Don't Forget to Back Up the Photos on Your Phone!

We photograph so much of our lives with our smartphones...but are you remembering to back those photos up?

When was the last time you backed up the photos and videos taken on your phone? A month ago? 2 months? 6 months? Did you set up an automatic backup to take care of that for you? Have you checked to see if it’s really working?

These days, most of us are recording our daily lives through our phones. Permanently attached to our hips, it couldn’t be easier to pull it out and record first steps, first birthdays, happy little moments. But are you protecting those moments?

I woke up this morning to find that a good friend’s phone had been accidentally wiped clean by her work. She’d set up iCloud to back up the data but discovered that it hadn’t been working for some time. Potentially lost now are months of photos and videos of her adorable little guy. It’s a heart-breaking, gut-wrenching feeling to have and you just want to warn everyone you know.

So, listen up! Before it’s too late, get your backups in order!

Here are some links and apps that I recommend:

Back Up Your Android, iPhone or iPad — a simple breakdown of backing up via iCloud or iTunes for iPhone, what it backs up and how to do it and some suggestions for backing up your Android.

And because I suggest more than one method of backup:

PhotoSync — This iPhone app makes it super easy to transfer photos and videos from your phone to your computer (or vice versa). The app is $1.99 and comes with a free companion app for your desktop. Not only that, but you can also set it to upload to a variety of web services, like DropBox, Facebook, Flickr, Google Drive, etc.

DropBox — DropBox is not only an easy way to transfer large files from one person/computer to another, it’s a simple way to backup things from your phone. Sign up for a free account and then download the free app for iPhone or Android. You can set it up to automatically backup your camera roll photos. And for every 500mb of photos that you upload, they give you another 500mb free, up to 3GB. (Note: If you sign up for an account using my link, I get 500mb free.)

CrashPlan — The service I use for online backup of my computer. Because once the photos are on your computer, doesn’t mean they’re safe there either. Besides offering great rates and service, CrashPlan is a local Minnesota company which makes it even better.

Data experts recommend a 3-2-1 approach to backing up data.

3 – copies (the original + 2 more)
2 – different types of media (hard drive, cd, flash drive, online, etc.)
1 – of the copies should be offsite

These aren’t your only options for phone backup, they’re just what works for me. Find a good system that works for you, but don’t keep putting it off. Those are irreplaceable files in your pocket — don’t lose them!


Mandy Dwyer is a child and family photographer in the Woodbury area. She owns Glimpses of Soul Photography, loves iPhoneography and regularly backs up her files.

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