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Where to Learn about Digital Rights Management (as it relates to personal use)

Digital Rights Management

DISCLAIMER: I am not an attorney and will give you no thoughts or opinions on this topic; however, I will give you information that I have found so that you can make up your own mind as to whether or not you want to risk using the music that is not public domain or creative commons.

Now, that’s out of the way, so here we go.

Copyright laws cover all creations whether books, videos, music, photos, etc. For the purpose of this post, I will only be talking about music.

I have researched DRM, Copyright Infringement, and Fair Use. So, the best I can do is give you an overview and links for you to review. The risk, of course, is greater when you show your video on YouTube or in another public venue ) or you sell the video. Even if your video is “private” on YouTube, you may be found guilty of copyright infringement. Your risk is decreased if the video has a low distribution and is not shown in a public place or in a way that the music can be copied to bootleg. 

Although you are always advised to give credit, you need to know that you are not protected by that if the owner decides to pursue a copyright infringement claim.

So, the questions you need to answer is this: how broadly will your video be shared and in what venue? How much risk am I wiling to take?

I have used popular music in some videos I have made because I was sure the audience would be extremely limited. I have also used popular music by altering it in way that it could not be counterfeited. by splitting it with different audio or just using a short piece. I know my videos are not being shown on YouTube. If they were, I would use creative commons music with attribution.

DICTIONARY

Copyright – the exclusive right to make copies, license, and otherwise exploit a literary, musical, or artistic work, whether printed, audio, video, etc.: works granted such right by law on or after January 1, 1978, are protected for the lifetime of the author or creator and for a period of 70 years after his or her death.

The following types of works are protected by copyright:

  1. literary works
  2. musical works, including any accompanying words
  3. dramatic works, including any accompanying music
  4. pantomimes and choreographic works
  5. pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works
  6. motion pictures and other audiovisual works
  7. sound recordings
  8. architectural works

Creative Commons – a set of various licenses that allow people to share their copyrighted work to be copied, edited, built upon, etc., while retaining the copyright to the original work (sometimes requiring an attribute).

Digital Rights Management – a set of technologies that enable the control of what the person can do with the intellectual property of others.

Fair Use – reasonable and limited use of copyrighted material so as not to infringe upon copyright(usually related to education or critiques)

Public Domain – the status of a literary work or an invention whose copyright or patent has expired or that never had such protection.

A work is in the public domain if it is no longer under copyright protection or if it does not meet the requirements for copyright protection.

The Public Domain includes:

  • Works published in the U.S. prior to 1923
  • Works whose copyright has expired or was not renewed
  • Works which do not qualify for copyright protection
  • Works created by U.S. Government employees in the scope of their employment. 

Works in the public domain may be used freely without the permission of the former copyright owner. It is highly recommended that you give proper attribution, however.

We, at Make Photo Memories, have access to many Creative Commons pieces of music, as well as approved YouTube music, and will be glad to create a unique soundtrack for your video.  Just know that these music scores will not be “popular music.”  We are providing a service to you and will be glad to abide by your wishes, but if you want to use popular music (copyrighted music), we will ask you to sign a letter of agreement stating that you understand it is your responsibility to research and seek legal advice as needed regarding the use of copyrighted music.

How to Tell a Compelling Story with Photo Videos

How to Tell a Compelling Story

1. Have a clear central message

Begin your creation by identifying a clear message that you want to convey to your audience. As you work through the story, you will build up to and around the central theme.

    • Identify your message.
    • Determine who your audience is and if the message will connect with them.
    • Choose an emotional entry point. Stories can create emotional “sticky memories” by tapping into emotions. This is an emotional entry point and they can happen throughout the video. Decide how your first “sticky memory” will look. You will probably have more than one – maybe many.  For some videos, the very first image, or title page, will create the moment; for others, it may be introduced later.  Maybe it isn’t an image at all. Maybe it is a quote.
    • Keep it simple. Too many details can derail the story line and the message you want to convey.

2. Have a clear structure

Stories generally have movement and photo stories are the same. There is a usual structure that all stories follow:
 

A. HOOK

The purpose of the hook is to make a promise to the viewer that the story will be significant enough to be worth their time. Another way to look at it is as an opener or attention getter. A hook can be a question, a quote, or an image – or any two of the three. In many ways, the hook is often the first emotional entry point.

B. BODY = BULK

The body is where the story unfolds and the majority of your images and video clips will reside. In the case of the photo video, it is actually considered a photo essay. It is a series of images that tell a story. It focuses on visuals instead of words. Here is where the fun begins!
 
    •  Decide the order of your video. Will it be chronological, event-based, or a new creative way to tell the story and connect with your audience? It is really your choice.  For example, perhaps you want to show the joys of living in a family by showing a collection of get-togethers. Or, perhaps you want something a little more powerful and thought provoking.  This is your creative time to shine!
    • Although the goal is primarily to tell the story without words, you can ON OCCASSION, add a caption or intersperse quotes. 
    • A word of caution: if you simply state a chronological order without introducing a creative element, you will tell a story, but may lose some audience interest.
    • One way to move through chronology is to use transition pages in your video. A single page can convey the message that the viewers are moving to another part. Transition pages can really be fun.

      Think about transitions in your story like chapters in a book. Transition pages are a great way to suddenly change the flow and introduce new topics, or sometimes give a bit of additional information. Not all stories need transitions, but it can greatly enhance the video. For example, this video was created by the parents, to surprise the bride and groom at their reception. It showed them growing up and growing together into a couple. 

    • As you develop the body of the photo video, think about elements that would create emotional entry points throughout. Audio overlays bring in another element and while the audio flows, images can be viewed.  An example of this is a video I did of my father. My niece interviewed him for a school project and he told great stories about growing up. I used his voice telling the stories and old photos to illustrate the growing up period. It is a very effective way to communicate.

Another example is baby sounds that you captured. You can play the baby sounds while showing multiple photos.

Audio can be pulled from a video which then can be used elsewhere. Have fun with this!

C. END

The ending of your video is basically your conclusion. It let’s your viewers know that the video is over. It is also an opportunity to revisit your hook. You can show it again or end by referring to it in some way such as restating the quote or interesting fact.

      • Resolve any questions or conflicts may may have arisen during the video.
      • End in away that ensures your audience thinks about the video long after it is over (another hook and another emotional entry point or sticky memory).
      •  The ending can also be a reflection of what was shared.

D. PERSONAL REFLECTION

After the video is designed in your storyboard, it is a good time to do personal reflection on the story you are telling. Doing the reflection from the storyboard prevents rework on the video itself. Not to say you won’t want to change a few things up, but personal reflection will help you clarify you goals.

