How to Preserve Your Digital Photographs for Future Generations

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Taking pictures in the past wasn’t nearly as easy as it is now. During the 1840s, anyone wanting a photo of themselves had to remain completely still for about 20 seconds! Having your picture taken was also fairly expensive during that time.

Thankfully, as time progressed, it would become less expensive and more accessible for people to take pictures. You may remember the Polaroid craze that ran through the 1970s and 1980s. Primarily during the late 1990s and 2000s, the digital camera quickly rose to popularity.

As smartphones became widespread, the digital photography industry would never be the same. During this time, people purchased smartphones to take digital photos instead of spending hundreds on digital cameras. By the mid-2010s, smartphone users snapped more pics in a year than the entire history of film that came before it!

In this post, you’ll learn how to preserve your digital photographs for generations. You’ll also find out the most common causes of lost photos.

4 Smart Ways to Preserve Digital Pictures

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It’s understandable to assume that taking a digital photo keeps it protected. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. Protect your treasured photo collections with these digital preservation methods.

1. Consider Flash Drives or Hard Drives

An external drive is one of the easiest ways to store digital photography. Whether you use an external hard drive, flash drive, or something similar, all options are convenient for storing photos.

Using these drives for photo storage can create more space on your smartphone, tablets, computers, and other devices.

2. Use Cloud Storage

Cloud storage is another popular solution after you transform old pictures into digital copies. Services offering cloud-based storage are incredibly convenient. A cloud-based storage service works by taking files from a user’s device and storing them on another digital server. Then, you can access this information when connected to your preferred cloud storage service.

Whether on your phone or computer, you can also use Dropbox, Flickr, and Sync to preserve photos through cloud-based storage. Before moving pictures to cloud storage, ensure you use an encrypted and secure platform. It’s also vital to create a secure password, storing it in a location you won’t forget.

3. Burn to Blank Media

Depending on your age, you might fondly remember burning music, movies, and photographs to compact discs (CDs) or digital video discs (DVDs). An average blank CD or DVD can store plenty of media.

The only drawback to using this method is needing extra hardware. Specifically, you’ll need a disc writing drive to “burn” photographs on your blank discs. Unfortunately, most brand-new laptop and desktop computers won’t have CD or DVD drives. However, you can usually find a USB-connected disc drive for under $50.

A great tip for using blank media is always to label your burned discs. If not, you could quickly mix up your newly stored images.

4. Save Photos With an App

With over 8.9 million mobile apps in existence, many mobile programs can move and store your digital images. Most smartphones come with pre-installed cloud storage options. For instance, Android users can use Google Photos to store digital pictures. Apple users can store their photos by using iCloud, which comes pre-installed on iPhones.

Because so many apps exist, it’s wise to check user ratings before downloading and using a mobile photo storage app.

Common Causes of Lost Digital Photos

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While digital photography is incredibly convenient, it can sometimes be frustrating. Here are the most common reasons why people lose their digital photos.

Corrupted Files: You can do many things with digital photos, including saving, copying, and moving them. Typically, this process goes as expected. Sometimes, hardware or software errors instantly stop a photo-related process. These errors often result in corrupted and non-usable media.

Losing Access to Accounts: In the modern age, the average person has many digital accounts to use and manage. If you’re like most people, you recall dealing with a lost password. Fortunately, most websites let users reset their passwords. But if that’s not an option, your photos might be impossible to recover.

Server Migrations: Sometimes, lost photos happen for reasons out of your control. A recent example of this situation happened to the once-popular social media website MySpace. In 2019, a faulty server migration led MySpace to lose all user content uploaded before 2016. Among this lost content were millions of digital photos.

Deleting to Save Space: Depending on how many photos you have, space limitations can become significant problems. If your storage drives and cloud accounts are full of photos, you may have to delete some pictures to make room for new images.

As you can see, there are several effective ways to capture digital photos. If you’re unsure which preservation method to choose, use all previously mentioned storage options. Then, you’ll have peace of mind knowing you’re protecting your treasured photos.

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