I was at my parents’ house the other day and was looking through some family photos that they have on a large book shelf. I enjoy looking at the photos because it’s always a nice little walk down memory lane. There’s a picture of me as a kid holding a puppy, one with my brother on my wedding day and then countless pictures of my kids (my parents’ grandchildren). There are tons of pictures of other family members as well.

It got me thinking. Why don’t we have framed family pictures in our house? Who doesn’t like feeling nostalgic from time to time? It’s not because we don’t have the pictures to frame. In fact, we have tens of thousands of digital pictures that we’ve taken over the past 11+ years since starting our family. And nowadays it’s even easier to take pictures because we always have our smart phones on hand to capture every single moment.

Why is that we take all these pictures but never do anything with them? Sure, we post them on Facebook or Instagram but do we do other than that? They just sit on our computers and we forget about them. If my computer hard drive were to blow up today, what would I do?

Here are four tips on what to do with your photos:

1) Make sure they’re all backed up. I wrote about protecting your digital assets on my personal blog about a month ago after my hard drive crashed. You should be backing up your computer with external hard drives and an online backup service like Carbonite. For smartphone photos, you can use the free Drop Box app to automatically back up every photo you take and every video you make.

This is a photo book my wife just made for Cam that chronicles his first year on the planet.

This is a photo book my wife just made for Cam that chronicles his first year on the planet.

2) Create a photo book. You can create some awesome-looking books at ShutterflyWalmart.com or just about any big box retailer. They have tons of templates to choose from. All you have to do is upload your photos, drop in some text and then submit your order. Next thing you know, you’ll have a great looking photo book to look through any time you want. It’s much better than trying to find old photos on your computer. One of my goals for 2014 is to create a photo book chronicling everything we did in 2013.

3) Use Groovebook to print up to 100 photos directly from your smartphone every month. Groovebook is a subscription service where you pay $2.99/month to print up to 100 photos in nice little 4.5″ x 6.5″ book. The photos even come with a perforated edge so you can easily remove them. At $2.99, you really can’t find a better deal. By the way, the $2.99 includes shipping and handling. Crazy, right? It is a subscription service but you can cancel anytime.

4) Get the photos developed. Okay, so we don’t “develop” photos anymore but you can get them printed at just about any retail store (Walmart, Sam’s Club, Walgreen’s etc.). You upload them through that store’s website and then pick up the printed copies that same day. You could also buy one of those photos printers if you don’t mind dropping some dough on color ink.

That’s all I’ve got. What are you waiting for? Do something with those photos right now before the memories fade!

5 Responses

  1. Mike V.

    Hey Jay – Great topic. I used Carbonite for a short while when we backed up photos and videos from our phones to the computer, but recently we made the decision to go “PC free” and now own only an iPad, iPhones and work laptops. We sold our 10-year-old desktop in a neighborhood yardsale for $25. Now we backup directly to external hard drives (from Costco no less) about once a month or whenever the phones fill up. We have a second drive which keeps a full copy of the first drive and that stays at a relative’s house in their safe. It gets updated infrequently. Our primary drive stays locked in a water/fireproof safe in our house.

    Also to note, if you are a Google+ user, there is an option to auto-upload all media. Nothing is posted or is visible to anyone but you. Not sure of the limitations there as well I’m sure the compression leaves quality a bit lacking, but none the less it’s an extra copy.

  2. Jay Lane

    Thanks Mike. I was really saved a couple of months ago by having my files backed up on external drives. I love that Carbonite can back up my files automatically so I’m protected in case I forget to back everything up. I know Google offers the ability to upload your photos to G+. I’m not sure what the implications are for putting your photos there (even if they’re private). It’s a viable option though. Thanks for joining the conversation!

    • Jay Lane

      Awesome. We saw it Shark Tank one night and thought it looked really cool. Good luck!


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