When I'm not photographing or with my family, I get lost in pop- impressionism oil paintings. Check out some of my work here.
Hi everyone! Jaime (Steve’s faithful wife/assistant) here! I’ve been contemplating a new series for our blog and today I decided, carpe diem! I’m doing it. Hopefully this series is helpful for our clients, but also anyone who stumbles across this information. Topic #1: How (and why) to store digital wedding photos.
We get it, in this day and age, wedding photos are not treated the way they used to be. Before, people ALWAYS had a wedding album, even if it was filled with amateur photos from uncle Bob’s 35mm Kodak camera. This post isn’t to discuss the merits of a wedding album, but that does give me an idea for a future post in my series…
Nowadays, we take for granted access to our pictures. We snap photos all day long on our phones and assume that whenever we want to take a look, they will be there. THIS IS NOT TRUE OF YOUR PROFESSIONAL PHOTOS. If we had a dollar for every email we’ve gotten over the years from former clients asking us if we still have a link to their photos available, I’d have at least $75. 🙂
All jokes aside, a gallery link is not something we advertise as “available forever, as it is a paid service we handle. While we try to maintain a backup, we can’t guarantee it is something clients can access at any point. Not to be morbid, but if something were to happen to us, we’d hate for our clients to lose their only access to their photos. This is why we are sharing how (and why) to download and store digital wedding photos.
#1. Enjoy Your Photos
Once you receive that magical email with your gallery link, the first thing you should do is enjoy your photos! Share them with friends and family and spam everyone on your social media! But don’t stop there. That magic link may not always work. Every photographer is different, So definitely…
#2. Download Your Photos
After you’ve enjoyed your gallery, I always strongly suggest you immediately download your photos to a safe place. Often, couples WILL do their due diligence and download their photos to a home computer. It makes us sad (and shocked) that there are people who NEVER download their photos at all. We know life gets busy, but you’ve just spent a great deal of money on these photos. Do yourself a favor and save them!
This is a great first step but it isn’t enough! Which leads to step three…
#3. Save Your Photos to an External Hard Drive
This is your plan B. Computers get old, they stop working, they become obsolete, they aren’t forever! An external hard drive is the PERFECT place for your backup of professional photos. You can always upload your photos to a new computer with this drive too! It’s a win win.
Here are a few of my personal favorite external hard drives:
2. My Passport
3. SanDisk Extreme Portable (MY FAVORITE CHOICE)
Bonus tip: store this hard drive in a fire proof safe/box for good measure.
Finally THE MOST IMPORTANT STEP (after downloading your photos).
#4. Upload Your Photos to The CLOUD
You should ALWAYS upload your photos to a cloud based service so you can see them at any time! Here are a few to consider:
Google Photos – Free with Gmail. Allows you to upload up to 15 GB of pictures! Paid plans available too.
Amazon photos – Free with Prime. Prime members get unlimited full-resolution photo storage and 5 GB for video. Paid plans available too!
Dropbox – Sign up for free, get 2 GB of storage, and start accessing and sharing photos, documents, and other files from any device. Paid plans available too!
THIS STEP IS CRUCIAL. This ensures that even if your computer crashes or your drive corrupts, you STILL can access to your photos.
Bonus: Email the link of your uploaded photos to your spouse, parents and other close family members. Don’t be the only person with this access!
We estimate that if you do all the steps mentioned above, it should take about 3-4 hours total to complete. Not that much time in the grand scheme and you have immediate peace of mind knowing your photos are safe and sound for generations and years to come!
And there you have it, a comprehensive guide on how to store digital wedding photos, easy enough for anyone to execute.