Do you have a ton of photos in your collection? Perhaps you’ve been taking many photos over the holiday season or during your last vacation. Where do you store all those photos?
This article will run through some ideas on where to store your digital photos so that you know how to approach the storage issue in future.
Essentially, there are a few options you have when it comes to storing photos – memory cards, hard drives, CD/DVDs and online storage.
Whichever way you choose, you should also always remember to file your photos properly them so that they are easy to find.
1. Using Memory Cards
Of course, one lazy way to ‘store’ your images is to leave them all in your camera’s memory card. Not a very good idea. For one thing, you need to clear out space in your camera’s memory card to take more photos, so you certainly should try storing them elsewhere.
Think about it – if you’re snapping 12 megapixel images very frequently, I guarantee you that even a 16 GB memory card will run out very quickly.
2. Using Hard Drives
After you import your images from your camera to your computer (usually via a USB cable), you should have those pictures stored in your hard drive. Hard drives are pretty cheap these days.
I’d recommend getting a 1 TB hard disk to store your photo collection. If your average photo file size is 500 KB, then you should be able to store about 2 million photos in that hard drive.
Most photographers I know these days carry a portable hard drive around. Internal hard drives (those you install into your desktop computer) are cheaper but not as portable.
My portable drive of choice is the Western Digital My Passport drive which you see below. These are slim and very easy to carry around during photo shoots.
Based on personal experience, I’d say the only problem with hard drives is the uncertainty of the data safety. I’m talking about hard disk crashes and virus infections.
If your computer is used by all family members, there is a small chance the hard disk may crash due to virus infections (e.g. from surfing the web). To avoid this, I’d recommend using CDs and DVDs as your backup option.
3. Using CDs, DVDs or Blu-ray Discs
Right – if you’re not using a memory card or hard drive to store photos, the next best option might be to use CDs or DVDs. A CD-R can typically store 650 MB worth of photos, a DVD-R can store 4GB, while a Blu-ray disc can hold up to 27GB of data.
You’ll need a CD, DVD or Blu-ray burner, along with a disc burning software to burn those photos. One good example of such software is Nero Burning ROM.
Personally, I prefer to store my photos in DVDs. I find CDs tend to be too small, while Blu-ray discs are a bit of an overkill.
When burning DVDs, I will set each DVD to be a multi-session DVD. This means I can burn, say, 1 GB worth of photos on one session, leaving 3GB of DVD space for another burning session.
4. Storing Your Photos Online
Another good option is to store your photos online. You can either use online photo sharing sites or upload them to your own website. This is a great way to share your photos with friends and family without the hassles of emailing photos.
Some photo sharing sites allow you to specify login passwords for specific users to come online and view private photos. You can also read my guide on sharing your photos for more information.
As I’ve previously discussed over here, some of my favorite photo sharing sites include:
- Flickr. Flickr is the online photo behemoth with 26 million users and an all-round, solid platform
- 500 px. This photo sharing site looks gorgeous. Serious photographers can put a price tag and sell their photos online.
- Picasa. This online photo sharing site is old but still good with very clean, nice features for photo storage.
- PhotoStreams. PhotoStreams works very well with iOS and iCloud. If you have an iPhone and take a lot of photos with it, this may be a good option for you.
Wrapping Up …
Well, I hope you now have a better idea of how to store your photos. Besides using memory cards and hard drives, one can use CDs, DVDs, Blu-ray discs or store them online. Whichever way you choose, remember to file them so that they are easy to find.
Here’s a guide to organizing your photo collection to help you along. Good luck and remember to back up your treasured photo collection often!