So last week we talked about what kind of camera to buy. today I want to talk a little bit about what you do with your pictures once you take them. now to me, it is unfathomable to not eject the little card and download the pics to your computer immediately after every event. My own darling mother, God bless her soul, will routinely take her card in every 6 months or so to target, have them “just print off everything”, and then surprise herself with either repeats of the same 6 months worth of pictures she had previously had printed, or surprise! find all her christmas pictures in June. i have talked to other people who think that their little SD card (the little card that goes into the camera) is like a second computer, just there to store pictures on. Others are good about getting them off the card and perhaps onto the computer, but that’s as far as they go. (and, full confessional here, I have been known to do some of each of the above in the past!)
BUT – I have learned better! i have had about three hard drive crashes in my life – which is more than enough to convince me that BACKING UP is important enough to become a way of life! i could probably write a whole book on this, so I’ll try to keep it to some good basic starting places for this post!
First – get your pictures off your card! You COULD just go and get them printed every couple weeks, and have them clear your card when they do it – but the beauty of digital is that you can KEEP those images indefinitely if you store them properly! Invest in a card reader if your computer doesn’t have one built in (some printers have this same capability) – but either way, get them off the card and onto a computer! Much more stable!
Once they are on your computer, make sure you have folders set up to put all the pictures into. I personally organize mine by year, then have month folders set up inside, and within the months i organize it by topic. I know this all sounds like it takes a lot of organization – but i promise you it doesn’t!
And then, this is the really tricky part – you have to BACK THEM UP! Burn them onto a dvd, put them on an external hard drive, or somehow save them to another source besides the computer. I used to be really fanatical about this, and maybe i need to get back there! I had them saved in four different places. This, of course, would occur only for the 6 months or so after a hard drive crash, and then I’d get lax on it again until the NEXT time my hard drive crashed. Now i just have a few good EHD’s (external hard drives), and i make sure to copy all my folder pictures over every month or so.
So now you have them all safe – do something fun with them!
I personally use Costco for my regular printing. Every few weeks I upload a bunch through their software and pick them up on my next trip through for 89 gallons of olive oil and 723 rolls of toilet paper. Seriously – they have AWESOME print quality, excellent customer service, and fun touches you can play around with (large prints, offsize/square prints, white borders, black borders, wallets, etc.)
so that’s about all the drivel I can think of for today’s fauxtographic session…. Keep those cards and letters coming with your questions!