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August 2018

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My Online Photography Workshop

This is how I learned to edit my photos

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Member since 11/2005

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And we thank you for investing your time in our Photos! We love you!

laura vegas

this is awesome info! i totally appreciate you sharing all your photo tips, editing info, and storage ideas. i think i'm doing everything pretty much like you have down. i havn't been using the cd's because i hear they're not going to last. although i hadn't ever heard about the external harddrives needing to be replaced after a few years ... good to know. all this photo stuff is so time consuming ... but totally worth it if ever something were to happen. thanks karen!

laura vegas

you added that last part as i was leaving my comment ... that is good to remember though. so true that it's much easier to grab a little box than to grab the entire computer. sadly i know i could never get all my albums out of the house ... they're all upstairs (i may be rethinking that).
and just a note ... i also save pictures of all my layouts on my computer and external too. i take the pics to submit them ... so why not save those too.


Thanks for the great info. After taking your class a couple weeks ago, I have started uploading all our photos to Scrapbook Pictures. That process takes some time.........

Becky (beckywed)

Hey Karen --

Great info. I am incredibly paranoid about my photos and my solution is as follows: I put my photos on 1) my computer; 2) my external hard drive 3) a CD/ DVD AND 4) (photo website). Then I make a photo chart saying if I have the photos in all locations and if they are printed. Can you tell I am a little type A? :) It sounds crazy but I feel like I really have everything covered and I am protected in multiple ways! Good luck to everyone in their storage proces and please remember to BACK UP! I didn't for years and lost 3 hard drives worth of work (but never photos) so please, BACK UP your files and your photos!

Becky (aka: beckywed)


Thanks so much for all your tips!!! I am still using film but am about to make the switch to digital (and I haven't so far because of the work it is going to take to keep them backed up). I have thought about using a flash drive for backup, but not sure how long they will be around either. So, on, are you able to download them back to your hard drive yourself or do they have to be the ones to do it? (Like when you right click on a pic from the internet and it lets you "save pic as..."

Maria Yarasavich

Karen, I am taking your classes on April 29th at the Scrapbook Clubhouse in Westbrook, CT (WOO HOO!!!)
I am definitely looking forward to learning more about photo storage (and the importance of grabbing things like the DOG before the external hard drive...)
BTW - I love the Pottery Barn card holder you bought - I totally understand buying things and then storing them - My boyfriend keeps putting all my stuff up in the attic - Should I grab the external hard drive in the event that the roof falls????

See you on the 29th!!!
I cant wait

Maria Yarasavich

Carolyn Hall

Hey Maria,
I will be there too. See you then.

Melissa S-E

May I add that it would not be unwise to have TWO external hard drives (they're becoming less expensive daily)... put ONE in a safe deposit box and then have the other one attached to your computer. Swap them out (updating each time) so there is always a FAIRLY current version @ the bank... the most that you could lose is whatever wasn't backed up yet; maybe a month's worth of photos? Sounds like a good deal to me! THANKS SO MUCH for the tips, Karen! :) - - A Chat Groupie. :->


thank you...thank you...thank you.... thank you for taking the time to share your insights and lessons learned with us. it is a good reminder for me. I have been haphazard about my backups (mostly everything is on shutterfly...) but finally, i have an external drive on the way. :) You really are the best!!!!!!

Tanya Webster

i agree with really are the best...not many people would take so much time to type out so much helpful information! YOU ROCK!!! :)

If anyone else needs a little help moving in the right direction...I will tell a short story about a years' worth of pictures that I lost off of my computer (virus ate them)....birthdays for that year, our house being built, etc. etc. i was sick to my stomach and LUCKY me i had uploaded them to but did not remember it until a few weeks after i realized my photos were gone (and after I spent almost 200 dollars on software to try and recover anything off of my computer)....lesson I am just getting them uploaded as i can (and yup, have an external hard drive now too!) thought i'd add my 2 cents :)


Thanks a lot Karen! I'm currently keep the current month of photos on my laptop. After the month is over I copy it to a disc, leave the discs at my store and copy the file to my external harddrive. I'm looking into an online photo site as well.


thnx karen! this is awesome information. i just bought a stack of cds to back-up my photos & i'm glad i read this before i started this HUGE task. i used snapfish & recently started using scrapbookpictures ('cuz of u & ali). my storing system is similar, w/ year folder then by months & events. i love this as well, fairly easy to locate most stuff. so now i think i need an external drive, huh! thnx so much for the tips. maryjo


Another great online site for storing photos is I use them all the time. I can also order prints online and I can swing by the photo lab and pick them up at my convenience. They are so great. Libbi :-)


Great information! I am going to put a link to this on my blog so that all my scrapbook buddies can see this comprehensive article. Thanks!

