I fancy myself a writer.

Maybe I just take too many pictures to begin with

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Several years ago, when I got my first digital camera, it never occurred to me that the ability to take an unlimited number of pictures would one day become a problem. I’ve always been a big picture-taker, but film was expensive, and I used to always try to save my film for the most important moments. But when the day came that I no longer had to worry about the price of film, every moment became a camera-worthy moment.

Then came a new problem: the cost of developing unlimited photos. It wasn’t long before I had upwards of $50 worth of photos in my Snapfish shopping cart, just sitting there waiting for me to order prints. But I was broke, so I began to search for other ways to save those priceless images.

My first idea was to put all of my pictures on discs and keep them in my safe. That was a pain, of course, and then I began to wonder just how safe the safe was for such priceless mementos. Even though it was a fire-proof safe, I worried that the discs would still melt in a hot fire. And, how long do those flimsy little discs last, anyway?

English: This is a Kodak EasyShare LS743 digit...

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For a while, my camera software automatically uploaded all of my images to Snapfish for me, so at least I had a second copy saved someplace other than my safe. That was so convenient, I eventually began to forget to put my photos on discs. And then one day, my computer mysteriously stopped doing the automatic upload to Snapfish, for some reason I could never figure out.

Around that time, I joined Facebook, which made it so easy to share my photos, my Facebook account became my new default storage facility. I often hear people complain about their Facebook friends who are “so self-centered, they think everyone wants to see all of their stupid pictures.” Well guess what… I don’t share every last photo on Facebook for your viewing convenience. Those photos are there for my storage convenience. I share every stupid little picture I take on Facebook because, for now, that’s the best place I have to store them.

Which leads me to another problem.

I know it seems unlikely now, but what happens if Facebook folds? What happens if I suddenly lose access to Facebook? It could happen. I mean, did anyone ever believe that the iconic Kodak company would one day declare bankruptcy? Facebook may be doing great now, but where will it be 20 years from now in an age where everyone is looking for that next great thing on the internet?

I need a backup plan, literally. I need a quick, convenient backup for all of my photos, preferably something that will automatically store my photos as I remove them from my digital camera.

It used to be my biggest worry was whether or not I could gather all of my photo albums and get them out of the house fast enough in the event of a fire. Now I only wish I had all of my pictures in photo albums. I miss sitting with friends and family, flipping through my most recent family photo album. If only it weren’t so danged expensive to keep up with those prints!

How do you store your precious photos? Comment below.

~Mandy Webster

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9 responses

  1. I agree with you, Mandy – we need someone to invent the next big thing right now! Seems funny to think that a few years down the line, Facebook will seem like old hat. I’d never have believed a few years ago, when I got my lovely compact netbook, that it would look so clunky and inelegant next to the new tablet computers that everyone seems to be getting these days (except me). In the meantime, my best photos are stored in my brain – just hope my memory holds out!

    February 27, 2012 at 8:57 am

    • mwebster76

      I just bought a new laptop myself. I was looking for something light and sleek, but it turns out everything in my price range is big and bulky no matter how basic it is. In fact, I think the more basic the computer, the bigger and bulkier it is (which makes no sense to me!)

      Anyway, I can barely remember what I had for breakfast 15 minutes ago, so I’m not able too rely too heavily on my brain power for saving pictures. It amazes me, when I look at photo albums from just a few years ago, just how much I’ve forgotten. I come across pictures of things we did or events we attended in the not so distant past, and I think, “Wow, how did I forget about that?!”

      February 27, 2012 at 9:02 am

  2. Mandy, I’m an amateur photographer who had a similar problem storing my photos. I finally purchased a Western Digital “My Passport” portable hard drive. It’s about the size of an actual passport with 500Gb of storage. It plugs into a USB port and will automatically back up whatever folders/files you choose. Very easy to use and not very expensive to purchase considering the personal value of your photos. You can Google “Western Digital” for more details. Good Luck! …Peter Edwards

    February 27, 2012 at 9:11 am

    • mwebster76

      Thanks for the info, Peter. I’ll have to look into that!

      February 27, 2012 at 9:43 am

  3. You raise an excellent point – great that we have unlimited photo capability, but what to do with all those photos? Like you, I once used a fire safe for archived discs, but now I keep an external drive in there that holds other files. I also upload everything to Flickr and have a Pro account there: $25 a year for unlimited storage. It’s about two bucks a month for some peace of mind and easy access. It doesn’t happen automatically, but the effort to store things there is worth it for me. Thanks for the trackback on the Kodak Disc post, too!

    February 27, 2012 at 10:18 am

  4. Pingback: Creating a better photo album on Facebook… « Tilting At Windmills

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  6. I have lot’s of ideas! Let’s connect. http://www.moresinc.wordpress.com
    Great article!!! I am sure you touched many hearts with this problem…

    March 8, 2012 at 5:32 pm

  7. Pingback: Checking in « Write on the World

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