My phone and I got in a fight today. It had been warning me for weeks that it was running out of storage, but, just as I like to do with my gas tank, I let it ride. After all, I’m the one in control here. Not you, technology. Not this time!
Until today, when my phone, completely overloaded with a bazillion photos of the kids making the same face until I eventually got a smile, SHUT IT DOWN. No email. No camera. No Insta.
I felt so…powerless.
I know, sad. But it was a reminder of something that I had been needing to do for a long time — organize those bazillions of photos, and back, back, back ’em up.
I’m aware the standard procedure is to plug the phone into a desktop and save to the hard drive, but my iPhoto has actually contracted the same overload exhaustion as my phone, and currently refuses to work as well.
Plan B. I needed something web-based to accommodate all my various photo gadgets, and wanted easy access to said photos/videos. Partially for preservation purposes, but mostly for those days when I feel like going through the baby pictures and breaking down into an ugly cry.
Luckily, the glorious internet has come up with several ways to store, share, and print your precious memories:
Google Photo: This is the route I ultimately ended up going with, as it checked all the boxes for me. I can upload pics from any computer/tablet/phone, and organize it all into albums. Photos can also be easily downloaded onto any device, shared or kept private, and even tagged for reference later. The best part (for me), is there’s a little switch you can trigger that automatically backs up your photos/videos from your phone, and offers to help you out when you’re running out of space! It’s free up to a certain limit, but you can purchase more space if needed (I did).
iCloud: So the real reason my phone shut down wasn’t because I had too many pictures. It was because I had too many pictures in my text messages. You know those group texts where you all send each other the 50 pictures you took together, and then everybody comments on them, maybe saves them to their phones, and then totally forgets about it? Storage sucker. iCloud has this awesome feature where you can make shared albums with friends and family, and send pics/videos to them without taking up space! For example, I have a shared album with all the grandparents, where I drop in videos of the kids doing adorable things like dumping flour on the floor, and taking toilet swims. Here’s a great guide to get setup.
ChatBooks: Since I like to be pretty private about my kids’ photos, I only really share them on either my private Instagram, or my private family group on Facebook. ChatBooks is awesome because it pulls directly from your Instagram, and gathers all the photos you post into a pretty little book. There are a ton of cute covers to choose from, and it starts at only $14. There’s even an automatic option which will auto-ship you books once you hit a certain number of posts.
Artifact Uprising: I’ve filed this one under photo goals, since I just don’t have the time/patience to create a custom photo book (yet). But if I did, I would do it with AU. Their photo books are stunning, classic, and the quality can’t be beat. I’ve always wanted to make family yearbooks complete with stories and photos *makes mental note to get on that asap. Shutterfly and Mpix also offer digital scrapbooks, and usually have coupon codes to bring down the price.
Photo Boxes: If you have too many photos for an album, or just like the concept of printing out your pictures (like the good old days), I looove the idea of storing them in a keepsake box. Mpix lets you customize a perfect little photo-shaped box, which you can use to categorize and store your prints. Make a box for each child as they grow, or one for each year, etc.
What do you do with your photos? I’d love to hear more ideas and resources! 🙂