      • Is this relevant?
      • Was the message clear and compelling?
      • Did I build in emotional entry points?
      • Did I design it for the intended audience?
      • Do the majority of my images stand alone, without commentary?
      • Will this video activate “sticky memories”?

If you answer yes to these three questions, you will have a great, compelling story!

How to Choose a Photo Video Title

how to chose a photo video title

How to Choose a Photo Video Title Based on
3 Key Characteristics

So, is the title really that important? YES  it is!

How to choose a photo video title is sometimes a challenge. The title has to be the right length, in the right way, and with the right message.

You’ve heard the saying, “Don’t judge a book by its cover.”  Hogwash — a book is usually judged by its cover – which contains THE TITLE! The title is usually what causes a person to pick up a book in the first place and flip through it.  It’s the first impression! 

It’s the same with your photo video. Often, the title creates interest and wonder making your viewers want to keep watching or move on. That is why it is very important to know guidelines for how to choose a photo video title.

Remember, you are telling a story. 

Would you rather read “The Giving Tree” or The Boy and the Tree? “Where the Sidewalk Ends” or A Book of Poems by Shel Silverstein? It is all about choosing the words.

Characteristics of Good Photo Video Titles

Length

The ideal length for a title is 5 words or fewer; however, if you must go longer, it is a good idea to try to break it into a title and subtitle. Also, be aware that in some instances one word will work, but that can be a little harder to do. The word has to have significance.

I have broken the 5 word  rule before. Yep. I actually titled a video with an eleven-word quote from Shel Silverstein and it worked because the viewers loved the quote.

“All the colors I am inside have not been invented yet.”

Let me give you another example. For one video I created, there was a signature word that kept coming up when people were asked to describe the subject of the video. The word was LOVE. Now, I could have titled it Love, but instead, I used “Where Love Resides” and began the video with a Bible verse about love 
(I Corinthians 14: 4-8). Then, the theme of the video was the person showing love.

Emotion/Impression

Impression is an idea, feeling, or opinion about something or someone. Impressions and emotions go hand-in-hand. It is imperative that the title evokes emotion or creates an impression. 

Does the title create an emotional response, or a memory? Does it create interest or anticipation? That is exactly what is needed for the characteristic of emotion/impression. And you want the viewer to feel the need to see more.

Let’s go back to the illustration I gave earlier “Where Love Resides.” Some say that LOVE is not considered an emotion, but it evokes emotions such as happiness, contentment, trust, etc. Actually, emotions are often defined as being seen in facial expression. Complex, I know, but the bottom line is how do you feel when you hear the title? 

Clarity

This last characteristic is fairly basic. Is the title clear? That doesn’t mean you have to give everything away in the title, but it does mean that the title should be transparent or pure. If you try to be too clever the clarity may be lost.  This is not the place to play word games or use puns or current slang. You can, however, use current expressions in your title. Remember, the title is part of your work and will be tied to the video for generations to come. 

This DOES NOT mean the title should be dull. Far from it. The English language allows for a lot of variation and titles with a bit more originality will be most successful. You can also have a play on words like Back to the Future !

 One more thing about clarity. Increased clarity also works to help increase memorability. 

Let's look at some cool examples of (book) titles...

In this section, we will have some fun so let’s just take a minute to look at best seller titles from Amazon. You know that publishing companies have very sophisticated methods for choosing titles – so let’s see what the experts came up:.

choosing title

Title: Royal

Immediately makes me think of stories about kings, queens and other royalty.  It immediately gives me a general idea of the topic and let’s me know that if I would be interested or not. This also tells me that if I don’t like stories about the royals or period pieces, I probably won’t like it.

The title is very easy to remember and is clear! 

Length: +++++
Emotion/Impression: +++
Clarity: +++++

Title: Becoming

The one-word title is very inspiring and elicits thoughts of hope and betterment. By definition it means the process of coming to be something or of passing into a state.

The magic of a title like this is that it conveys the possibility that if she did it, you can do it too and she will share how. You know it is a book of hope – just by the title.  Becoming implies ongoing improvement.

Very easy to remember and intriguing but it doesn’t really give away what will be found inside. 

 Length: +++++
Emotion/Impression: +++++
Clarity: +++++

Title: FEARLESS: The Undaunted Courage and Ultimate Sacrifice of Navy SEAL Team SIX Operator Adam Brown

Oh my gosh, that is a mouthful!  But, the primary title is FEARLESS. and that alone lets you know this is not a leisure read. The subtitle immediately pares down the audience with the specifics. You know exactly what this book is about and you probably know if it will hold your interest.. The word Fearless is easy to remember and the title is further modified after the colon. A great way to handle such a long title. 

Just from the full title, I can also determine if this book is not for me – for example maybe I don’t like high action, adrenalin-producing books.

FYI: The initial title was: Fearless: The Heroic Story of One Navy SEAL’s Sacrifice in the Hunt for Osama Bin Laden and the Unwavering Devotion of the Woman Who Loved Him (!)

 Length: ++
Emotion/Impression: +++++
Clarity: +++++

Title: Where the Crawdads Sing

This title is pretty good – gives off a great vibe to the point that you can almost smell and hear the low country.  It hearkens images of the bayou, mosquitoes, and southern food. But notice, there are no details to really give the story line away. It leaves just enough question that you want to know more. And based on the down-to-earth title, it seems this is a book about down-to-earth people. If I like action books, maybe this oone is not for me.

In reality, the name called to me and I read the book. By the way, I loved it!

Length: +++++
Emotion/Impression: ++++
Clarity: ++

Recap: How to Chose a Photo Video Title

  1. Consider the essence and tone of your video. Do you have a central theme?

     

  2. Review your photos to identify any patterns that emerge. Do most of the photos involve sports, or music, or family, etc? If so, perhaps that is incorporated into the title.

     

  3. The ideal length for a title is 5 words or fewer; however, if you must go longer, it is a good idea to try to break it into a title and subtitle. Also, be aware that in some instances a one word will work, but that can be difficult to do unless (there is always an unless) the person has a single word that they tend to live by. 
  1. Can you interject a little mystery and intrigue with the title? Sometimes the title alone will pique enough interest to draw the viewers into the story. Be creative without being being too complex or trying too hard to be clever.

     

  2. Let your title contain key words or phrases that describe the main theme, person or idea of the video. Keep it clear, meaning not cliched or jumbled. And – make sure it is easy to say. I have seen titles that are really difficult to enunciate — let alone, remember.

NEXT STEP: Grab a notebook and start capturing all of your title ideas. Then go through and ask how well they meet the characteristics.

