What Should I Do with My Digital Photos?

Gone are the days when you had to take film to your local store to see what pictures you had taken and how they turned out. With new advances in technology, almost everyone who takes photos does so in a digital form, whether it’s with a point and shoot camera, a higher-end DSLR or, as with the majority, with their trusty smart phone. However, when you take away the need to get film developed, it brings up another issue—what do you do with the digital photos once they are taken?

Everyone has a horror story of losing precious images because they lost their phone or their hard drive crashed. The moral of those stories is that keeping your photos on your smart phone or camera without backing them up or printing them is usually a bad idea. Wondering what you should do with your digital photos? Here are some smart ideas.

Save Them

Saving your images is a great way to create back-ups and ensure you can always print more pictures whenever you want them. There are three types of digital storage you should consider: magnetic, optical, and cloud.

Magnetic storage refers to anything with a hard disk. The hard drive on your computer is considered a hard disk, though storing all your images here will take up memory and be at risk if your drive was to crash. Fortunately, you can also buy portable hard disks that plug in via USB or cable to your computer for easy use.

Optical storage incorporates CDs and DVDs. These can be re-writable and hold a lot of data. However, burning CDs and DVDs is not nearly as popular as it once was and it’s likely to become obsolete in the not-so-distant future.

Cloud storage is probably the most convenient and safe way to save your images. When you upload images to the cloud, you are not using up storage space on your device or on an external drive or CD and it’s easy to access and back up your images. If you do choose to use the cloud for your images, make sure you choose a reputable cloud storage company to ensure their safety and privacy.

Print Them

Online photo labs are very popular, inexpensive, and easy to use. These are perfect for the individual who wants actual printed copies of photos to frame, send to loved ones, or put in photo albums. Many large retailers like Walmart, CVS, and Walgreens have online photo labs and there are also options like Shutterfly and Snapfish. You can print different sizes of any photo and most of them can be shipped right to your home or you can pick up in brick and mortar stores.

Be Creative with Them

One of the great things about digital photography is how versatile it is. You can turn your digital photos into much more than just photo albums and there are tons of services you can turn to for affordable options. Here are just a few of them:

Wall-sized art work  Turn family photos or vacation images into wall-sized art work that you can hang at home or the office. You can choose matte, glossy, framed or unframed, and even have your image printed on canvas. These services are surprisingly affordable and personalize any space.

Video slide shows  Creating videos from your images is perfect for everything from birthday parties and wedding to corporate presentations. They’re also affordable and, if you have the right programs, something you can do yourself right from your own laptop.

Jewelry  Want to give grandma a bracelet with picture of her grandkids as a charm? Now you can. There are numerous sites where you can order custom-made jewelry made from your photos including Etsy and Shutterfly.

Fun gifts  There’s really nothing you cannot add a photo to in this day and age. Coasters with your dog’s face o them? Check. Magnets with your daughter’s high school graduate photo? Check. Coffee mugs, canvas bags, gift wrap—you name it and you can probably customize it with personal photography.

Digital photos are easy to take, store, and use for a number or purposes. Once you choose a storage options that works for you, the sky is the limit for what you can do with your photos.