If you look closely at the picture above, you can see the outline of my camera in my pocket. One hour later, that camera would be gone for good. It slipped out of my pocket on a ride and I never saw those hundreds of Disney photos again. Fortunately, I used Disney’s PhotoPass to capture photos of my niece and me in front of big theme park landmarks. Unfortunately, I don’t know where those photos from 2010 currently reside (except for this one, which I used in a project).
Before I knew better, I used to “back up” my pictures to CD-ROMs and USB drives. Then I would delete them from my computer to make room for more. There are several problems with this method: only one copy of each photo, easy to lose/misplace formats, and lack of organization in my CDs and thumb drives. The Disney trip pictures are not the only photos I have misplaced; half of 2012 is missing, too.
Let’s go back to losing the camera itself. What if I had uploaded my camera photos each evening at the hotel? What if I had secured the day’s memory card and put a fresh one in each day? Before you leave on a big trip, think about how you will back up your photos while you are still gone. If you’re using a camera or phone’s camera with WiFi capabilities, upload to the cloud each evening. Otherwise, have another backup plan. This will limit your loss if something happens to your camera.
Also, make sure your camera and phone pictures are backed up before you leave for a vacation – or even locally being out and about. Things get misplaced and stolen more often than we’d like to think. It’s good to back up your photos after each major event, or at least monthly.
Your print photos are fragile, and you are aware they can be damaged by so many environmental factors. Don’t forget that your current, digital-first photos are vulnerable, too, and take steps to make sure today’s memories last well into the future. Take preventive steps as a matter of habit and you will have less to lose if things go awry.