So, there you have it! Hope you got some inspirational ideas from the best seller titles. Yes, I know you aren’t writing a book – but you are telling a story just as they are! 

How to Integrate Digi-scrapping in Photo Videos

how to use digi-scrapping in photo videos

Using digi-scrapping in photo videos is a fun and creative way to marry two great ways to tell stories.

Scrapbooking Then and Now

Digi-scrapping is the new form of scrapbooking and will also work in photo videos! Scrapbooking was a great rage a few years ago and remains a wonderful, creative way to showcase photos. I have to say, it requires great skill to make it look good – a skill I don’t seem to have. My pages ended up like a child’s art project. But it was fun purchasing the beautiful papers and getting my glue sticks out.

However, there is a downside to traditional scrapbooking. It takes a lot of time and materials AND it is costly over time. Plus, all that beautiful work is in a single, physical book. Hard to share.

So, along came digital scrapbooking (digi-scrapping) – a way to scrapbook using a computer. Digi-scrapping relies on templates (which are reusable) and you drag and drop your images into the template, add your personal touches and text and you have a beautiful page ready to print and put into your own scrapbook or send it off to a print company and have a book made. The possibilities are endless for design! The templates can range in price from free to $4 and up for a one page template. This too, can become costly over time – but remember, it is reusable.

There are many digi-scrapping software programs; however, they are often limited to prints or photo books only and do not have an output for photo videos. Some even require monthly payments of $5 – $20 a month to use the software. Again, this really adds up fast.

So, I want to recommend a cost effective alternative program that serves many purposes.

As you know, we, at Make Photo Memories, are really big on photo safety, organization and the ability to edit photos so that you can use the photos creating great videos.

After a lot of trial and error, we chose Photoshop Elements 2018 (PSE) to manage our own photos. Their latest is PSE 2020 with new bells and whistles. They usually come out with a new version about every 2 years. If you watch for a promotion, you can pick up a current premier version for under $100. Or, you can go to eBay and purchase the last version for much less. Premier lets you create the videos.re

Photoshop Elements (by Adobe)

  1.  You can organize and tag your photos
  2.  You can create albums or groups of photos
  3.  You can edit your photographs with impressive editing options
  4.  You can have photos and albums printed professionally, if you choose, or print them at home
  5.  You can create projects – including slide shows, order gifts, etc.
  6.  AND, you can create digi-scrapbooking pages using templates you purchase or get for free.

You do NOT have to pay monthly fees to use PSE and older versions continue working until you are ready to upgrade. This makes it really cost effective. I usually upgrade every 4 years.

A Marriage Made in Heaven

Now, I am also all about photo videos, so how do we marry the two? 

The digi-scrapbooking pages can be saved as an image and be added to your photo video just like any photograph! That way, you get the best of both worlds. It is just a very exciting and creative avenue to tell your stories.

In reality, you can create an entire deck using scrapbook pages designed in Photo 

Shop Elements (PSE.) You can actually create your own templates. And, there are a lot of instructional videos on YouTube (links at the end of this post).

Here is how I use those special scrapbook pages:

I create my videos in Corel Video Studio (but there are many options), and I pepper these scrapbook designed slides in to enhance the video and provide a little variation. In photo videos, I like to use “fancy slides” for an entry or title page, for an ending page, and usually on transition slides. If I need to create a collage, scrapbook templates are a perfect way – and a little text can be added (very little if you plan on adding it to a video).

I love this hybrid option and Photoshop Elements (PSE) Premier will even let you create and share a video!

  1.  You can easily edit your photos and then create an album in PSE to hold them until you are ready to tell your story. The albums act like any photo organization system but you can be selective as to what you put into each album. This alone saves a boatload of time when you want to retrieve them for a project.
  2.  You can continue enjoying scrapbooking creativity.
  3.  The page sizing is modifiable so if you like 12”x12” or 8.5” x 11” or smaller because the program has you covered.
  4.  You can print them from home or send them to a print service from within the program. Or, just save them as an image for later use.
  5.  Inside the program, there are options for other fun projects such as calendars, etc.
  6.  The biggest benefit is that when you upload photos into your vault from an event and catalog the photos in PSE, you can immediately open a new album and add the best photos, so that it is easy and saves time when you create a photo video.

PSE Premium has an option to create a video – the creativity is somewhat limited – but to start out, you can try it. The program itself is awesome and I highly recommend it. Check it out!

Conclusion and Links

For about $100 you can have an all-in-one software package that not only manages your photos and allows you to create photo videos, but it will also let you use templates to create scrapbooking layouts!

Take a look at these videos to learn how to use scrapbooking templates inside PSE!

Family History Fanatics

Digital Scrapbooking HQ

Digital Scrapbooking Tutorials by Veronica Spriggs

Becky Higgins

 

BONUS: If you want to create nice pages but have no money to spend on a program, try free Canva, Microsoft Power Point, or Google Slides. The pages can be saved as an image (jpg) and be used in photo videos. And, Microsoft Power Point will also create a video that you can share. Adobe Spark is also a free option.

Don’t be afraid to color outside the lines!

 

How to Share Photo Videos with Others

how to share photo videos with others

How to Share Your Photo Videos

Think for a minute about these statistics: 

In a single minute, we send out 277,000 tweets; share 2,460,000 pieces of content on Facebook; post 216,000 new photos on Instagram; and upload 72 hours of new video on YouTube.

(source: https://www.shutterstock.com/blog/the-psychology-behind-why-we-share-on-social-media)

We live in a day and age where we can share our everyday life in a matter of a few seconds – and according to the statistics we do!. We like the connections sharing creates. We like to create videos to capture the important moments in our lives and we take photos for the same reason. It is fun and rewarding to share our life with others.

HOWEVER, the ultimate reward is when we can pull the best photos and videos together, tell a story – AND share that video story with family and friends!

See, when you share a single photo it is only capturing a shutter-speed moment in time. It doesn’t tell a story or convey more than the image itself.  BUT, when you put other images, video clips and music with it, a story begins to emerge!

That’s when magic happens

But, you might be thinking – a picture is easy to share and I have no idea how to create a great video – let alone share it!

Well, if you have been following Make Photo Memories, you know that it is possible to create a nice photo video story and to share it with others – in a safe and secure way. 

How to Share Your Photo Videos with Others

In my mind, the best part about creating photo videos is the opportunity to share them with others.  It is really much easier to do than you might think.

