It’s Time to Backup and Enjoy Your Summer Family Photos

How many pictures did you snap this summer? Digital cameras and smartphones make it easy to take pictures, but it’s not always so easy to “develop and process” those photos. Instead, we tend to procrastinate photo management and end up with a device filled with images instead of an album of vacation photos to share.

Whether you create a photo album in digital or print version, make time to download your summer and vacation photos before the shift to autumn activities. Don’t leave your photos languishing in the depths of your smartphone or digital camera.

Backup 3-2-1

A secure backup will protect your family reunion pictures if your smartphone is lost or stolen. Remember that a single copy is not a backup. Find easy backup tips in 3 Simple Strategies to Back Up Your Smartphone Photos.

Aim to create three copies of your photo files, on two different kinds of media, with one copy stored offsite. For example: one copy on the computer, one copy on an external hard drive, and one copy on Cloud storage or DVDs stored in another location

Create a Photo Album

Downloaded photos are easier to edit on the large screen of your computer for photo albums and other projects. After all, our goal as family historians is to share and learn about our families. Loose snapshots can be fun to flip through, but a photo album has a better chance for preservation. Read How to Make a Photo Album Your Family Will Love for practical tips to create a book your descendants will treasure.

Photographs become more interesting when they are carefully selected and arranged to tell a story, whether they’re viewed as slideshow or in a photo book. But, you don’t need a computer, a projector, or a television to view the photos in an album.

Some expert photographers advise choosing about 50 photos for a slideshow and no more than 200 images for a vacation photo album. With new digital layouts and auto-import options, online photo services like and make it easy to create custom photo albums.

Add names, dates, and places and a Family Reunion Photo Book becomes a valuable genealogical resource that attendees can purchase through an online photo service. Vacation photos are more enjoyable when you take time to select only the best images to tell the story of your trip.

Use USB for Fast Photo Transfer

Your smartphone will regain valuable storage space when images are removed from the device.

The fastest way to transfer images from a device to your computer hard drive is by direct transfer through a USB cable. Connect your smartphone and computer via cable and use File Explorer (Win10) or Image Capture (Mac) to locate your photos, select, and import to your computer folder structure. Keep your images organized in folders labeled by year / month, or your favorite file naming system.

Let the Cloud Backup Photos Automatically

Photos can also be backed up by wifi through a cloud service such as Apple Cloud, Dropbox, or Google Drive. You can set download options to use wifi only or your data connection, but you will still need to organize the photos within your file folder structure after downloading to your computer.

Invest in Your Memories

Time spent organizing and managing your photos is an investment in your family photo history. Use a routine to make digital photo management easier, and create long-lasting photo albums as a legacy to share with family and friends.

Denise May Levenick is a writer and lecturer and the author of “How to Archive Family Keepsakes: Learn How to Preserve Family Photos, Memorabilia & Genealogy Records, and How to Archive Family Photos.” For more ideas on preserving your family treasures, visit Denise’s website “”