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.