Recently my iPhone stopped working and the only 2 things that concerned me were – when did I last download my photos and had I backed up the data?

Turns out it was 6 months since I’d backed up my photos and sadly it was 2 years for my data. Thus reinforcing the importance of regular backing up in my life.

If you are anything like me – a mum, who uses her phone to take shots of the kids and the dog, then you will likely have thousands of images on your device!

Photographs are our most precious memories. Since the introduction of digital photography things have changed a little in the way we manage, store and look after our photos. Here I hope to provide you with some simple steps to help ensure you always have a back up of your precious memories.

Step 1 – Backing up on a cloud

There are many online options to back up your photos, such as: Dropbox, Google Photos, or Microsoft One Drive. They can be set up to automatically back up on a regular basis. The costs start at free to a monthly or annual fee depending on how much data you wish to store.

I also recommend using your computer to back up your phone. This can make things so much easier if you have to get a replacement, as it will set it up as you had it before. If you are using your computer as your backup, I also recommend having a regular backup hard drive for that one too. 

Step 2 – Hard drives

Which leads me to my next suggestion – hard drives. With the cost of hard drives so affordable now, I can’t recommend them highly enough. Depending on what data you have on your computer, a 1TB drive is a great starting point.

I recommend having one as your working drive where you copy across your images and data/files on a quarterly basis. Then have a second hard drive as your automatic back up. Using this drive you can set up your computer to do a fully automated complete computer back up (such as Time Machine on Mac).

Whatever you do, put a regular reminder, or two, in your phone every 3 months to be safe.

Storing the hard drives in a safe location is important as they can be easily damaged if dropped or knocked over. To really ensure your back up is safe you could make an additional copy and store in an off site location, such as at your parents.

I personally prefer hard drives versus cloud storage for my photos from a privacy perspective and back up speed.

Step 3 – Precious Memory Organisation

I have found over the years that I have a better memory of finding a photo by the time of year. I categorise using the year, month and a small detail of the event at which the photos were taken.

Here is an example how I organize my photos…

2021 Our Family

1. Summer getaway Middleton

1. Ollies Cricket game v Glng

2. Ediths bday party

2. Indoor lacrosse

2. Family lunch at Seacliff

3. Around here

3. Edith at the beach

3. Trip to the city

Step 4 – Print Your Precious Memories

Printing photos is also one of the best ways to ensure you have them for a long time as well! By using one of the online print groups such as Snapfish, Kmart photos or Harvey Norman can save you even leaving the comfort of your lounge room! Simply select and upload your chosen photos directly from your phone to be printed. I recommend printing your favourites collection on a quarterly or annual basis. 

Every year I also create an annual photo book (6×6”) from the photos on my phone using an app. I find that I take a lot more shots with my phone than with my bigger camera, so it’s a better reference for what we did in the year.

I use the Photobook app but there are plenty around. It’s quick and easy and no editing is required! Plus I can do it in the evening when I’m relaxing. Check their shipping cost as it may be expensive. They will also vary in their quality so give them a go and create a beautiful memory of each year! 

I hope these steps have planted a few seeds so you take the preventative action to ensure that your precious memories are never lost again!


Connect with Carly:

Facebook: Photography by Carly

Instagram: @photographybycarly_adelaide

LinkedIn: Carly Mangan

Website: www.photographybycarly.com.au

Meet Carly Mangan from Photography by Carly


Carly Mangan, Photography by Carly

Hi I’m Carly (hence my business name! 😉 and I’m a Hove-based photographer that loves “Capturing people with heart”.

Since 2004, I’ve been behind the lens snapping people’s stories and the most important moments in their life – mainly weddings and family shoots, and now businesses too! Whatever the project, I’ll bring you heart and soul – and of course, professional looking photos and products for you to print, frame, blow up or post on social media!