When I started creating content to help you use your photos I knew I had to include a piece about keeping your photos safe. Since this is an area that I’m no expert in, I knew I had to reach out to the best in all things photo back up, Miss Freddy!
Casey von Stein, aka Miss Freddy, is a certified Professional Photo Organizer helping people worldwide make sense of their photo mess! The nickname “Freddy” came from an unfortunate resemblance to Fred Flintstone at birth. She offers self-paced online courses to learn how to organize + ENJOY your photos or offers full service organizing sessions where she does the work FOR YOU remotely via screen share. Follow her on Instagram for free photo organizing tips!
I met Casey years ago when she still lived in Seattle and we did a family photography swap. Since they she has moved to Colorado and grown an amazing business. She has helped me back up my photos (yes I have her Backup Boot Camp Course), and introduced me to Project Life (the way I put together my personal, yearly family albums).
With that, I’m so excited to share her with you and her wisdom on protecting your digital photos.
Question: Backing up your photos isn’t really a “sexy” topic, but can you explain why it is so important for everyone to back up their digital photos?
Because photos are meant to bring us JOY. They’re supposed to help us relive memories from the past, remember family members who have been important to us, and help build our legacy. Instead they’ve become a source of overwhelm and stress. Once the organizational work is done…. and I promise it’s not as hard as you think… it’ll be so rewarding to watch your family ENJOY photos and memories they’ve never seen!
How do we even get started backing our photos up? It seems like an overwhelming process.
I have an online course called Backup Bootcamp that walks through the process start-to-finish in detail. What buttons to click, which settings are optimal (all that technical stuff) but I’m going to summarize the process at a high level so you can see that this is DOABLE.
Start by creating a list of the photo sources in your life. Most of the reason we feel so overwhelmed is the photos are scattered all over the place- old CDs, partially in the cloud, on your phone, many people even store old computers with photos they haven’t seen in years.
Next we are going to bring all of these photos into ONE place– a computer or external hard drive. I prefer an external because our photo collections are so large these days that they can really bog down a computer, even there’s even enough storage space.
Side note about externals: They have a bad reputation. People have stories of loss, fear of relying on an external. But when everything is organized, we will put an identical copy in the cloud so we no longer have to worry about a hard drive crashing. If that ever happened, we’d just buy a new one and restore from our cloud files- sleep easy!
This step is time consuming, but the trick for making it easier is to NOT WORRY ABOUT DUPLICATES. Do NOT spend time researching ‘do I already have this photo?’ And always use copy + paste when moving the files, do not drag them out of the original location yet. This way if something goes wrong during the transfer, the originals are not in jeopardy.
Once all your photos are in one place, it’s time to clean them up and the Backup Bootcamp course has shortcuts to remove duplicates + sort it automatically into chronological folders!
For photos do you prefer cloud backup, external hard drives, or something entirely different?
BOTH. I think it’s really important to have ONE local copy + ONE offsite copy, at a minimum. For the local copy, I prefer using an external hard drive instead of my computer’s internal hard drive because it’s portable, less expensive to increase storage as you grow, and storing the photo collection on an external doesn’t bog down your computer/make it run slower.
The second copy in the cloud is important because it’s off-site. If there’s a fire or flood in your home, you don’t need to run back in to save the computer/external hard drive. Plus, most cloud services have a phone app so you can access the entire photo collection on any device (many have amazing features like facial recognition too)!
If you aren’t sure which cloud service is best for you (there are so many options!), I created a FREE QUIZ on my website to help you decide and it includes a free Get Started Guide as well!
What’s your number #1 tip for people when they ask you about backing up their photos?
IGNORE THE JUNK! It’s common to worry first on purging junk- it’s a natural response. But the problem is purging junk can be an endless task- you can’t make progress toward actually organizing + setting up a backup system.
I believe there are 2 prioritites: first, making a simple organizational structure so you can find what you need when you need it and second, making sure it’s all backed up safely so you can sleep at night.
Once those two things are accomplished, you can come back and fine tune- purging junk, tagging people- the junk will always be there for you!
Thank you, so much to Miss Freddy for getting us thinking about backing up our photos. I hope you feel inspired and motivated to protect your photos and find joy in them again. Her course is only $59 and you will complete it feeling proud to have protected your legacy.
Spend this week backing your photos up and next week we will look at how to select your photos when using your photos!