How to Manage Photos While Traveling, iOS Edition

“What do you do with your photos and videos while traveling?”






I get this question a lot. We spend lots of money to go somewhere beautiful and make memories so naturally, we’ll want to keep snapshots and videos safe.

With SO many options out there, it’s easy to get confused.

I’ve kept this pretty concise so you only have a couple of options, cost effective or the best.

I think everyone should have AT LEAST one of the two backup options for your Mac, period.

  • A Physical backup with an external drive like this cheap hard drive or this fast SSD. Don’t try to split the difference and buy a nice external drive from the Apple Store, they all suck and will fail just as soon as the cheap ones. If you want to spend more money on reliability and speed, get an SSD like the one pictured below! It works the same way as normal external drives so there’s nothing new to learn.
  • Cloud backup like Crashplan or Backblaze. ( I just recently switched to Backblaze since they are faster.)


I want you to have a backup either on the cloud and/or at your house when traveling in case of theft. So if you don’t already have one or both of those options, click on the links above to purchase and get set up. Questions? Reach out to me for help!

So if you have one of the options in place above, we have a backup of your computer the way it was before you left.

Now let’s talk about keeping those new photos and videos safe while you’re traveling! I’m going to break this up in 2 separate posts. iOS and Mac.

iOS Photo and Video Backup on-the-Go

  • SanDisk iExpand: You may find hotspots on the road, but chances are they are slow, so it’s not likely all your photos will even upload. That’s why I love the idea of this flash drive that will plug directly into your iPhone or iPad to back up your stuff. When you get home, just plug the drive into your Mac and import. If I wasn’t traveling with my computers, I would certainly have this device! Make sure to get one with plenty of storage.Screen Shot 2016-09-02 at 1.35.40 PM
  • iCloud Photo Library: With iCloud Photo Library your photos will automatically back up if you have WiFi. I can’t tell you enough how much I love this feature of iCloud. I pretty much completely ditched iPhoto/Photos for Lightroom and this service is slowly pulling me back. One thing to note is when you do an edit on your iPhone or Mac, it shows up automatically on all the other devices! Put a photo in an album? It shows up in the right place on the other devices when they connect to the internet. Check out my post on it here if you haven’t seen it already.
  • Dropbox: My least favorite upload option, but it’s too popular to leave out. Dropbox can upload your photos automatically. Just download the app and they’ll ask you to turn it on every chance it can get. I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s even faster than iCloud. But the thing that irks me is they rename all the photos to the date they were taken. You wouldn’t think that’s a problem until you try and consolidate everything and your photos application can’t tell what’s a duplicate and what’s an original so you wind up with a BIG mess.
    *If you’re dealing with this and need help rounding up the duplicates, I can help.dp-icon
  • Google Photos: If you’re using Google Drive for all your cloud needs, or even a lot of them, this may be the choice for you. If you let them optimize the photos (shrink them a bit) you can have unlimited storage for free. The downside I found is it didn’t do well uploading if I went to a different app or let the screen lock. This may have been changed recently.**
  • iCloud Backup: iCloud Photo Library is something you have to turn on. If you don’t choose to use it, the photos in your Camera Roll will backup the way they always have been, either through iCloud or your Mac. I’m a proponent of backing your phone up to iCloud in case you lose it, you don’t have to set it up fresh when you buy another one if you’re out of town.

***All in all, my favorite choices are the top two.***

Photos for iOS and Mac have totally won me over, even though I’m a huge Google Drive user and an occasional Lightroom user. The flash drive idea is awesome too as it can be hidden in all kinds of places as it’s so small and doesn’t require the internet. You need to download the app for your phone before you leave, though!

We’ve looked at backups for iOS, but what if you want to take your “nice camera”, like my Fuji X100T?

Apple has an SD card reader that you can plug into your iPhone or iPad to import photos. This is awesome in that you can check out your photos on a larger screen, and if you want, post online if you’ve got an internet connection.

With the newer iPhones coming in sizes up to 256 GB, this is an awesome option for backing up the photos you take on your camera. The best part is, you can organize and edit right on the phone, and if you’re using iCloud Photo Library, the next time you have a decent internet connection it will upload all those photos online. If your computer is on at home, they’ll be downloaded before you’re even home!



Now that we’ve got a plan for your iOS backups, next post we’re going to look into backing up you Mac!

If you’ve enjoyed this post and know anyone who could use this, please pass on this post!

Let me know what you think below and if you have any other tips for keeping your photos safe on-the-go!

Working Remotely from an Airstream


Big things are happening and I can’t wait to share what I’ve been learning!

A quick update: Madeline and I bought an Airstream and are working remotely while traveling around the country! For the past few months, I’ve been transitioning Lemon Consulting to operate remotely and as of 3 weeks ago, it’s official—I’m working from the road!

What does this mean for you?

  • More availability for appointments. Since I’ve eliminated the need for driving from appointment to appointment, a good portion of my schedule has cleared. I’ll be doing all remote work from wherever I am traveling. Bonus: You get to work with me remotely too—feel free to leave the house messy, wear your athletic pants, and get comfy.
  • Extra on-site support. While I’m gone, I have some very talented colleagues I used to work with at Apple going on-site to your homes and businesses if some one needs to be there to physically do something. You will love these guys. I feel incredibly lucky to have them working for me.

I know you’ll find that working remotely will be an incredibly easy transition. I can almost guarantee once you work with me this way, you won’t want to go back to the old way of doing things.

