How to store (and back up!) your digital photos

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Archival Gold DVDs

In my other life or increasingly, my former life, I was a photographer. So, I get asked a lot about how to store digital photos.  Since so many of us are taking digital photos of our children, I thought this might prove of interest to you.

Here is what I do:

I make 2 backups of everything. EGADS! (I know, I know). But, I do. In fact, if I were really smart I would have 3 backups (which is what I am going to recommend to you).

  1. I have a dedicated hard drive for my photos. Hard drives go bad though so you can’t depend upon this as your only storage. Case in point, I lost one of my photo hard drives a few months ago. Thankfully, Mac Concierge recovered all my data for a very fair price.
  2. Secondly, I copy all the images to archival gold DVDs. The Archival Gold are supposed to be able to store your images for more than 100 years. Don’t forget a Safe Pen for writing on the DVDs. Regular pens or markers can destroy a DVD or CD due to their solvents and alcohols.
  3. What I should do- but don’t….is have an online backup system like iPhoto, Migratr or any of the reasonably priced online storage systems.

Happy Shooting!

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  1. So happy to hear! Let me know if you found something that you liked or something better/different!

  2. I was planning on looking up ideas for storing our photos today but I took a quick detour and found this! Thank you!

  3. HI Rebecca,
    To use iphoto as a backup is really to use Time Machine- an app that’s included with Mac OS X. Or if you subscribe to MobileMe, you can copy your iphoto library to iDisk. Or in iphoto you can back up by going to the tool bar and selecting Duplicate and then put them into a second ilibrary somewhere else. I’m sure someone else might have some ideas- but I use Time Machine to back up my iphoto photos and I run it automatically. FYI- Time Machine won’t accurately back up iphoto unless the app is closed.
    Hope you are well too!

  4. I will have to check Carbonite out- thanks for the suggestion.

  5. I use Carbonite – it costs about $40 a year but space is unlimited and it backs up everything automatically.

  6. Hey Karen! Question about your iPhoto suggestion- is this something you pay for? I have iPhoto but wasn’t aware of there being an online backup service connected to iPhoto. I have a external hard drive but an online back-up plan has been on my to do list forever! I will also grab some of those DVDs. Thanks for this post! Hope u are well!!!

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