Sharing the Photo Video on a Device

One way to share your photo video is to copy it onto a device and give the device to someone so they can play it on their TV or computer. Devices to use:

      • Flash drive (thumb drive)
      • DVD
      • Blu-Ray disc
  1. A flash drive is very inexpensive and easy to use – just plug and play. Your recipient will need a computer with a USB port. Newer televisions also have USB ports. If you want to share with multiple people, you can go to Amazon and purchase a 20 pack of 4 GB drives for under $50.
  2. A DVD is another easy way to share. You copy the video onto a DVD and share it with your recipients to play on the computer or on a DVD player. To do this, you will need a DVD writer (common on most desktop computers. You might need to purchase an external writer if you have a laptop). And you need some blank, writable DVDs.
  3. The last way is the most costly, and that is creating the video as a Blu-Ray. To do this, you would need a Blu-Ray writer and Blu-Ray discs.

Sharing the Photo Video Online

 Many people are hesitant to share their videos online because they are concerned with privacy.  That is a good concern to have and while all online sharing options give you privacy options, for some, you MUST remember to make it private. Here, I will introduce you to three common sharing methods:

  1. YouTube is a great free platform and you can make your video public, private or unlisted. YouTube is very easy to use, even for a novice. and there are a ton of “how to” videos out there (on YouTube, of course). You must set up a free YouTube account to post videos. Here are the options:
    • Public is just what you think it is. Anyone can find and watch the video. This is NOT the recommended way to share your personal photo videos because of privacy issues.
    • Unlisted simply means the video will not show up in a search or in subscriber feeds, BUT anyone with the link can see it and share it. 
    • Private means you have total control over who sees your video. The only way to access it is if you have been given a link AND it is not shareable by others. The URL cannot be shared by others either.  This is our recommended way to share online.

2. Dropbox, a cloud storage service, is another fast and easy way to share photo videos with others. You give them a link and viewing privileges and they can access the video. The downside of Dropbox is that there is a size limit for the free version which may or may not be enough to hold your video. If you have multiple videos, at some point you will have to purchase more space. You can sign up and get the intro storage amount, but if you gets friends to sign up, you will get extra space for free.

3. Facebook is well known for photo and video sharing. When you share with Facebook friends, friends of your friends will be able to see and view your video. If you use Only Me, your video will be shared to your Facebook timeline, but it will only be viewable to you. That isn’t very helpful. What you can do, is remove the Share button so no one can share your video with others. In this current crazy world, I would not advise anything personal on FB, especially if images of children are included.  We do NOT recommend using Facebook to share personal photo videos due to privacy issues.

 

When you create (render) the video for sharing via flash drive or online, you will want to determine the best file type. Generally, I save my videos in multiple formats to give me options in how to share them. These are the formats I generally use:

MP4, MOV, WMV

SUMMARY: When you pick your video creation software, make sure it renders at least MP4 which seems to be the most universal (Windows, Mac, mobile devices). 

Cool Tools:Thumb Drives for Photo Backup

thumb drives for photo backup

Thumb drives for photo backup are the rage. Are they worth the hype?

Have you noticed lately how many new photo thumb drives, like Photo Stick, are being advertised? And the second question is – are they worth it? Maybe!  Transparency here – I do not own one. I use hard drives, software to prevent duplicates, and an organization program (Photoshop Elements). But, if I were just starting out – you bet I’d give one of them a try. Especially if I am not techy.

If you are wondering what I am talking about when I say thumb drive photo backup …  There are new USB devices on the market designed specifically to simplify photo backup. These plug and play devices are pretty cool! They “see” all photos on your drives, will quickly download them to the USB stick, and it will identify and prevent duplicates, which is a headache if you try to do it any other way. They vary in size from small to fairly large. 

As with anything new, there are positives and negatives. For the thumb drive, the biggest negative is that they are small and easily misplaced – sort of like a small SD card. 

The biggest positive is that they are great for non-techy people. Very easy to use and scour all locations to make sure all photos are captured.

Quick Story

Let me tell you a story about losing a small photo storage device – an SD card. I know someone who went on an awesome once in a lifetime vacation and used her phone with an SD card to store all of her photos. When she got home, she popped out the SD card — never to be seen again! It’s so small that it’s hard to tell what happened to it, but the point is, it was lost before they got to back them up. Sad story that maybe could have been averted.

Well, anyway… I’m going to give you  links to a number of photo backup USB devices and if it is on Amazon, you will get that link because it will tell you about the product, but more importantly, you can see reviews and ratings from other users. BEWARE – Verified Purchasers are your best option of getting accurate and honest reviews.

We ARE NOT affiliate marketers and do not benefit from purchases you might make. We just wanted you to know about this Cool Tool!

A Few Links to Check Out

Jeff’s Tech Advice 

This is a great photo backup gadget review! To be fully transparent, this is an advertising platform, but there are reviews of  4 gadgets. The devices were scored on specific criteria:

  • Ease of Use for Beginner
  • Storage Size Options
  • Price
  • Perceived Hardware Quality
  • Instruction and Support

This is worth a look, especially if you are new at photo backup,want a simple solution, and don’t have hours of research time.

How to Avoid Destroying Your Photos with Editing

destroy photos with editing

How many mistakes were made in the edit of this picture? Can you spot them?

I’m a hobby photographer – well, mostly just a picture taker who likes to capture special moments in my life. Like everyone one else, I have a cell phone and I know how to use it . . .  the camera, that is. As a result, like everyone else, I take a lot of pictures that sometimes aren’t very good. And, sometimes I try to fix it (like the photo above) and really mess it up. This image is WAY over-edited. I figured if a little sharp is good, a lot of sharp is better! NOT!!!  So, let me share a few tips with you about editing. 

But, I have a safety net – THE PHOTO EDITOR!

Photo editing puts the power of perfection in the hands of all photographers and especially us hobby picture takers. I can crop, change the lighting, remove the ugly and demonic-looking red-eyes, and even whiten teeth! I can make a cloudy day look sunny and a sunny day look cloudy and  make muddy water a Caribbean blue.

BUT,  how much editing is too much? When do we lose our “story” in pursuit of perfection?  How do we know we have gone too far?

In this post, we talk about 5 common editing mistakes and how to avoid them. We also provide you with a comparison of our favorite FREE options for photo editing.

Destructive vs. Non-destructive Editing

A common mistake seen with new editors is not knowing and understanding the difference between destructive and non-destructive editing. Why is this important? If you have destructive editing and you edit the original and save it, the image is permanently changed and the original is lost forever.

Destructive editing is the term used to describe edits that actually make permanent pixel changes to the image. As a result, you lose the original image (it is destroyed). This may be alright is some cases, but for the most part you will want to keep the original. This is the most common form of editing (used in Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Photoshop Elements, and GIMP).

