Just last week I was asked to look at a laptop owned by a lady who recently had a baby, and whose broken laptop had all those beautiful baby photos stored on it.
I asked if there was a backup and was greeted with a look of disdain. “Oh well, we’ll do our best – try not to worry.” What else could I say? It was a particularly difficult recovery but thankfully this time we rescued all the photos, much to her delight. This kind of episode is still far too common and I encouraged her to make lots of backups, or better still, just store the photos in the cloud. But where in the cloud and using which service?
What are the benefits?
Using a cloud storage service for your photos like Flickr – www.flickr.com – solves two major issues: 1. Safely storing your photos, and 2. Sharing your photos easily with your family and friends.
The Flickr service has lots of options for uploading photos to its site including a very nice drag and drop feature to the Flickr website called Uploadr as well as iOS (iPhone) and Android apps. Photos can be organised in what are called ‘Sets’ a bit like albums. Once uploaded all your sets of photos are available on all your devices e.g. desktop, laptop and smartphone and available to friends and family if you wish to share. It’s worth noting that you don’t have to share the photos but if you want to you can organise photos into batches or collections and share that batch only with certain people.
There is nothing wrong with using a standard cloud storage service like OneDrive – www.onedrive.com (formerly known as SkyDrive from Microsoft) – or Google Drive drive.google.com and these are very handy because you can just drag-and-drop to the drive folder on your computer. Buy some extra storage and drive on!
Other photo sharing websites
If you are not a fan of Flickr then one photo sharing service worth looking at is Instagram www.instagram.com, owned by Facebook. They got into hot water recently by claiming to have the rights to sell any photos uploaded to the service without paying any compensation to the person who owns or uploaded the content, a so-called sub-license. You still own any photos uploaded to Flickr although be careful as they could be used under a ‘fair-use’ or Creative Commons license. If you have professional shots claim ‘All rights reserved’ or watermark your photos before uploading.
Other popular photo sharing services include Shutterfly – www.shutterfly.com – and Snapfish – www.snapfish.com – and these sites offer excellent photo printing services so you can just order your prints with just one click, nice!