Save Your Pictures

Years ago, like many many years ago, when man wanted to keep a memory of something important, or something that perhaps was fun or they were proud of, they carved or painted a picture on a rock or cave wall somewhere.  Some of those drawings have lasted for over 30,000 years ( see the Chauvet Cave in France ). 

In more recent times, we took pictures with a camera, developed the negatives, and developed them onto a paper like medium.  These would either be slapped into a picture album or possibly turned into slides. Unfortunately, these rarely lasted 30 years, let alone 30,000, before they were damaged, faded, or just lost.  

I won’t even get into video since the format of choice changes so much that whatever you took your home movies on went out of style, as did the devices that could play your tapes . This resulted in almost every home movie becoming a mystery as to it’s content, only to be tossed by the next generation at some point.

Today, everything is digital.  Our phones take photos 1000 time clearer than the best camera 20 years ago.  The sheer number of photos and videos taken today on a daily basis dwarf the number of pictures taken in a year a few decades ago. So it begs the question, what do we do with all of these pictures?  Can you imagine the number of images a teenager today will have taken by the time they are 50?  Where do we save them all?

Most probably don’t give it a second thought. I’ve heard many people complaining about the lack of space on their phone because it’s filled with pictures.  So, if you’re not backing them up, if your phone is lost, so are all those memories (even if half of them are dumb and useless).  I didn’t give it a lot of thought either, until we lost our daughter Emily to the evil of cancer. Suddenly, every picture she was in became priceless.

So what do you do to save your pictures?  Most people have them uploaded to Apple or Google’s storage depending on what phone they have.  That’s all well and good, but the storage is limited for both. How about other cloud storage solutions like dropbox, Box, etc?  Honestly, they’re all pretty much the same. Cloud storage is just saving your stuff on someone else’s computer that you can get to. Certainly if you put your photos in the cloud they’re safe, right?

Well, actually, there have been several cloud storage companies that have gone out of business over the years.  The people who had their photos, documents, whatever on their servers… all gone.  So try and stick to names you know even if it costs you a few dollars.  Cloud storage is certainly one area where you get what you pay for. One of the best ones out there today in my opinion is pCloud . DropBox and Box are decent choices as well.  It also doesn’t hurt to store your really important photos in more than one place, not including your phone. 

So don’t risk losing what might be your only record of a memory.  Don’t trust the one in your head, those fade as well.  You can even make it easy on yourself and go through the photos one by one, like grandma used to do, and pick out the ones you definitely want to keep.  Then make sure, at a minimum, those are backed up somewhere.

On a side note, the one issue that everyone faces or will face, how to organize these 10’s of thousands of photos that are taken.   However, that’s another complaint for another day.