How to Manage Photos While Traveling, iOS Edition

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

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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.
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  • Cloud backup like Crashplan or Backblaze. ( I just recently switched to Backblaze since they are faster.)

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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.
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  • 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.**
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  • 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.
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***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?
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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!

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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!

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.