is, and asking me how to use iCloud. However, once equipped with a basic understanding you will see that the cloud really isn't that scary!
I HIGHLY recommend getting a cloud, at the end of the day, drives crash, things get stolen, damaged, and Acts of God do happen...this just protects your images off site by professionals. Cloud Service providers come by the dozen with, Dropbox, iCloud, Google Drive, and Amazon Photo Prime ranking among the most common. Many of these sites give you free minimum storage and then you'll have to pay a subscription fee, monthly or yearly. Some Cloud storage backs up your information automatically, and some you might have to invest the time to upload what you'll like stored. The thing is...I'd recommend that you do the research and pick ONE to commit to! I personally use Blackblaze, which automatically backs up my entire computer without me having to think about it.
4 | PRINT YOUR PHOTOS
Y'all...I cannot harp enough on this simple task of printing your photos! When the only original photos were negatives, many people would rid them after the photos were printed. No one stored them properly, but we still have photos of our Great Grandparents, that thank God – they didn't have on a floppy disk...(Anyone invested the crazy amount of money in getting reels and VHS transferred?) YES! Fires happen – but you have an external hard drive with backup cloud storage so you can print that photo out again! So many sites keep printing affordable and even have amazing albums you can get printed as well.
If you have any questions or concerns about saving digital files that I have not addressed, please leave them in the comments and I will try and answer them! Chances are someone else is thinking it!