Non-destructive editing, as you can figure out, is when the editing process doesn’t change the pixels within a photo. The software package creates a new text file for the edited photo and links it to the original file. When done, you export the edited image and now you will have two copies. Non-destructive editing is used in Adobe Lightroom.

Solution: Assume that your editing tool is destructive and save a copy of the original. Edit the copy. When your photo is edited to your liking, you can rename the file and delete the original, if you want. I usually keep it.

1. General Over-Editing

The saying less is more is very applicable when it comes to photo editing. Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. Have you ever seen a woman who has so much make-up on she doesn’t look real – or good, for that matter? Too many edits will result in a similar situation that looks neither real nor good. If the editing is the first thing people see when they look at your photo, then you’ve probably overdone it. You can enhance the photo, but remember to keep the essence of what you are trying to say.

Having said that, now I will say that you can be  ‘artistic’ and pull out the stops and have loads of fun with effects, but know that it will not be the same image or story.

Solution: Always edit on a copy and keep the original.

Original
Over edited
Over-edited by a long shot. Sharpened, light adjustment and color and brightness adjustment.. Also cropped with the subjects moved to the middle. Not good!

2. Too Much Sharpening

Sometimes you will have a great shot but it isn’t in focus – in fact, most images can benefit from a little sharpening. To improve the image, you can use a sharpening tool to make the image appear more crisp.

Warning: Whereas the degree of sharpening applied to an image is often a matter of personal choice, over-sharpening an image can create a halo effect around the edges which you don’t want.

over sharpened
Over Sharpened - notice the white areas
Original

3.Color Correction, Touchups, and Balance

Color correction is one of those edits that separate pros and amateurs. Remember that photos are telling your stories, so leave the colors as realistic as possible. Am I saying don’t enhance colors? No, but be cautious with color adjustments such as saturation. Stay true to the story you are telling.

Color balance is the adjustment of intensities of the colors. The goal is to edit so that the colors are more accurate. Although when we talk about color balance, we think of the primary colors, right? But, there are also adjustments for gray, neutral and white balance.

The key to contrast is knowing when enough is enough and there is little wiggle room in achieving perfect contrast.  Too much contrast is a frequent problem for newbies. A key to achieving good contrast is knowing the light sources. For example, if the sun is shining on the scene, less contrast is needed.

Let’s talk about “selective coloring.” You have seen photos that are monochromatic except for one pop of color. For everday photos, it is a really nice touch for artistic purposes. I know that some say that selective coloring is not popular anymore – but it is really your preference. I usually like how it looks – especially for framed print.

One last color adjustment we need to talk about – those on the face — primarily eyes and face. Remember – the goal is to keep the colors true. And, bright, blinding white teeth are really overdoing it! You can adjust the color of teeth but keep it real. The other risk area is eyes. I have seen eyes that were given extra shine (reflection) or are a vivid blue or green. Scary. However, make sure you correct the red-eye  effect, which occurs when the camera reflexes off the retina. 

Bev_20170218_120511_Summit
Original Photo
photo too much face touchup
Serious and Poorly Done Facial Touch Up
bettertouchup
Realistic Touch Up

Yes, I know it is tempting to erase years from your age and make the photos look amazing – but it doesn’t really tell the story, does it? I naturally have very blue eyes, but they aren’t a vivid blue (I wish). And I have well-earned wrinkles – which I can erase, but that’s not being true. The third photo has a few touch ups but keeps the essence. For example, a few wrinkles around my mouth are smoothed, but not totally faded and I brightened the teeth. 

4. Chop and Crop

Cropping is simply the action to remove the outside edges of a photo and is a great tool when used effectively. Good cropping draws the eye to the most important element in the image. A good crop can make or break your photo. But, chop and crop carefully.

      Cropping Tips

  1. Don’t crop out parts (elements) of the picture that actually help tell your story.

     

  2. Conversely, do crop out elements that add busyness or no value to the photo. Consider offsetting the main element of the photo (unless a portrait). Familiarize yourself with the Rule of Thirds for photos.


    The rule of thirds simply states that if you take a blank screen (think viewfinder on phone) and divide it into 3×3 sections (9 total), the resulting grid provides a guideline that helps you choose where to place your primary elements. The concept works with cropping AND framing the photos you take.

  3. Cropping faces will look better if you do not crop so the face fills the screen to avoid a cramped look (and an obvious crop).

     

    But, what if you really want an impact like just eyes, etc – then do it. You can crop for a dramatic, artistic impact. 

  4. Body shots – try to not cut off limbs in a strange way. It just looks weird. Also – try not to cut part of the head off. Does that mean you can’t crop a subject’s body? No. Just make sure it looks intentional and not accidental.

     

  5. Make sure you keep the original in case you crop poorly – or, you may someday want the whole original image.

     

  6. If you don’t know about The Rule of Thirds, take a look at this post. It will help with cropping.
B-V Minn
Original Photo Showing the Beautiful Waterfall
imageedit_23_6134252969
Cropped

The cropped photo is a nice picture; however, with the beautiful waterfall in the background, it is easy to see whey we were smiling so brightly.  The full photo shows the whole story.

5. Converting to Black and White

We’ve all seen stunning images in black and white – think Ansel Adams. 

In general, there are a couple of  considerations when you are determining whether or not an image is a candidate for conversion to black and white.

  1. What do you want to accomplish with the image? How will it be used?
  2. Next, consider the value range in the photo meaning look at the lights and darks.  Photos with broad ranges (values) will be the best if converted. One way you can judge value is to stand back and look at the image through squinted eyes. When you do this, you are looking for shapes and borders. If it looks fuzzy and you can’t see the lights and darks clearly, the photo may not be a great candidate.

Speaking of black and white – have you seen this technique? I love it.  The majority of the photo is B&W or grayscale, but you choose a pop of color to leave visible. This is called Selective Color.

In this photo, the building was a pretty pink, but the brightness of the building overshadowed the beauty of the hanging flowers on the balconies along the Grand Canal in Venice.  

Here is the story I wanted to tell – I was in Venice on the Grand Canal (I left a little of the water);  the buildings were fantastic (I included this stunning building with the beautifully shaped windows), but the flowers hanging from balconies along the canal were breathtaking. (I used a color box technique to show the flowers).

This looks hard, but it is quite easy to do with free editing tools such as LunaPic using the color box option.   

Summary

Editing and playing around with photos can be great fun! You can totally exercise your creativity. 

Here are a couple of parting thoughts:

Know your photo editing program forwards and backwards. Taking time to learn now will save you headaches later.

Only do edits to copies of the original. That way, if you totally mess up and can’t undo it, you have the original to fall back on. I always use “save as” for my edited photos and name E_Name so that I know it has been edited. 

