You spend thousands of dollars to document one of the most exciting and happiest days of your life. You receive an online gallery from your photographer and you print one or two photos to hang on the walls of your new home. Then what? What do you do with the other hundreds of wedding photos that mean so much to you? Downloading your photos to your computer is a great first start, but you also need to have them backed up. Here are the three methods you need to back that thang up (and I’m not just talking about a Juvenile song).
I hate to break it to you, but posting an album on Facebook doesn’t count. There are over 2.7 billion active users on Facebook who are all uploading photos and other content. Do you really think Facebook is going to provide enough storage for all those people to be able to download high resolution versions of their photos? No. When you upload photos to Facebook, it compresses the file so that it can be shown to other users as quickly as possible. Speed is the name of the game on social media. No one wants to wait more than a second for photos to load and Facebook knows this.
If you ever try to download your photos from Facebook, you’ll notice that they aren’t as sharp as the original photos. That’s because of the compression. If you upload photos to Facebook as a backup (or even worse, to get them off your phone or computer), the quality will decrease significantly.
What is the solution? Use a cloud-based storage service. Cloud-based storage services store data, such as photos on the Internet, which allows you to access your photos from anywhere.
There are multiple cloud storage options. If you’re an Amazon Prime member you already have access to unlimited photo storage. You could also pay a small fee to use services such as Backblaze, Dropbox, Google Photos, or Apple iCloud to name a few.
I personally use both my Amazon Prime photo storage as well as Shutterfly’s free photo storage. I have my phone set to automatically upload photos from my phone to my Shutterfly account so I never lose photos from my phone.
In addition to using cloud-based storage, I also recommend buying an external hard drive – even if you received your wedding photos on a CD or USB. I have heard countless stories of people losing their CDs or USBs, or they were corrupted, or they could no longer use them when they upgraded their computer.
Once you download them to the external hard drive, don’t use that hard drive for everyday use. Let me share a story with you that someone recently shared with me. They downloaded their wedding photos on an external hard drive and kept it in a fire-proof safe. Exactly what I would recommend. However, they also used this external hard drive for documents and other photos. The problem? They accidentally deleted the folder with their wedding photos and were unable to recover them! So once you download your photos, keep your external hard drive in a fire-proof safe and don’t use it for other files.
Seeing your wedding photos on your phone or computer is NOT the same as seeing them in a beautifully curated heirloom album that can be passed down for generations. Why invest thousands of dollars into your wedding photos if you’re not going to use them to their potential? I loved my wedding photos before, but I fell in love with them once I saw them in our very own heirloom album! Photos are meant to be shared and enjoyed! They aren’t meant to live on a CD, USB, or even an online gallery. Technology is a wonderful thing, but it’s not always reliable and it’s constantly changing. CDs and USBs can easily get lost or corrupted. An heirloom album does not require internet or software updates and it doesn’t have the ability to become corrupted and crash!
We have already lost count of how many times we have looked through our heirloom album. Camryn gets so excited looking at the photos of us! It was worth every penny to see her face light up every time we look through it. Our wedding day is part of our legacy and we have a tangible product to tell our story.
Relying on only one backup source is simply not enough. After receiving your wedding photos, you should take ALL THREE of the above steps to preserve those precious photos! The more ways you back up your photos, the more secure they will be!
If you’re married and your collection didn’t come with an album, chances are you can still order one from your photographer. If you’re one of my past brides and didn’t purchase an album at the time of your wedding, feel free to contact me to get started. Or if you’re not one of my past clients and you have a print release from your photographer, I would be happy to help you preserve your wedding story! Email me here!