Kim Branson

Thanks for this great article and for affirming my desire for an external hard drive! I have thousands of photos on my laptop and only a small portion of them have been copied to disk. Lately, I've been having to "clean up" my "temporary files" as I get a "your hard drive is full" message several times a day.

After finishing your storage article, I turned to my DH and said I would really appreciate receiving "a good external hard drive" for Mother's Day this year (last year I got a photo printer, the year before I got wooden cabinets for my scrap/stamp supplies...Mother's Day is the only time my family gifts me with anything craft-related!!), so hopefully he will seriously consider it :).

Thanks again for your enlightening article!

-- kimB


Thank you for all of the info. Last year I lost a lot of pics (including Thanksgiving AND Christmas from 2005) and since then have been backing mine up on CDs. Well, now I know that probably isn't the best plan. Thanks for the insights. One thing I wanted to add was that I uploaded my pics to another online site before and ordered a ton of prints and when I went back later to order more they were all gone- yikes! So it is good to know there are other sites that do store them long-term.

Lisa D.

Our computer crashed during our move to another state last year. I had backed-up photos onto CD's. When we finally purchased a new computer, I got out the CD's, I was only going to add 2005 & the early 2006. Well, a couple of those 2005 discs, didn't take, like I thought they did. I lost some of the baby's first year. So bummed. We put a new hard drive on the crashed comp. & I keep pic's on both now. However, I was still backing up, now to DVD. From your research, sounds like that's not much better. Thanks for your info. I'll now start trying to be better about uploading to the internet site.

Lisa D.

Our computer crashed during our move to another state last year. I had backed-up photos onto CD's. When we finally purchased a new computer, I got out the CD's, I was only going to add 2005 & the early 2006. Well, a couple of those 2005 discs, didn't take, like I thought they did. I lost some of the baby's first year. So bummed. We put a new hard drive on the crashed comp. & I keep pic's on both now. However, I was still backing up, now to DVD. From your research, sounds like that's not much better. Thanks for your info. I'll now start trying to be better about uploading to the internet site.


one other thought -- rather than a safety deposit box @ the bank, i put my backups (1) in a fire and waterproof safe and (2) routinely burn CDs and pass them along to my mom for her to keep at her house. i'm definitely going for an external hard drive though, after reading this! i knew CDs weren't GREAT, but they seem to be even MORE unreliable than i had originally thought...


There's also -- I get my photos there, they have a new uploading utility that makes it easier to get it all on there, and they don't even have a minimum order -- they'll just keep it on there forever.


To make backing up your files easier, you can use a back up program. Windows has one that comes with your operating system. You mark what folders you want backed up and it will automatically back everything up daily at the same time, and I think you may be able to back up weekly or monthly also.


I was reading your page about storing pictures and now i dont feel so alone :) I am also a victim of an external hard drive crash. Still no clue as to what caused it but I was so sure it wouldnt happen and I did not place the pictures in any other place...wrong move...I lost 4 years of family pictures . I could not believe that they were forever gone, but same thing happened to me...we took it to experts and there was no fixing.

I bought now another external drive with 500G (I had 80G before). They say maybe it was almost full and that made it crash. Now I back up in DVD's and at different places where you can buy prints later on...not only one place but several. I also send out pics to my friends when we have get togethers or when we go out places, that way they benefit from having them and I do too in case my computer decides to take all my pictures again. That is how I was able to recuperate 30% of my family pictures, trough friends whom I had sent pictures too.

Thanks for all the tips :)




WOW! I just happened upon your blog and now i know why! I have been trying diligently to find an effective way to store my photos and wondered WHAT??? to do!
Thank you so much for taking the time to save ALL our photos!


my family has a smugmug site. it's so great. it does cost some money, but we LOVE it. we've been totally happy with it.

oh i just found your blog and love it. after i start and finish dancing professionally i want to dive into the photography world. which i've already started to do.


Thanks so much for all of the great photo storage tips. I was chatting on the boards over at and some fabulous ladies sent me your way to get my photo questions answered. You are awesome!

P.S. Your kiddos are sooo cute!!


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