A guide to backing up your digital photos

Part 3 of 3  (If you missed the previous two columns on how to back up your digital photos, go to the archives www.MintHilTimes.com)

Adding an external hard drive

As the name implies, external hard drives, which range in price from $50 (one to two TB) to $350 and up (eight TB), are like the storage that’s built into your computers, except they’re connected externally. Most hook up via a USB connection, although there are other methods. (For instance, network attached storage, or NAS, drives, connect via an Ethernet line to your home or office network.) As with your internal drive, there are many ways to transfer, copy, or sync your photos. You can also automate your backup using your computer’s operating system, the external hard-drive’s software, or a third-party backup software app or service.

Digitizing prints, slides and negatives

Our personal library of images generally doesn’t end with just our digital photos or videos. Many of us also own precious prints, photo albums, slides, and negatives, some of which can be decades old.

To back them up properly, you’ll need to digitize or scan them. There are scanning services available where you can mail or drop off your prints and negatives and get digital versions created for you, although the price may be a factor.  Weigh your options; but remember, if you leave it to the experts, quality and experience wins most of the time.  You can scan them yourself if you have an all-in-one printer that can scan, or a dedicated scanner. If you’re not looking for a high-end scan, though, use Google’s PhotoScan mobile app, which lets you use your phone’s camera like a scanner to capture photos, even if they’re framed and behind glass. (The app is pretty effective at eliminating glare and reflection.) However, you may find out why the experts charge what they do. Not only is this a timely project, but you may see tons of dust particles.

For slides and negatives, the same applies, you will need to scan them yourself or have a service process them for you.

Consider speaking with our local expert; Create A Video.   Located right here in Mint Hill, Owner, Dave Martinson and his staff can guide you toward many different options they have available to save your many years of memories.  They can help you save photos, slides, videos or even VHS tapes. Feel free to contact them at (704) 846-5588.

Whatever backup system you eventually select, whether it’s just an online solution or a combination of several services and hard drives, it’s important to monitor the system. Be sure to periodically check it and make sure it’s backing up your photos correctly.

Don’t delay. Act now!  Save those memories that are currently on your phone… in a moment, they could be gone!

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Sandy Harrison
I am a classically trained portrait artist with over thirty years of experience. I reside in Mint Hill with my husband, Doug. Together, we own Photographic Elegance, the only brick and mortar professional portrait studio located in Mint Hill. I love travel, hockey, my two grown sons and spending time with my two grandsons. Happy Click’n!

Professional Photographers of America,
Mint Hill Arts, Vice President
Matthews Art Guild,
SE Art Council,
Mint Hill Chamber Board of Directors