Photography: Hard Drives & Online Sharing

I took this photograph almost three years ago during a stint of living in Tucson, Arizona.  I was on my son’s field trip to the Botanical Gardens and shot this while we were waiting with our group.  To be honest I forgot about this photograph until this week when I was browsing through my hard drive on a photo search.   
It solidified the following facts:

  • I take so many photographs.
  • I take photographs of so many things.
  • I clearly like to document our life.
  • A small percentage of my photographs actually make it online (via blog or social networking)
  • A very large percentage of my photographs are forgotten on hard drives
The Problem
I take more photographs (for myself) that I do anything with after uploading.
The Bigger Problem
Just because we can back up our photographs in so many ways it does not mean something could happen to them. I still do not know if we are going to be able to recover digital photographs from the first few years of my eldest son’s life.  We had them backed up on cds, which were lost in a move.  We had them saved on an external drive…which we think is somewhere in a box but has yet to be seen. I’ve been putting of the hunt hoping that they really are somewhere.  Luckily I have a few things printed out. But I did not print out or make it through more than a few pages in a scrapbook I began. 
The Sad Truth
How many of us take digital photographs and only really share them online.  When was the last time your printed off photographs? When was the last time you had a print bigger than a 4×6 and put up on your wall. If you have ever had your photographs printed out and have held them in your hands you know what it is like to be able to hold it in your hand. There is nothing compared to the lack of connection a photograph has on a computer screen.  The digital age is amazing but are we just taking tons of photographs, perhaps sharing select ones online, and not enjoying them at home?
The Solution
Photo books.  I want to start making yearbooks for my family.  I am trying to figure out how to execute this mission.  Perhaps I’ll see how far back I can go with my kids and begin there. Maybe I’ll start with 2013 and as I finish book work my way backwards.
The Rewards
I can have tangible books that my family can enjoy and relive memories.  They will also make great christmas gifts for the end of the year.  It kind of takes the next step over Christmas newsletters.  
So this is my plan to address the family photos of my family and hope will be able to show off some finish products as I complete this goal. 
Q: After reading this let me know what your thoughts are in regard to your personal experiences with digital photography. I would love to hear your story! 

*Photography belongs to Bonnie Rose Photography © 2007 – 2013 All Rights Reserved | 
  • Bonnie Rose

    Photo books are only really a solution if you’re a) not on a budget and b) not planning to move. I mean, what happened to your CDs could happen to a photo book, too, and books are heavy.

    It’s something I’ve thought about, though, backing up my photography. I have most of it on an external hard drive that actually belongs to my sister, some of it (the 14 GB of pics from July 2008 + recent ones) there as well as on my laptop, and a lot of older ones on CDs that are no longer convenient now I have a MacBook Air and no optical drive (though my old laptop has one, so I can get around that somewhat and should at some point transfer all those pics to the external for ease of browsing). If you have online hosting, you could try uploading stuff into your ftp servers. There are sites like too for that kind of backup. Even the photos we do share online aren’t really backing anything up, because – at least in my case – I share low-res edited-for-web pngs on my blog, not original files.

    I’ve yet to lose any photos (short of the one CD that got corrupted, but I really only lost a bunch of selfies), but it’s definitely not because of any effort on my part. Should probs think about that.

  • Bonnie Rose

    It’s so sad losing photos!!
    I love printing photos out, and I love looking through a file on an external hard drive and finding a forgotten photo. We have our wedding photos in a photo book and I love it, but it is quite heavy and keeping it in good condition isn’t so easy, but it’s worth it :) I really look forward to finally owning a wall that we’re allowed to hang a BIG frame on 😉

  • Bonnie Rose

    I used photobox after getting a groupon voucher for £25 for a 100 page photo book. I then used it to make a book of part of our time in New Zealand to see how it would turn out. It was amazing and I quickly bought up the next voucher I found and made a second one. Now we can share our adventures with family and friends and the quality is fantastic. I had a similar heart sinking moment when my computer crashed in college and I lost allllll of our family vacation pictures from our cross country road trip. I was the only one that had them. The memories will always be there, but that was devastating. I’m not a serial backer-upper in numerous places.

  • Bonnie Rose

    Great photo of your son!

    A friend and I have just recently been talking about working together to get our digital photos made into books.

    My husband has made a few in the past for gifts using IPhoto’s program, but have yet to make one for us! It take some time and effort! The quality of the IPhoto program is really good, but they rarely have discounts. I’ve heard good things about blurb, but haven’t personally tried it. And I just saw where Photobox has a 50% discount off of photo books until Sept 30. That’s the thing with those specials, you have to act fast!!
    I’ve recently been going through photos and have also found some good ones that I completely forgot about!! So far we’ve only lost a days worth when our camera was stolen. I have some from the day that my MIL took and our ITouch (which wasn’t the quality it is today). Most were grainy but at least I have them!

  • Bonnie Rose

    Photobooks are great! I make a photobook for every big trip we take, and it encapsulates and pays tribute to our memories so well. The trick is to get it done early or else it just gets harder and harder to put together!

  • Bonnie Rose

    Have you tried Blurb? I seriously love them. They make it so easy to make photobooks. They’ll even help you turn blog posts into a collectable book, so you can keep your favorite series and comments!

  • Bonnie Rose

    Have you ever seen Project Life? I really want to spouse it to make billions of albums – nothing like a proper photo album!