Have fun, but remember to tell the story. Most of our stories are wonderful just the way they happened!

 CONFESSION TIME: I love to play with phone apps that take off about 30 years and 30 pounds! Oh, the good old days!

How to Choose Organizer Software for Digital Images

photo organization

How to Choose Organizer Software for Digital Images

I think every house in America has at least one container of LEGO bricks. LEGO – one of the best inventions since penicillin! Unless, of course, you’re the one stepping on the bricks or cleaning up the mess.

What is the link between LEGO and photos? It’s the chaos and lack of organization found in both! You know what I’m talking about.

Just think for a minute:

  • What would it mean for you to be able to quickly find the special photos and videos in a matter of seconds?
  • What would it mean for you if you could actually enjoy your photos and videos without the gut-wrenching search process?
  • What would it mean for your budget if you could not only find and tag the best photos, but also be able to share them – beyond Facebook or Instagram?
  • Um… What would it mean to have a LEGO system that the kids enjoyed so much they actually did it? Yeah, I’ve never seen one either.

This  post comes from my own failure to stay on top of our photos and videos until the stash looked like a LEGO pile – crazy, scary, and out of control. I convinced myself I could use structured file folders in Windows to organize my photos. Oh my gosh, what a nightmare. It was labor intensive, was only marginally successful, and too much to keep up with. NEVER AGAIN.

Oh, and then I tried to create folders based on where the photos came from like: Bev’s Phone, Vince’s phone… Again – disaster.

I never enjoyed my photos because I could never find what I wanted, I had to sift through too many folders and, just like the LEGO bricks, the photos were spread out everywhere. I actually thought it was impossible to get a handle on the chaos. Do you know that feeling?

In 2005 or so, we thought our problem was solved and actually, it was! We began using Picasa, a free Google organizing and editing software. Picasa allowed us to edit, tag, use facial recognition, and let me make and share albums. I could find my tagged photos with ease. It made a huge difference in our ability to enjoy our photos and videos. Our struggling was over – WE THOUGHT.

Then in 2016, in true Google fashion, they decided that they’d no longer support Picasa . I couldn’t believe it! We had put our heart and soul into this program and they just pulled the plug (with some lame excuse about “the wonderful” Google Photos taking its place). We can still use Picasa on the PC to organize and edit, but for us, the BIG question was – which Windows update will be so incompatible with Picasa that it will it stop working altogether?  What are the alternatives?

Having the luxury of Picasa got us hooked on the power of a photo organizer and we knew we didn’t want to be without one. Especially since doing photo projects is one of my absolute favorite activities, and with the software it was so easy to find what I wanted. Photo gifts had become my “go to” gift. Heck, I’ve gifted family and friends with calendars, videos, collages and even an apron with photos on it. I didn’t want to give it up, but I had to have an organizer.

So, my husband and I began scouring everything we could find on organizing digital photos.  You’ll be happy to know, we found a suitable replacement for Picasa and we’ll share our choice in this post.

JUST SO YOU KNOW – we are not affiliate sellers for any products, so you can rest assured we aren’t pushing for a profit. We aren’t professional photographers and we don’t work for any software company. Our thoughts are just our own.

Choosing a photo organization system (or sometimes called a Digital Asset Management System) is like choosing storage for LEGO bricks.  It takes time to choose the right one based on a number of factors – like space and ease of use.

If it’s not easy, it won’t get used.

Understanding Photo Organizing Software

For those of you not familiar with photo organizing software, it is a workflow manager for all things photo related. The focus is on providing a structure and organization and making it easy to manage large volumes of digital images. Basically, you point the software toward your picture collection (the ONE place that you keep all photos) and the program creates a catalog of all your images and videos. It does NOT copy your pictures, but just indexes them using the exact file structure you use in your collection which we will now call the collection vault

image organizer

After the photos are indexed, you open the program and see a gallery of all your photos as well as the folder structure. The better organizers allow you to manage files from within their program. For example, you can move, delete, or rename form within the organizer and the changes occur in your file folders. It makes life easy!

image photo gallery

Understanding Metadata

The actual organization process begins the minute a digital photo is taken. For each image, a file is automatically created containing a set of data called metadata. Metadata stays with the image and can be understood by other software and computers regardless of the format. That is because with a still photo, there are more than 400 metadata tags that can be contained within the EXIF (exchangeable image file format) metadata.

Metadata falls into three types of information (plus an interesting fact):

  • Utility – information such as the creator, date, and location (many have geotagging and can show the location in map programs).
  • Descriptive – information that describes the image such as captions, ratings, tags, and keywords – all the things you can add to help you search easier.
  • Rights – this is all about copyright, etc. Very useful if you are a professional photographer.
  • FACT: Forensic analysis of metadata is frequently used to solve crimes! Was the photo altered? When was it really taken? Who took it?

The best organizing tools allow you to add tags, keywords and ratings which get added to the metadata in each photo. In fact, some will let you do tagging in batches. We’re talking about the metadata, not to be technical, but so that you can understand the significance of adding tags and keywords. The new information helps define the picture forever.

On the right side of this image, you can see some of the metadata, but  notice, I have a Metadata tab that will tell me loads of things.

image of metadata

WARNING:

A photo organizer is NOT a backup system for your photos. It only indexes (or catalogs) your images. By this, I mean it only gives you a quick way to view your photos.

Five Steps to Choose an Organizer

The goal here is to help you choose a photo organizer that fits your budget, needs, and busy schedule. An organizer is no good if it doesn’t save you time! So how can we help?  By providing you with our personal assessment of some photo organizers on the market and by giving you the exact same tool to use for yourself.

If you follow our step-by-step process, including instructions for using the tool, you’ll see the magic, too. Remember, when you read our reviews they are based on our opinion and what we observed when trying to use the software. For every one we didn’t like, there are many people who loved it. At the end of this post, I’ll tell you which product we chose.

Photo Organizer Selection Tool

Click on the button below to get your free Photo Organizer spreadsheet! 

This tools works best if you have a Google account  because you copy it and can use all the features and even modify the tool!  

If you don’t have a Google account, you can view the tool to see our scoring and click on the links to take you to websites. And, you can also download into Microsoft Excel and modify the table.

The calculations are based on formulas in some cells, so we have locked those cells to try to prevent mishaps.


button Photo Organizer Selection tool

Follow the process to get the best results.  Although, non-Google accounts can’t actually modify anything, the premise can be used for anyone. The better effort you put into the scoring, the better your answer will be for the best organizer for you. 

Step 1: Make a wish list of features you want in an organizer.

