What do you do after your wedding photographer sends you all of your wonderful wedding images? And how or where are you supposed to save them to make sure they last well beyond your lifetime?! Well there are lots of options you should consider in order to be well covered, so if anything were to happen to one saved location, you would have another to fall back on. To ensure you never lose your photos I recommend having:
Photographer Hosted Wedding Gallery
Online Cloud Storage
External Hard Drive
Photographer Hosted Wedding Gallery
A photographer hosted wedding gallery is the one you receive from your photographer in order to download and share all of your images. These are typically on management sites like Pic-Time, Pixiset, ShootProof, etc. where the photographer can manage thousands of high quality images in a streamlined and elegant online display, without adds or marketing from the hosted sites.
While it varies for each photographer galleries will stay active for up to a year if not longer, as long as the photographer continues to store files on the site. These galleries take time and money to manage, so your photographer may apply subscriptions after a set amount of time to offset any costs to running their business. We recommend keeping your site active to give you peace of mind, knowing that you have the highest quality photos accessible at any time online. Because these are sharable galleries all of your family and friends will also have access, meaning that you don't have to fight through sending large files over email or risk reducing the file sizes trying to share them. Another amazing bonus; these galleries are all connected to Fine Art Print companies to ensure that the correct files are always used for printing! No more accidental screenshots sent to print (I know a few grandmas guilty of this).
A photographer hosted wedding gallery is a great first back up for those looking for an online cloud storage, that is easily accessible, with simple navigation and sharing for all your guests, plus family.
Online Cloud Storage
Similar to your Photographer Hosted Wedding Gallery, any other online storage option you prefer will mean that your files will have a cloud back up for you to access. Some popular choices are Dropbox, Backblaze, or Google Drive which offer some free storage, but most will be based on a subscription to host any additional files. If you already have an account with an online cloud company, then looking into saving your files here or increasing your cloud coverage if needed may be the way to go!
The main difference between a separate cloud storage compared to the photographer hosted gallery will be your ability to easily share files and its connection to fine art print sites. It's never a bad idea to have both!
External Hard Drives & Flash Drives
A hard drive simply defined "is the hardware component that stores all of your digital content. Your documents, pictures, music, videos...Hard drives can be external or internal." (Sited Here) So for example your computer or laptop will have an internal hard drive. However knowing which type of hard drive to save your files on, as well as how to maintain them, will make all the difference for your images longevity and safety!
The first main difference to consider when selecting a hard drive is choosing an HDD or SSD. To avoid boring you with all of the technical aspects the main difference is that HDD's are data written on disks (example: your computer uses one), while SSD are the more modern storage system on flash drives. Here is an infographic of their pros vs cons:
You may notice that HDD drives are recommended for storing photos/movies. This is true if you are only accessing the drive every so often and not relying on it for daily use. They are cost effective and get the job done! Here are a few I recommend:
However the top of the line storage will be an SSD external memory drive for all of their pros listed! The fact that most are shock/water resistant means in a home emergency they will likely survive much better. Or even if you are just moving into a new home, traveling with an SSD is the superior choice. Here are some I recommend:
Any of these devices will be perfect for storing your images within your home for offline access. Make sure you are saving the highest quality files to your hard drive directly from your photographer's gallery! Many drives include at minimum 1TB of storage, so including other important documents or images from past/future years is totally ok. However, these are tech devices that can unfortunately fail or expire, which is why pairing this with an active gallery or online cloud coverage is so important!
And last, but certainly not least, get your photos printed! This may not seem like a way to save your photos, but trust me you will never regret printing out some of your favorite memories. While online and offline digital storages are great ways to guarantee your files are "safe", printing out images will allow you to truly enjoy them. Which is the whole reason we spend so much time (and money) keeping these files safe! What's the point of storing high resolution files if not to print them. I recommend two great ways to get your photos printed: Print Pack Collections and Fine Art Albums.
Print Pack Collections
A collection of your favorite wedding photos serves as enjoyable storage solution for preserving memories from your special day. Including them in a box will safeguard the wedding photos from environmental factors such as light, dust, and moisture. But they can also be kept in things like personalized shoe boxes or binders you paint or decorate together! Having individual images means you can choose any size you want from small 4x6 cards to larger 8x10 prints you can swap out in different frames.
Fine Art Albums
One of my absolute favorite in home ways to relive your wedding is with custom Wedding Albums! These are fabulous keepsakes meant to last a lifetime, printed on fine art paper to ensure photo quality with a variety of beautiful covers to perfectly match the inside of any home. Especially for folks who want more than a few favorites, like the print packs, but rather 40+ photos to tell the entire story of your wedding day, in a quaint coffee table book to share.
As a wedding photographer it's so important that all of my couples have the best resources and knowledge for saving their wedding photos. So if you are in the process of trying to save your wedding images don't hesitate to reach out with questions!