Easy Photo Management

At the time of writing this post I have 11,652 photos on my phone.

So.

I take loads of photos. On my phone, on my SLR, all the time. I take photos of Olivia, our family, our home, anything to do with WC, and yes, an embarrassing number of photos of coffee. I don't know why.

One of the questions that comes across my inbox most often is how I manage storing/organizing all that crazy. Between my personal life, the blog, and WC, there are just too many photos to count and I've often been nervous that one day my phone will collapse under the weight of all those  gigs of photos and just die, leaving those photos lost forever with all my bobby pins and missing socks. So about a year ago I decided action had to be taken and decided to organize and store all my photos, but in a way that wasn't particularly techy, intimidating, or time consuming.


Here's what I use:

1. my computer 
2. a usb cable


Once a month I plug my phone in to one usb port on my computer, plug my external hard drive into the other, and get cracking. There's a folder for each month on my external hard drive and all the photos from my phone that month get dragged directly to that folder.


Since most of my blog photos are personal photos, I don't really bother to categorize them into personal/blog photos, but I do separate the WC photos. I have a separate WC folder with sub-folders (product shots, flat lays, Instagram photos, etc) and those photos get separated and dragged to that folder. Those photos then get doubly uploaded to dropbox so Stephanie can access them as needed. 


These bluetooth SD cards are hands down the coolest thing I've bought this year. All I have to do is power up my camera, select the SD card as my wireless source, and open the flash air app. All the photos I've taken can then be easily downloaded to my camera roll.  I keep three or so on hand so that I don't have to clean them out when they get full. I just grab a new one and start fresh, thinking that keeping the photos on an SD card is an additional layer of backup. This means that almost all the photos on my SD cards end up on my phone (since I do most of my brightening and adding contrast in the VSCO cam app) but there are a few that don't always make it over and I drag them to the appropriate folder from the SD card. 



This external hard drive isn't particularly special, but it's the top seller in external hard drives on Amazon which made it good enough for me. It's got 1 TB of storage, which based on the 10 gigs of photos I have on my phone right now, equals a little over one million photos worth of storage.

Once all my photos are backed up, I usually keep the past few months worth on my phone for easy Facebook/Instagram upload and delete the rest (once I double check that they've saved to the hard drive!). I'm way overdue for a delete session and here's a quick tip: to delete your photos in batches and speed up the process, go to the photos tab (not albums) on your camera roll and you can select days at a time by hitting select at the top right corner and then select above the date for each batch.


My system is really streamlined and simple, but it works to keep my phone from getting too cluttered (when I take the time to delete old pics) and ensures that my photos are safe. Every few months I pass the external off to my husband and he then uploads them to a cloud server for an extra layer of backup! I know the iPhone has a cloud backup, but I've not always had great luck with it, so I like having another system in place to make sure I don't lose the photos I work so hard to get! 

9 comments:

  1. Hey! What kind of cloud backup do you use for your final backup?

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  2. FlashAir SD cards are simply the best!! I love them!! I have that external hard drive, also. I basically do the same as you. I use the app PhotoSync to sync all of my photos from my phone onto my computer and organize them. Then put old stuff on to the external HD. Can't live without those two things, as well!

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  3. I like your once a month policy on the uploading them to your external hard drive. I have one [basically just for pictures], but am bad about updating and uploading on the regular. I would hate to loose all my photos, so I just really need to write it on my calendar and do it once a month! :)

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  4. I'm not great at remembering what happened when so I have categories like pets, vacations, weddings, house, etc instead of dates. How do you search for a particular photo? I love the idea of having an external hard drive dedicated to photos! I think I may implement that in case our crappy computer decides to crap out on us.

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    Replies
    1. This probably sounds so weird, but I have an insane memory for when photos were taken. If I'm looking for a certain pic of O, I know what month it was and go looking there...I know that's not super helpful, it's just how my mind works!

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  5. Hi - Did you buy the external hard drive Mac version or no? I see it comes in both versions and I have a Mac but wondered if it necessarily mattered which version of the hard drive I purchased. Thank you!

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