Don’t Become a Part of the “Lost Generation”

The digital photographs you have taken are part of your life history. In the past, we had albums and prints to recall these special times. Many people can tell their life story with printed photographs. But…there is a problem…a really serious problem. Today almost all photographs remain in digital form. A microscopic percentage are ever printed. Those digital files are extremely vulnerable.

Since the digital photography era began over 15 years ago, all of us have begun taking…and using…digital images to tell our stories. For most people, these photographs grow more important with each passing year. The majority of people taking digital photographs don’t back them up or even catalog them in some way. What value is a digital image you cannot find? For that matter, what good is a backup stored on a medium that no one supports anymore? Remember floppy drives, zip drives and jazz drives? Will CD’s and DVD’s be next? Probably.

I can honestly report that I’ve heard hundreds of stories about lost camera cards, lost phones and crashed computers. Many times the most valuable thing on these machines is the digital photographs. These photographs are gone, unless you have a plan!

Now I could go on and on…but here is a more compelling presentation from a great photographer. This is a TED talk video from professional photographer and memory evangelist Kevin Gilbert. It’s entertaining and it will certainly make the point and offer some great solutions. I hope you take a few minutes to watch. If you don’t have time…read the article linked after the video.

YouTube player

Here is the link to the article I spoke of =

Now that you are motivated…here’s what to remember.

  1. Backup and organize your digital photographs right after you shoot. If the photos are on your cell phone, connect it to your computer and copy your original photo files to the computer. Your phone is not a safe place for long term storage.
  2. Name your photos and organize them. Programs like iPhoto make this easy and fun.
  3. Consolidate your photos to a central location. Backup everything in 1 place, then go to step 4.
  4. Make multiple backup copies of your library. At the least, have your entire “library” of photos on a computer, an external harddrive and in the “cloud”.  Services like Apple iCloud, Google Drive, and make this process extremely easy.

Here at Walsh Photographic Design we take extraordinary steps to safeguard the photographs we take for our clients. Multiple backups on-premises and off-premises. But, truth be known, my personal images have been just like yours….scattered on computers, backup drives, tablets and phones. Until now! Today I use a new program called “Mylio” to catalog all our images and share them between all our devices. It’s pretty amazing. Check it out at There is a small learning curve, but the tutorials are excellent and you’ll love the results.

Just one more thing. I hope you’ll take a minute to ready my post “I Believe”. It might change the way you think about your photographs!

Question: Have you ever lost photographs?

  • Do you have good backups of all your photo files?
  • Can you quickly find your older images?
  • Do you make prints from your favorite images or are they lost on your hard drive?

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