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Pictures – how I organize, store and share them!

October 20, 2012

In our ever evolving technology-based world we live in, there are endless ways to store, share and take pictures.  On our son’s first birthday I realized I needed to get an external hard drive for multiple reasons but mainly because I had over 32 gigabytes worth of videos and pictures from just his first year of life!  32 GB!!  Now this included plenty of HD videos, which are pretty large files, as well as an overwhelming amount of digital pictures.  Even though I wasn’t using a DSLR camera til after he turned one, which taking pictures in RAW also quickly added on to the gigabyte usage.  So I solved this by getting a 2 terabytes external hard drive!  Who knows how many years of pictures and videos I’ll be able to store with that much memory – all I know is that it’s a LOT of space – hopefully more than enough space for many years of photos and videos to come.  🙂

Some ways that we’ve captured memories without sacrificing our wallet is to take our own photos.  For his newborn photos we just set up a little studio in a room where there was lots of natural light, hung plain fleece fabric up and had a few extra hands on deck too.  We didn’t have any special high-tech equipment, just a regular point and shoot digital camera.  We also did some searching online to find some ideas for poses for the photo shoot and the end product was just perfect!

In terms of sharing photos with friends and family, the easiest way is to find a free online picture archiving and sharing service like Shutterfly, Photobucket, Flickr, Snapfish, etc. where you have endless choices of what you can do with your picture collection.  I chose Shutterfly because I was already familiar and comfortable with their online setup and found it easy to use.  Shutterfly also offers endless products to showcase photos and always has specials!  They also offer a sharing site you can set up yourself where your friends and family have access to whichever pictures you choose to share and can even order prints for themselves!  (A little secret – if you’re looking to save money printing photos – check out all the above mentioned sites and create multiple accounts – they’re always offering free x amount of photos for new members!)  🙂

Such photo archiving sites are also a perfect way to have a backup of all your photos too – which in this day and age, you’ve got to be vigilant in backing up everything in more than just one place!    I also create discs of photos and videos every few months and store them in our fire safe security box.  I’m not going to take any chances loosing priceless, one of a kind memories!  And don’t just assume that whatever hardware you have won’t crash on you, because it will – it comes with the territory of modern day technology.

In terms of video storage and sharing, I just use YouTube.  When I discovered that I can post videos AND control who can view them (private or unlisted option) I stopped looking any further.  Besides the ability to control personal settings on each video, I can also upload videos taken on my phone directly to my YouTube account too!  The easier it is for me to keep up with videos, share with others, etc. in the least amount of time, I’m all for it!  It’s already a full-time job to keep up with photos, videos, D’s blog and my own projects on top of my many other responsibilities!

With regards to ways of keeping up with all the cell phone photos too, I use Google Picasa (not the actual program, just the online portion linked with my Gmail account.  Since I have an Android based phone which utilizes Google applications such as Gmail, I simply upload the photos to my Picasa site and then save them to my computer from there.  Best idea ever!  Picasa is also another great way to store, share, and organize your photos online and on your computer via the downloaded program (free).

The one site I kept from mentioning is the ever obvious Facebook site.  Of course this is a great way to share photos with friends and family but lots of people are vigilant about doing so, which is completely understandable.  Just ensure that you understand and use the security options.  Whichever method you choose to store, organize and share your photos, always keep in mind how your child is going to feel in the future about these pictures being online.  It’s your child’s privacy at risk too, so don’t share any photos that could be used later in their life against them for whatever reason (ie. naked baby photos, etc.).

There is one other technology which is pretty new but quickly becoming the norm is “cloud” technology.  This essentially saves your specified data in your “cloud” so you can access it remotely from any device, anywhere, any time.  You’re data is essentially stored in a server.  I don’t really know much about this new and upcoming technology as it’s just a little too far out there for me (personal preference) but keep this in mind as another possible option for your pictures and other data.

I hope this post wasn’t too much information.  This was a topic which I never thought about when having a child so I wanted to share my personal experience and how I organize, store and share our family photos.  Please comment below if you would like to share any additional information that I didn’t cover.

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