Shortly before Forrest and I got married, I spent hours working on this video:
The video had tons of photos from both Forrest and mine’s childhood and our courtship. It was a video that we played throughout our wedding reception, and it’s something I’ve loved watching ever since.
I went home for Thanksgiving (about a month before our wedding), and I spent a whole afternoon sifting through boxes and albums of photos from over the years.
Some of them made me laugh:
Some of them brought back sweet memories:
And others reminded me of fun family vacations:
I’m so grateful that my parents printed off all the thousands of pictures they took over the years. Even though they aren’t always looked at, they are cherished.
Thank you to Acronis for sponsoring this post. All opinions are 100% my own.
When I was growing up, we had no digital cameras.
Smart phones weren’t really a “thing” until I got to college, and I got my first digital camera right around that time, too.
If you wanted to see your photos, you had to develop them at the store and cross your fingers and toes they turned out okay.
There was no taking a million photos until you got the perfect one.
You only took pictures when you had film – and that film was used wisely.
Even though it was kind of hassle, once you had them developed, you had a hard copy of the photo, as well as the film strip. And unless your house burned down or you spilt water, you’d have them forever.
Half the time the photos had people blinking, but that was okay. At least you had a hard copy of the photo in front of you.
Let’s fast forward to today.
Most of you probably don’t even own a camera outside your smart phone. I mean, phone cameras are pretty awesome nowadays.
When was the last time you printed off your pictures?
I certainly don’t remember. Most of my pictures have been uploaded to my Google account online or been transferred to folders on my desktop.
That Disneyland trip we just went on? Beyond the pictures that will be printed in my Chatbooks, most of them are just stored away on the computer.
And that is a mistake. I know more than anyone that computers break. I’ve lost plenty of files to corrupt hard drives.
All of the photos from my children’s first few years of life exist currently on the hope that our computers don’t give up. I would be devastated if we lost them.
And that, my friends, is the major mistake most of us are making with our precious family memories.
We don’t back them up. We don’t print them off. We just leave them on our phones or on our computers.
We take thousands of pictures a year, and chances are, no one will ever see them. Rather than having them in photo albums that sit on our coffee tables, they sit in folders on our computer.
And that is sad!
So, I want to share with you a few ways that you can easily make extra copies of your photos. I believe that you should have them in multiple locations!
How to Preserve Family Memories
The best thing you can do with your precious photos? Print them off.
If you are like me, you probably take a million pictures – far more than you’d ever take if you were using a camera with film. You don’t need to print all of these off.
However, I recommend once or twice a year going through all your photos and selecting ones from each month that you love.
The photos that you want to put in an album. The photos that you think your children will love looking at long after they’ve grown.
And then print them off and put them in picture frames or albums. I often see places like Shutterfly, York Photo, or Snap Fish offering 100 free 4×6 prints when you signup. In fact, I just saw that SnapFish is offering 100 free prints PER month for a year! Take advantage of these discounts to get your pictures printed.
Another option is to create a photo book each year with your favorite pictures. I often see Shutterfly offering a free book (just pay shipping) multiple times a year!
Next, I recommend having a backup on more than just your computer.
You should do regular backups to a USB, CD, or external hard drive of everything on your computer. There are a lot of programs out there to do this, but I personally love Acronis True Image. It’s the #1 backup software available.
It is the fastest backup you can do, and it backs up EVERYTHING on your computer to and from external drives, NAS, and the Cloud. It also offers mobile backups from Android and iOS devices, as well as your Facebook feed. I have a lot of photos and memories on Facebook – I love that I can save those, as well.
With Acronis, you can either purchase a yearly subscription (which includes 50 GB of cloud storage) or you can purchase the one-time fee program – Acronis True Image 2017. If you do that option (which, honestly, I typically prefer one-time purchase software), you can add cloud storage on for an additional fee.
First, after you purchase your backup software, you should create a backup to your external hard drive or USB drive. You can purchase these for a reasonable price on Amazon. I would make it a goal to do it once a month if you can.
If your computer does crash, if you are using Acronis, you can have everything restored to where it was supposed to be (assuming you can salvage the computer). Even if the computer will not work, you can still rest assured knowing you can retrieve all your files.
Back up to the Cloud
Unfortunately, external hard drives and USB can break or get lost, so I don’t think it’s enough to backup just do one of these devices.
Fortunately, there is the Cloud. While it could fail, I think the chances of it completely disappearing are very unlikely. I think it’s an awesome option for backing up photos and files because you can literally access them anywhere. It can’t get broken if you drop it during a move, and it can’t get lost either.
There are lots of cloud programs, but the Acronis Cloud is very affordable with the purchase of the software.
Backing up Phone Photos
I can’t tell you how many people I know who have never backed up the photos from their phones. I think it just doesn’t cross their mind.
Luckily, it’s very easy. You can set up an automatic backup to a Google account (though you have to pay a monthly fee once you reach a certain storage capacity). If you purchase Acronis, you can automatically pair your phone with your computer and have the photos backed up that way. You can also have them automatically uploaded to the Cloud!
I know it may seem a bit overkill to do all these different types of backups, but I know that if I were to lose all my photos from the past 10 years, I would be devastated. I believe that our precious family memories are worth taking a few extra steps to preserve, and hopefully after reading this, you won’t be making the mistake to not back them up anymore!