The tools I’m using to work remotely:

If you live in Nashville, Comcast has a surprise for you…


This photo shows speeds you can get from Comcast if you call them and ask for this secret deal. At least it’s a secret for the moment.

You see that 257 number? You can get that for $70/month with a 2 year contract with Comcast if you call and ask for it. For a little perspective, I’m paying $52/month for 25. So for $20 more a month I can get 10x the speed.

Why is Comcast doing this? Google Fiber is coming to Nashville and it’s rumored they’re going to be making their service available soon. When is soon though? Google Fiber speeds are 1000 Mbps. 4x this new speed Comcast is making available.

Comcast is trying to get the jump on Google and tempt you into signing a 2 year contract with them so Google doesn’t steal you away. For some, a bird in the hand is better than one in the bush.

I know a number of people who are flocking to it now. Who knows when Google will make their new plans available and they want faster speeds now.

Personally, I hate Comcast. They make my job so much harder than it has to be and I can’t wait for Google Fiber.

The 25 Mbps is fine for me for now. I’d rather not be locked up in a 2 year contract with a company with one of the worst reputations of customer service in the country.

Either way, I wanted to let you guys know what’s available if you want to jump on this. It’s really not a bad deal. Until Google is up and running….

What You’ve Been Waiting for Since the First iPhone

UntitledAndrea is one of those people that if something happened to her iPhone, the only thing she would care about are the photos. She’s in the prime of her career in a broadway musical touring all over the world in a leading role.

You can imagine the memories she’s capturing are some of the sweetest she’ll look back on.

Andrea isn’t the best at backing up her phone to her computer, though. She’s busy with other things that keep her from religiously grabbing her computer and plugging in her phone to sync and back up.

Unfortunately, that made for a mess when things went wrong with her phone and she had a couple nightmare experiences at the Apple Store. I won’t go into detail, but we got it all sorted out and she’s a happy camper. Especially once we got her set up with iCloud Photo Library.

Why You Should Delete Your Photos

Clearing space off your mobile device and keeping those memories safe

My clients are always asking me what to do when they run out of space. Both on their phones and their Macs.

A few days ago my client from Arizona, Bobbi, called because her iPhone was full and she was about to go house hunting in a new city and needed to have plenty of space to take photos and videos.

She was worried that she would do something wrong and accidentally lose years worth of photos that were on her phone.

I don’t blame her! Who wants to lose photos like these? 🙂

So why was she scared?

Have you ever plugged your phone or iPod into your computer and it erased all your music? I’m sure you’ve at least heard of this happening to one of your friends. Well, this happened to Bobbi years ago and she was still worried something like this would happen again, but with her photos.

This is a real fear many people have. It’s not just you. Even years after that incident most people are paranoid about plugging in their phones into the computer.

I want to put those fears to rest and give you the confidence to plug in your iPhone or iPad, know they are copied and safe so you can clear off some space and start capturing more memories.

The first thing you need to know is what iTunes is doing when you plug your iPhone or iPad into the computer. 

  1. iTunes will not delete your photos automatically when you plug it into your computer!
  2. iTunes is not importing your photos for you.
  3. iTunes will always ask before deleting your music.

There are 3 simple steps to having confidence your photos are safe.

This is by no means the only way to accomplish this, but it’s probably the fastest and the way Apple intended. If you are using the brand new iCloud Photos service, these instructions are not for you. Another post to come about iCloud Photos for Yosemite and iOS 8.

**Steps 2 and 3 are optional, but recommended.

1. Import the photos to your computer – When you plug in your phone, iPhoto may pop up automatically and you you will see the photos that are stored on that device. That does NOT mean your photos are in iPhoto. YOU MUST CLICK IMPORT! If iPhoto doesn’t pop up automatically just click on the icon and it should show you the photos on your device.

I use Adobe Lightroom to manage my photos so most of my photos have not been imported into this library.

Screen Shot 2015-05-04 at 11.19.13 AM

2. Verify they have been copied – At this point you’ll want to click on the Photos button on the left or Events to make sure the items we selected were imported (copied.) After that, look further down the list in the left-hand column and click on your iPhone or iPad from that list. The photos you just imported should now be in the “Already Imported” section.

3. Back up your computer – This can be accomplished many different ways. I recommend using Time Machine or Carbon Copy Cloner to back up to an external hard drive. I usually buy these for a cheap backup, but I’ll never be caught without an online (or off-site) backup. I use Crashplan for that. It’s the fastest and most reliable online backup that I have encountered. It’s only $59.99/year and you don’t have to worry about plugging anything in. Yes, I think Crashplan is better than Carbonite.

When you’re ready to mass delete media from your device don’t delete one by one! Use Image Capture! To find Image Capture, use Spotlight, the magnifying glass at the very top right hand corner of your Mac to search for the word Image.

Screen Shot 2015-05-01 at 5.47.28 PM
You can highlight a range of photos using the Shift key, then hit the delete button at the bottom (circle-backslash symbol.)

Screen Shot 2015-05-04 at 1.03.15 PM

This is really only scratching the surface when it comes to photos, but it should at least get you moving and able to free up some space on your devices and know that your photos are safe.

I know some of you have quite a mess (so to speak) of photos, so if you need further help, please reach out to me! Helping you sort out these sorts of things is why I do what I do!

If this post helped you out, please share it with your friends and family!

Question: Have you ever lost any of your photos? What are you doing now to prevent that happening again?