There are features that you will want your organizer to meet. Just know that you will probably not find the “perfect” program, but with the scoring tool, you can identify the one that best fits your wish list. Maybe you’re thinking that you don’t know enough yet to have a wish list. Not to worry – we’ve got you covered.

Our tool has a built-in wish list based on not only what we wanted, but what others wanted too.

Under each wish list item is a weighting number of 1-10. These numbers indicate how important the wish list item is for YOU. For example, for us, Facial Recognition, Tagging, Can Map to Any Drive, and File Management were our most important items and we weighted them as a 10.

In the tool, you have the option to change the weights for each feature. You can have multiple items with the same weight. The magic comes from the calculations done in the tool.

Step 2: Go to the Definition and Scoring tab. Print this if you can.

Each wish list item is briefly defined. There are three levels of scoring 1, 3, or 9 and each score is further defined to ensure that the scoring is standard. The explanations must be so clear that anyone can pick up the scoring sheet and understand how to score.

If you want to change the scoring options (1, 3, 9), you can’t – sorry! The reason: this is a tried and tested methodology frequently used by businesses to clarify their decisions. If the scoring gets too cluttered, clarity will not be achieved.

Step 3: List the Programs to Be Evaluated

We have done fairly intense research and found that there are tons of organizers. Way more than we wanted to review. Feel free to use the list we provide or do your own research. If you only want to look at free programs, they are denoted in our list with an asterisk (*).

You will note that some programs are listed, but not evaluated. We left them in the list for your reference because at some point they were recommended, but we didn’t review them. Feel free to continue our evaluation by opening the links, going to the website, perusing help files, or whatever you need to answer as much as possible.

You can actually add a few products of your own at the end of the list, if you choose.

Step 4: Begin Scoring

This is the hardest and most labor intensive part! You must follow the definitions so that you know the scoring is consistent. My husband downloaded and tested each one he scored, but you can also get many of your answers by looking at the user guides, forums, etc.

Use the Definition and Scoring tool to guide your evaluation. Don’t make assumptions. If you can’t find the answer, just leave the box empty.

Step 5: Decision Time

The last step is to review your results and make your decision! The Ranking is the accumulated score (number of points earned) whereas the Score is a percentage. For example, 93% means that it met our 93% of our wish list.

Have you decided?  Tell us in the comments which one you chose (or are leaning toward) and if you have a minute, tell us why. That’s the beauty – there is no right or wrong.

REMEMBER

  • Just like LEGO kits, you have to read the user manual or you’ll only get frustrated.
  • Just like LEGO, you can create some good stuff from chaos.
  • And, just like LEGO, you will be rewarded for a job well done!

image completed LEGO beetle kit

AND THE WINNER IS…

We chose Adobe Photo Shop Elements 2018 as our photo organizer. I purchased it from Amazon.com for about $70 (sometimes they have sales) and I figure I can get 4-5 years of use before I have to update. It’s worth $12 a year to me.  So, I was good with spending the money.

Overall, I have found their help to be pretty good if you know the terms to search for, and often I didn’t. So, I ended up buying a used book (Photoshop Elements 2018 for dummies) from Amazon (I think around $7) to help me learn it more quickly. It is very good! I still get stuck sometimes because it is so feature-rich and I was so used to Picasa, but I’m adjusting nicely.

I get asked why not just rely on Google Photos or iPhotos to get organized. Well, neither is horrible, but I like to have total control over my image sorting and tagging that goes beyond date or geolocation. I also LOVE facial recognition, which is available in both programs — although it can get people mixed up at times. Off the top of my head, I would say that Photoshop Elements is correct 85-90% of the time (this is not scientific, just a best guess).

I also like that I have the program on my computer and don’t need an internet connection (I can spend time tagging photos while we camp or are traveling in the car).

And, lastly – I am skeptical putting all my trust in a third party. I even do my own backups (topic for another post). Just as Google pulled the rug from under us with Picasa, I don’t ever want to be in that position again.

Am I a control freak???  Maybe….

OR, maybe I just like all my red LEGO bricks to be sorted together. ☺

No Fail Photo Backup Strategy

backing up photos
back up photos because of fire danger

Take a look at this photo and you’ll see why I am such a stickler for doing backups of our photos. You are looking at a forest fire – and no, we weren’t in it, but fire has hit pretty close to home a time or two! With a forest fire, there is no warning and you have minutes to get out.

Hundreds of catastrophic events occur each year such as forest fires, house fires, floods, tornadoes, etc.  These events wreak havoc with “things” we wrap our memories around.

When I wrote this post originally, we lived in the Colorado foothills at an altitude of 9000 ft above sea level. Now we live on the Atlantic side of Florida — with hurricane risk.  Whether it is hurricane or fire, risk is part of life.  And with proper preparation, the heartache of losing photos can be avoided.

In Colorado, every summer we would go through a period of time where the fire danger is extreme. We have to plan as if our house will burn to the ground and we lose everything. When we moved to the mountains, we knew the risk and decided we could live with it.  We lived in fear the first few years worrying about everything. But then something changed. 

We accepted the fact that we couldn’t protect EVERYTHING we loved, and decided our photos were the most precious of all because they can’t be replaced and they represent our memories.

Do you know, I have the only existing photo of my great-great grandmother who walked in the Trail of Tears? It is scanned and turned into a digital image, of course. Pretty cool, huh?  If I lose that photo, I’ve lost family history for generations to come. 

Knowing we have this risk, we have put plans in place to secure our photos. We have tubs of printed photos and thousands of digital images. We are in the process of scanning the printed photos, but until they get digitized, we shuttle them to a safer place during high fire season. UPDATE: The scanning is complete – nearly 8,000 photos scanned, backed up, and done!!!

 

Now, are there any Downton Abbey fans out there???  Mr. Carson says (S4, E4)…

"The business of life is the acquisition of memories."

I agree with that, but may I take the liberty of adding to it?  The Make Photo Memories version… 

The business of life is the acquisition and the preservation of memories so that generations after us can know the life stories that came before.

Backups the Homeland Security Way

There is only one way to make sure your precious photos are safe from harm, and that is to back them up regularly. We often put it off citing that we don’t have time, but the reality is, if they are important enough to you, you will find the time! For the purpose of this post, we are only referring to digital photos and videos (“media”). Scanning (digitizing) print photos is a whole other story.

There are three things we often hear when we talk about backing up photos:

1. I don’t worry because I use the cloud storage provided by Google or Apple. 

2. I load all my photos to Facebook, Flickr, SmugMug, etc. 

3. I have absolutely no idea how to back up my photos and I’m not very techie. Do I really need to?

Can you relate to any of these statements?  If so, keep reading….

