I have been asked a lot recently what I do with the thousands of images I take, and how I organize and back them up. I have had no fewer than six friends recently lose all their images from the past few years. BACK UP YOUR PHOTOS!!!!
We all take tons of photos with our phone. I have an Instagram obsession, and am so glad I discovered ChatBooks. For every 60 photos I put on Instagram, I get softcover 6×6 books delivered to my door with my photos. Easy. My kids love these, and they are very reasonably priced. I ONLY use iphoto to store my iphone images – I take a ton, and this makes it really easy to sort through. I also do a 8×8 hardcover book each year through BLURB of all my favorite iphone/instagram images – those books cost about $100 depending on how many images I use, and I always upgrade the paper.
Everything else I import to my computer, and then back up to two separate hard drives. I keep one here, and I keep the other at my parent’s house. I also use Time Machine so if I have a crash, I have an immediate backup. I love DROPBOX and usually keep the current month’s edits or favorites in there, and I can also access final edits from my Photo Proofing gallery that I send to clients. For all of you who aren’t photographers, you don’t need that many back ups, but you absolutely must have an external hard drive back up for your photos. I also highly recommend Time Machine for peace of mind. External hard drives are not infallible, so you could also use an online storage site such as Carbonite or Backblaze. For my personal photo albums, I have used Apple in the past – I do three volumes per each year. These books are a good price – they aren’t amazing quality, but they are perfect for the books your kids are going to look through on a regular basis.
Organization-wise – I keep files like this. This shows my personal photo organization, but work photos are set up the same. Year>Date-name or activity
It makes it really easy to find if I keep it chronological. Everyone has their personal preferences, but for me that works the best. Hope that helps!