When was the last time you printed out images taken on any digital device, be it a camera, a smartphone or whatever else? Indeed, do you print photos at all these days, or do you only have digital images?
On one wall of my mother’s house are framed professional photos of members of the family at particular times in life. These are things that we will have as a physical archive to look back on in years to come and barring fire or water damge, they’ll survive to become part of a family archive. As a photographer, I print photos and have hard copies because the medium means something to me, and I know that these things will hopefully outlast me and be looked back on by my children and grandchildren – memories preserved.
But what of the digital revolution? If, like most people these days, you do not print your photos, how well are your digital files stored? What degree of backup do you have against your images being lost? Have you experienced loss of images already? Are you using a cloud storage service? They’re a good idea and are unlikely to lose data due to catastrophic hardware failure as they have redundancies in place, but still, they could theoretically go out of business.
If there’s one message I want to share, it’s BACK UP YOUR PHOTOS. There’s a good reason that one of the first things people run for if they have to flee their home is the family photo album – they are precious memories and ones that we should take care of.