It’s 10 o’clock, do you know where your photos are?

If you’re depending on an online retailer to be the backup for your digital images, make sure you know their policies.

I got a friendly email this week from Paper Coterie that says, “A quick reminder about our 90-day photo storage policy. … Our photo storage policy allows us to store photos you haven’t placed in a project for 90 days. Photos that have been placed in projects will be saved for one full year.”

I wasn’t depending on Paper Coterie as my backup, but I do appreciate the reminder. Unless you’re paying for photo storage, there probably are limits to it.

Recently, Kodak filed for bankruptcy. I fully expect the company to emerge from bankruptcy stronger, but I would encourage a second backup for any photos you have stored in Kodak EasyShare Gallery because you just never know.

And if the only place you have precious photos is a photo card or computer hard drive, you are gambling because hardware inevitably crashes. Photo backups come in many forms:

  • Prints of digital images are backups. If you do nothing else, print your favorite digital images.
  • Storing photos in the cloud or other off-site server is a backup. Paper Coterie is among retailers who store your images for a certain amount of time before eliminating them. I checked Shutterfly and Zazzle, with whom I made Christmas gifts last year, and my projects still exist in both places. Linea (www.getlinea.com) is among other vendors who charge for unlimited long-term storage of high-resolution images. If you don’t know the storage policy of the company you use to print images, find out.
  • Backup your digital images on a thumb drive or external drive, and store the drive in a different location than the originals.
  • Negatives are a backup to printed images that were originally captured on film (remember film?). Do you still have the negatives?
  • Scan important printed images or albums. “Important” is relative, but heritage photos, baby photos, wedding albums and images of loved ones who have died would probably qualify as important for most people. Photo shops and photo organizers provide this service if you’re not interested in doing it yourself.

 

A gift every day of the year

What to buy for the person who has everything? Perhaps a new calendar. Customized with photos. Something she can use every day of the year.

I created this “huge” calendar at zazzle.com on Saturday for a special relative who really does have everything, and it arrived today. (Wow!)

By huge, I mean 14.25-by-22-inches open. It required 13 high-resolution photos (one for each month plus one for the cover, though you could choose layouts with more photos per page), and it took about an hour to learn and use Zazzle’s website. I wished for a bit more ability to manipulate details, but overall, it was easy to use and I like the final result on the high-gloss pages (the spiral binding, however, is looser than I’d like). Cost: Less than $24, including postage (I used a coupon code for a percentage off).

When my husband looked it, he said, “Looks great. Too bad it doesn’t last more than a year.”

Too bad, indeed. Before settling on Zazzle, I attempted to create a calendar on Creative Memories website, but I couldn’t figure out how to do the creation of it for free (I was willing to pay for the calendar, but not the software to create it — at least not for just one project). Creative Memories calendars are great because you can detach the photo part and insert it into one of Creative Memories PicFolio pocket albums, and then they do last for more than just a single year. If I am mistaken of the process of creation, please let me know.

In any case, I can imagine calendars like this would make even better gifts with just a little advance planning. If I would have taken a horizontal photo each month of this year, I could have used even more appropriate imagery. Or what about a customized calendar boy or calendar girl option? Imagine a child holding 12 different messages of love or riding 12 different forms of transportation or wearing 12 different darling dresses. Meaningful and fun.

On the cover, I included this quote:

“But what minutes! Count them by sensationk and not by calendars, and each moment is a day.”

~Benjamin Disraeli