What I mean is, how are you storing your family’s photos and images? What does photo storage mean to you?
I was recently at a gathering of parents at a high school sporting event. These parents have all known each other for years, and all our kids are all graduating from high school this year. I overheard one parent say to another, “I suppose I need to find all those old CDs with sports photos and make some copies for the Graduation party.” My stomach sank a bit as I heard it. “From how long ago?” I heard another parent ask. “The last eight years” he said, “I have them all in a drawer at home, so I should probably print some photos now and get ready for graduation.” Does this sound familiar to you? If it does, please keep reading.
I was a little shocked to hear this conversation. But sadly, I have heard it before. Friends, I need to be real with you right now. Please print your photos. Do not save CDs, flash drives, or emails containing images, please print your photos. At my studio I pride myself in knowing that even though I sell digital images I send every customer home with printed proofs from their session.
CDs and Flash Drives are not to be considered photo storage, they are a means of transportation for files and images.
If you have a CD or flash drive with photos, they should be downloaded onto a computer and prints should be made. If you want to then “back up” your images to a external hard drive or save files to “The Cloud” or another online storage that is fine, but it is a back up not storage. First print your images of special events and loved ones, that is a guarantee that you have those photos. I recommend a good lab to print archival photos that won’t fade over time but that is a whole other subject for a different day.
I have read studies that safely give flash drives and CDs 1-3 years of accessing the files and then everything could be gone. Now maybe you will get lucky and never lose your photos, but why take that chance? Imagine putting a CD into your computer and realizing all the photos that are important to you are gone. A parents worst nightmare.
Save those important images for years of enjoyment and a way to remember special friends, loved ones, and important moments.
But the saving should be in a photo album or a stack of photographs in a box that years from now your family can open and look through and even put on a board to go out at graduation. Don’t take a chance and lose all of your images. Print!