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  • Kari

How to : BAckup your Photos online

iPhone online photo backup

Do you run out of room on your phone?

Is your laptop hard drive out of space?

Did you fill the memory card in your camera and have no where to put your images?

I hear about these challenges all the time. And the solution most people go to is to buy a phone with more storage space, a laptop with a bigger hard drive or the biggest memory card available. All of which cost a ton of money and only fix the problem for a short time. None of these are the answer people!

Do what Photographers do

The best answer, is backup your photos online. Moving your photos online makes them accessible to you no matter where you are in the world. There are many good solutions that don't cost a ton of money. Some are even free. But, some will start as low cost then become very expensive over time. Here are my top tips for online photo backup solutions that won't end in ever increasing online cloud storage costs.

What I do not recommend

Let me start with what I don't recommend so we can get this out of the way first.

iCloud -

I'm a huge Apple product fan, but I don't love iCloud. You only get 5GB of data for free and most people will consume that with everything else you backup on your phone before even getting to your photos. Once you move into a paid plan the costs will just increase over time as your need for storage grows. And your storage needs will grow and grow and grow. You'll take more photos and more videos and you won't delete old memories. Your monthly storage fees will never end. There are better solutions.

Dropbox -

Dropbox is a great product, just like iCloud is. But, you only get 2GB of data for free. If you're backing up personal photo and video memories here, your storage requirements will continue to grow and you'll move into a paid storage plan that will never end.

Sync photos across all your devices -

While this isn't an online backup solution, I still want to mention it as something I do not recommend. Many Apple product users check the box to sync photos across all their devices. While this sounds appealing to have your photos available on every device, it's like death to your storage. You will consume massive amounts of space on every device you own. Don't do it. Back up your photos to the cloud and access that set of images from any device instead.

What I do recommend

I have 3 top picks for what I recommend to anyone trying to manage the storage of photos and video by moving them off your devices to online cloud storage. As a professional photographer, I primarily use SmugMug for my professional and personal online photo storage, but I also make use of the other 2 solutions I'm listing here.

Google Photos -

Most people already have a free gmail account so using Google Photos for online photo storage is a no brainer. It's super easy to access from your gmail account and they have a free unlimited online photo storage option. Free and Unlimited are two things I love to see for personal online photo and video storage. The trade off, is the photos and videos are compressed so you don't retain the original quality, but for most people this is just fine. They have a paid option for full resolution images, but I don't recommend it. If you need full resolution storage, move on to my next recommendation!

Amazon Photos -

If you already have Amazon Prime, then you have access to Amazon Photos for free. This is huge. Amazon Photos is unlimited, free online full resolution photo storage for Amazon Prime members. You can even store raw image files here, which is a huge bonus. Amazon Photos does have a fee for non Prime members. If you don't have Prime and you want to store full resolution images, then move on to my final recommendation!

SmugMug -

SmugMug is a secure and unlimited online photo storage solution. While it is not free, they have multiple plans to choose from depending on if you're only in need of backing up personal photos taken on your phone or you're a professional photographer sharing and selling photos to clients. No matter which plan you choose, you get unlimited storage and that is what I love best about SmugMug. There are no variable fees tied to the amount of storage you consume. There are a lot of online photo storage solutions that various photographers use. Some are more aesthetically beautiful than others and some have interesting and possibly necessary features, but SmugMug's best feature, IMO, is unlimited storage no matter which plan you choose. That makes SmugMug my #1 recommendation.

Click here to start a free SmugMug 14-day trial today and also save 15% on a new account

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