Are Your Photos Stored Safely?

by | Jul 13, 2018 | Perspective, Recommendations | 9 comments

Where do you store your pictures?

On your computer or on an external hard drive, I would assume?

Now, what would happen if that computer or external hard drive crashed….this very instant?!

Believe me, if you use electronic equipment, it will fail on you before too long. Once, after sharing a hard drive with friends during a Photography Team, it didn’t work any more after it was returned to me. Another time, at a Conference in Sacramento, I accidentally leaned my elbow on an external hard drive full of pictures from the week. It was enough to make it crash. I’ve even dropped a thumb drive full of original event photos into my water bottle! And yeah, there was water in it. (That was embarrassing!) I lost all my pictures from an entire year simply because the hard drive storing them crashed….and I didn’t have them backed up.

I won’t tell you how many times my computer (no, computers) have failed to boot up too. And have you ever accidently deleted your photos while working on them? I have!

The point is, it’s pretty important that you back up your photos.

Which begs the question: what hard drive should I get to back up my pictures?

There are three basic kinds of hard drives:

1. Internal hard drives

With no external casing and of varying sizes, these are the ones used inside of stuff like computers and laptops.

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2. External hard drives

External hard drives are simply internal hard drives with external casing. They’re usually pretty large, plug into the wall for power and are typically stored on your computer desk…or in a safe if you’re using it to back up photos.

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3. Portable external hard drives

Portable external hard drives are just an internal hard drive in a compact external casing designed for taking with you on the road. They’re smaller, plug into your computer for power, and I have a couple of them that I take with me just about everywhere I go.

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Each of these hard drives you can buy in either of two types: there’s your typical “hard disk drive” (what you typically think of when you think “hard drive”; cheaper, with components that move and spin inside…the type that will be ruined when you rest your elbow on them) and “solid state drive” (these are smaller, have no moving parts inside of them, like your CF or SD memory card that you use for your camera, only with higher storage capacity).

While there are many different brands of hard drives out there, I recommend either Western Digital or Seagate. Though they may be a tad bit more expensive than other brands, these two are generally thought to be the most reliable. To date, I haven’t had a Seagate crash on me yet. I have had a couple WDs crash on me, so maybe I need to do a little more research on hard drive reliability again.

Anyway, why all this talk about hard drives?

Backing up your photos is important because our pictures are valuable, right?

But what’s more valuable than your pictures?

Shall I suggest, Scripture?

As a photographer, I make backup copies of my pictures because I want to keep them. As a Christian, I memorize Scripture so that I can keep it!

The Word of God is so important to me that I want to keep it with me all the time. Yes, in most western cultures a Bible can be referenced on just about every mobile device, but is it “backed up” in my brain?

Not long ago, I was reading a book with a little person, and at the end of the book, there was a
reference for 1 John 1:9. I knew I was familiar with that verse. But, guess what? In that moment when it was most important to remember, I couldn’t
remember it! I did not have it successfully backed up in the hard drive of my brain! There wasn’t time to pull it up in a Bible. The moment passed. And the truth of that verse had no chance to be manifested in that opportune moment. Because of me. Wow, that was a motivation to go back and review that verse again.

Psalm 119:97-101 says, “O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day. Thou through thy
hast made me wiser than my enemies: for they are ever with me. I have more
understanding than all my teachers: for thy testimonies are my meditation. I understand more than the
ancients, because I keep thy precepts. I have refrained my feet from every evil way, that I might keep
thy word

Want to be wiser than your enemies?

Want to understand more than your teachers?

Want to understand more than the “ancients”?

Memorize the Scriptures and meditate on them! Back up what’s valuable to you.

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For further reading, here’s How To Back Up Your Pictures. And for folks in The Click, here’s a video about How I Back Up My Photos.

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  1. Amber Nelson

    Excellent perspective! I loved the link between backing up photos and Scripture memorization! How important it is for all Christians to have God’s Word hidden in our hearts so that we can “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.” (2 Timothy 4: 2)

  2. Alyssa

    Thanks for another excellent post. Love the awesome comparison and good reminder to back up God’s Word in my mind + heart. 🙂 Btw, your picture of the Bible is so cool!

    • James Staddon

      Getting the pages to flip like that wasn’t hard on a windy day….but to have the patience to shoot until I got something that looked pleasing was a different story. 🙂

      • Alyssa

        I’m sure. It’s awesome!

  3. Lewis Family

    I’m surprised that we left out the single safest and most versatile backup in existence, i.e. the Cloud. For just a few dollars a month, you can store 50G of data, or any amount of data for a relatively small amount of additional cost. On Apple products, I can see all of my pictures (25K) at any time on any device. Pictures I take with my iPhone are instantly available on my laptop and iPad, and are stored in the Cloud. Why bother with hardware…unless you’re extra squeamish like me. Then you pay a service like Carbonite to back up all the content on you computer daily.

    • James Staddon

      Ah! This is what the Comments section is for!! Thank you, Lewis Family. I don’t use Apple or online storage so it never even crossed my mind. You’ve definitely got a good point there.

  4. Caitlin Compton

    What a great post. Thanks for the reminder of the importance of memorising God’s Word. Oh wow! You’ve had some bad experiences with hard drives! Mine have been playing up, so this is a good prompting to do something about it before it’s too late. Are they your WD Element hard drives? Mine are that brand and I was just wondering if you’ve had any problems with them. Mine make this ticking noise. . . I must admit I did drop one of them on the concrete. 😉 (That one isn’t so good anymore!) But the one I haven’t done anything to isn’t perfect either. So just curious about whether it was just mine or not.

    • James Staddon

      Yikes, if it’s an abnormal, regular clicking noise, then yeah, it’s not a good sign. The hard drive that crashed without any warning was an iOmega. The only reason any of the WDs I’ve used have crashed is because of some accident (or mishandling).

      • Caitlin Compton

        Ok. I’m going to have to look into it. Thanks!


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