As if finding the time to organize your photos isn’t bad enough, in this day and age you need to share, print and backup your photos. On top of that, choosing which software to use is a challenge. In the wake of too many options, we end up confused and in analysis paralysis mode. We do nothing with our precious memories and risk losing them all.
This is a pretty common challenge for the family photo taker. Most of us jump into doing mode, quickly get discouraged and overwhelmed and quit. The best first step to eliminate the confusion is to go into “learning” mode. Of course, this can be quite challenging because there are so many resources available, even if you are tech savvy.
Since I’ve been on a mission to get my own digital photos in order and I know how confusing it can be, I’m going to help you short-cut all of the research so you can get started with organizing your digital photos. Today, I’m laying out the four different types of digital photo organizing & storage storage options available, examples of each and which are best for photos.
Photo Printing Services allow you to upload your photos, perform some basic editing, share them with family and friends and order prints of all sizes as well as products with your images on them such as calendars, coffee mugs, mouse pads, t-shirts, etc. They get a “thumbs down” from me because you (or anyone you share them with) don’t have access to download originals- you need to order them on a cd and that can get costly if you need to replace your photo collection. Shutterfly and Snapfish two of the most popular examples of Photo Printing services.
Photo Sharing & Backup Services allow you to upload your photos, perform advanced editing, share them publicly, or with family and friends and order prints or products with your images. They also provide you with the option of sharing the originals and allowing others to download them. Finally, since many are providing a ton of storage for free, I’ve included them as a backup option as well. Since you’re already taking the time to upload your photos, why not use software that serves as an off-site backup as well? For those reasons, these services get a “thumbs up” from me. Flickr, Google+ Photos and PhotoBucket are some popular Photo Sharing & Backup services.
Online Automatic Backup services provide you with an off-site backup of all types of digital files including documents, email, music, photos, etc. They are often continual, rather than incremental, and automatic. Some services are based on amount of storage space required, some price by computer and some also backup external and/networked drives or share files. These also get a “thumbs up” from me as a duplicate form of backup. Carbonite and Mozy are two reputable services that have been around for several years. While Backblaze and Crashplan are up and comers to the personal backup market.
Cloud Storage & File Sharing services enable you to store documents and files in the cloud, sync between devices and share them with others quickly and easily. Since these services typically focus their features on document sharing and storage, I don’t recommend these for storing and organizing photos. This list includes Dropbox, Box, SugarSync, Apple iCloud, Google Plus Photos and Microsoft OneDrive.
And, in case you like pretty colors and comparison charts like I do, I’ve included a pdf below which you can download that compares some of the basic features for choosing digital photo organizing and storage tools online.
Please let me know if you have any questions about anything I mentioned. I’d love to hear if you are a raving fan for a tool that didn’t make my list.
Ciao for now!
If you’re drowning in digital photos and are not sure what to do, the guide I’m creating may be just the help you need. Enter your email address in the form below to find out more!