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Friday Tech Tips

Safely Storing Your Photos

Get your photo settings straightened out in time for summer.

By Jim Calloway

It’s Mother’s Day weekend and that means summer is approaching. That often involves vacations with lots of candid photography.

And, once again, we will hear of people whose phone was lost, stolen or destroyed. Inevitably, they will say the worst thing was losing hundreds of irreplaceable photos of their friends and family members.

I hate to admit it, but that comment always makes me think, “Why didn’t you make sure those photos were safely stored?”

The answer, of course, is they didn’t know how.

Photo Storage Options

Google Photos. In my opinion, almost everyone should take advantage of Google Photos, which gives users free, unlimited storage for photos up to 16 megapixels and videos up to 1080p resolution. If your photos and videos are of a greater resolution, Google Photos will compress them for you. If you want to store your photos in the original higher resolution format, you can change your settings to “original quality,” but those uploads will count toward your Google storage limit. After your free 15GBs, Google will charge $2 a month (or $20 a year) for 100GB, $10 a month for 1TB, and all the way up to 30TB for $300 a month. But again, if you let Google “downsize” them for you, it will save a copy of all of your photos for free.

Here are a couple of short articles about Google Photos (I suggest you read them both):

iCloud Photos. If you are an Apple iOS user and just want to rely on your iCloud storage, then you will want to read this Apple article on iCloud photos to make sure you are doing everything correctly: 

Note that you will likely end up paying a monthly fee for iCloud storage unless you take very few photos.

Recently The New York Times ran a great Personal Tech column on how to tweak the automatic photo organization settings of these two services to make it even easier to locate specific pictures again in the future: 

Take some great pictures this summer (or this weekend) and make sure you don’t accidentally lose a single one.

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calloway Jim Calloway

Jim Calloway is Director of the Oklahoma Bar Association Management Assistance Program. He is a co-author of the ABA books “How Good Lawyers Survive Bad Times” and “Winning Alternatives to the Billable Hour: Strategies That Work.” Jim blogs at Jim Calloway’s Law Practice Tips and co-produces the podcast The Digital Edge: Lawyers and Technology. Follow him @JimCalloway.

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