The number one question I am asked is, how do you back up your photos? It’s an excellent question and dilemma, honestly, and one that I have never had a perfect solution for until now. There are so many ways to save photos and everyone seems to use a different workflow. I know that some still use an external hard drive with time machine, while others keep buying more iCloud space so that they don’t have to delete anything from their iPhone’s camera roll. In my opinion, however, this does not treat the symptom of photo hoarding.
In the past I have uploaded photos to Shutterfly and Photobucket, only to grow frustrated with the inability to upload quality videos from my iPhone with this workflow. A few years ago I decided to store my photos on Google Drive, since all of my personal and professional files are backed up there. Because my husband and I take a lot of photos and videos of our family, we pay for additional Google Drive storage, so I’m careful to upload only the photos and videos that we cherish versus holding on to every image we capture. Google offers the following storage plans, which I feel are extremely affordable:
|Total storage||Monthly rate|
However, you do NOT have to pay for Google Photos Storage! You can choose between 2 storage sizes to back up your photos and videos to your Google Photos library. Read more about that here! Currently, I pay for the original size resolutions, but it is not necessary and something I may change down the road.
Before the Google Photos app came out, we used the Google Drive app, and logged into our joint account to upload photos and videos from our iPhones. Unfortunately, this process was extremely tedious because we had to decide which photos/videos we wanted to upload and then tap on each one in order to begin the upload to Drive process. Sometimes the upload failed and you had to look through each picture to see which ones didn’t make it. It was the biggest pain. So, I started connecting my iPhone to my Mac with the USB charging cable and used Image Capture to move the photos and videos to my Mac and into Google Drive. Again, this was way too much work and I kept putting it off each week, which fed into my photo hoarding problem.
There had to be a better way! Finally, this past May, Google released the Google Photos app and took the work (and workflow!) out of backing up photos. If you plan to store a large amount of photos on Google Photos in the original size, like I do, you should pay for the additional space because you’ll run out of the free 15 GB pretty quickly. Then….run, don’t walk to your phone and do the following:
1. Download the Google Photos app from the App Store (or Google Play store if you are one of those Android people).
2. Log in using the account with the upgraded storage plan.
3. Make sure “back up & sync” is on. Your camera roll photos are automagically backed up in the background, as long as you are on Wifi! No more image capture, no more manual uploads in the Google Drive app! Note: I don’t want to use up all of my cellular data, so I turn that feature off.
4. Since I use this app to back up my cherished family photos, I use the original upload size in case I ever want to have the photos printed and/or enlarged. This is why I pay for the 100 GB storage plan. It’s only $1.99 per month!
5. That’s it. You are done. Your pictures and videos will upload to Google Photos in the background while you are on Wifi. No need to remember to backup your photos. From time to time, I will go into the camera roll and delete photos I don’t want or need, so they don’t upload to Google Photos. If they have already uploaded, I just spend some time deleting photos I don’t want or need from the app. I can now clean out my camera roll, without worry, knowing that all my photos and videos are safe in Google Photos! No longer have access to your phone? Just go to http://photos.google.com to see all of your photos. There they are, safe and sound.
BONUS: Google Photos is wicked cool and has some pretty amazing features:
Your Photos Assistant
This cool tool does fancy stuff to your photos behind the scenes. Tap on assistant to see what it’s been up to:
2. New Story
3. Animation (Click on it to view) I was taking pics of fireworks and Assistant made an animated gif out of the cars driving by!
4. Stylized photo
This part is kind of creepy, but it’s still awesome. Tap on the magnifying glass in the bottom right and search photos that have been automatically grouped by specific faces, keywords and places. It categorized my photos 100% without my help. I did not enter keywords or tap to confirm certain faces or places. I love technology and I am in love with this app!
Example: If I tap on a picture of my son, I am taken to a scrollable list of photos that have my son in them.