Before we start addressing the three reasons, I have a confession to make.

I work with photos all the time and I have screwed up, deleted files, had a quick panic attack, and had to rely on my backup to bail me out! It happens to the best of us — ONCE (and sometimes more). Then we learn and vow that it will never happen again. 

1. I don’t worry because I use cloud storage provided by Google or Apple.

Truth is – that is a great start because those services have their own backup process and as long as they stay in business and you keep the account, you not only have storage, but you also have an offsite copy of your photos.  HOWEVER, having only one backup of those files is not good enough to consider it a reliable backup solution. We will get to the suggested solution a little later. 

Now, there are a few things to consider. In order for these to work, you must set your device to allow synchronization. Google, and perhaps Apple, give you the option to only synch when you are on WiFi which saves your data plan.  You can make the changes in your settings.

Your synch should be set to the fullest resolution allowed. Google will compress images over 16 megapixels; however, unless you want to make poster size prints, you should be OK. No compression worries with Apple.

What I have found is that these services mirror your phone but they are not especially easy to search. Google provides a set of auto tags, which I have found to often be inaccurate.  I have heard similar complaints about Apple.

If you delete synced photos from the Google Photos app, it will be deleted from everywhere – your device, the Google Photos app, the Google Photos website, and your file manager app. This will happen even if your Backup & Sync feature is on and whether you’re using an Android or iPhone.  There is a way to remove them from your phone and keep them in the cloud, but YOU MUST KNOW HOW YOUR PROGRAM WORKS!  Apple  works very much the same way. 

Although we like Google Photos as an offsite backup, we don’t rely on it as our sole backup. We use an external hard drive because we find it easier to access and retrieve.

Google Photos — works with Android phones or tablets and iPhones or iPads to upload photos and videos to Google cloud servers.

Pros

  • Reliable cloud storage as long as you have a Google account.
  • 15 GB Free storage (above and beyond what is considered “unlimited”).
  • Unlimited storage for photos up to 16 megapixels in size and videos up to 1080p resolution. 
  • Option to upload only when on a WiFi connection.
  • Has some limited photo editing features. 
  • Also works on a PC or Mac — or even an iPhone.

Cons

  • Full-resolution photo/video storage (above values under ‘Pros’) counts against plan storage limit (above 15 GB is not free).
  • The 15 GB free space also includes your Gmail and Google Drive files.
  • Google has pulled the plug on some of their photo apps in the past (like Picasa). 

Apple iCloud Photos — works with iPhone, iPad, Mac and other devices to upload photos and videos to the Apple cloud servers.

Pros

  • Reliable cloud storage as long as you have your Apple account.
  • 5 GB Free storage.
  • Has some limited photo editing features. 
  • Also works on a Mac or PC.

Cons

  • 5 GB vs 15 GB for Google (free storage).  It goes fast!
  • The free space also includes your email, messages, and documents.
  • No app for Android devices (but Android has an app for iCloud photos).

Both Apple and Google highly recommend that you make your own backup and not rely solely on them for photo backup. 

 

2. I load all my photos to Facebook, Flickr, SmugMug, etc. 

Online photo storage through a site such as Facebook or Flickr is an alternative if you are limited on funds. or feel technologically challenged. But, you have to know and understand the pros and cons of these sites.

Also, just like Apple and Google, they advise you to create your own backup of photos and not rely solely on their services.

Now, there are many, many services such as these and they are generally easy to use and allow easy sharing. Below is a small comparison chart of three well known sites. 

Caution: Some (most) are photo sharing sites and you are responsible for making your collection private. In addition, using a site like this means you are relying on some else to provide the platform and are therefore subject to any changes in the terms of service they desire. 

Over the years there have been many “posts” saying that if you post photos to Facebook, they own the image. Let’s get real clear about that –no, they do not own your images. Copyright protection applies to your images. However, there are unscrupulous people who will lift the images of others and pass it off as their own. You may be subjected to this violation on any site that shares photos.

photo online servers

3. I have absolutely no idea how to back up my photos and I’m not very techie. Do I really need to?

OK, we have addressed the first two common reasons we hear, and although the cloud storage is great, in all cases they advise you to make your own backup copy. 

The first two options give a false sense of security. So, YES, you need to do your own backup. And we believe Homeland Security provides the single BEST backup plan.


3-2-1 back up best practice

Homeland Security 3-2-1 Back Up Plan

So, how might this look for you if you do the bare minimum?

3-2-1 for you

A Few Quick Hits You can Implement Immediately!

  1. If you are not using the auto backup provided by your phone provider, do so now.  If you have Android or Pixel (or even Apple) you can use Google Photos. Apple, of course has their own backup called iCloud Photos. Either one is good, but you have to set up your phone to auto synch. We strongly encourage you to do so.  WARNING: Know your program. If you remove a photo from your phone, does it remove it from the Cloud?

    What if you don’t have those options? Then look into Amazon Photos – especially if you are a Prime member because it is free.  Even if you aren’t a prime member, extra storage cost is pretty low. There are many other photo storage solutions available, but most of them have a monthly fee.

  2. If you want to leave your photos on your phone, then copy them from your phone to another source – perhaps a desktop or laptop computer. Make sure you do not move them (drag and drop) from your phone to the device. Keeping this synchronized requires discipline and reminders because it is a manual process.

  3. If you want an additional measure of safety, also copy your photos onto an external hard drive or flash drive. A quick search on Amazon will show you that there are devices for every budget. I would suggest you purchase the largest capacity you can afford.

If you’re still not comfortable and want to know more, check out our $7 comprehensive eBook.  The first backup is the most crucial, but you will feel the relief as soon as you get it done. Your worries are gone!

The eBook will tell you everything you need to know plus provide cheat sheets and other hints and helps. We give you the information you need to make informed decisions. We also tell you exactly how we do our own photo backup. The eBook also gives you access to a comparison chart of storage device options and cloud services so you can make the best choices for your time and budget.

photo-backup-eBook-image

Remember

“Don’t let perfect be the enemy of the good!”   ~Gretchen Rubin

Click below to get the Backup eBook. Only $7 !

A Beginner's Guide: Back Up Photos Like a PRO!

Introduction
Understanding File Size and Storage
Best Practice
Step by Step Plan (complete with cheat sheets)
How to Maintain your Backup Strategy
Inside Look at Our Personal Backup Process
Budget Friendly Options
Wrap Up

Bonuses: 
Comparison Chart of the Most Prominent Cloud Providers
Back Up Device Comparison Chart
Free File Synchronization Software (Link Provided)
Tips peppered throughout the book