Let me tell you a little story:
On a lovely Saturday, I sat with 4 of my beloved girlfriends for lunch together. As every one happily took out their phones to capture this wonderful moment, one of my friends explained that she could not take pictures of this day because she does not have enough room on her phone. She said that although she deleted some of her apps, the phone is still telling her that she does not have enough memory to take photos. That made me sad and it really shouldn’t happen to anyone. Uploading and storing services has come a long way and these services are now very affordable. I’m here to show you some of the ways I store precious photos on my iPhone.
I never worry about losing photos, running out of space and can always be ready to take photos and capture wonderful memories.
What is Cloud Photo Storage?
No matter what type of iPhone you have, you can quickly and easily back up your photos/videos to a ‘Cloud’ service. If you have a data plan and/or have the capability to connect to Wifi, you will be able to easily store your photos without worrying about losing them or deleting them by accident.
‘Cloud’ Storage is a way of saving and managing data remotely, typically through a server or many servers on the internet. Your information, or in this case, personal photos and videos are stored by a hosting company.
Some popular Cloud Storage services include iCloud, Google Photos and DropBox. These services are either offered for free (for a certain amount of data storage space) or offered for a monthly/annual fee.
Some people have anxiety about trusting their most precious photos and videos to a company that promises to store them safely. What if the server goes down, or they delete the photos either by accident or on purpose?
I’m here to tell you that, I too, have felt that anxiety about trusting someone with my photos and videos. That is why I backup my photos and videos to not 1, but 4 services… Just in case… lol
What to look for when storing precious photos on your phone
There are a few things that I, personally look for, when deciding on a service to upload and store my photos and videos.
- Amount of space offered for free or the fee being charged
- Ease of use
- How quickly the photos/videos get uploaded
- Organization of the photos/videos
- Ease of access on other devices
Here are my favorite Photo Storage services:
1. iCloud Storage
iCloud Storage is found on all models of the iPhone. Although included with your phone, when you sign up for the service or turn the service on from your phone, you are only given 5 GB of photo storage. And if you’re anything like me, that means that you can only upload a few photos before you run out of space.
- $0.99/month for 50GB
- $2.99/month for 200GB
- $9.99/month for 2TB
I like iCloud’s ability to archive the photos by date and, it will tag where the photo was taken. Another nice feature is the ability to recognize faces and sort photos by person, too. You can also easily edit photos right on your phone and sync the newly edited photos in a jiffy.
I was first introduced to DropBox by a family friend that suggested my husband and I use it for our other consulting business. This way we could collaborate on work-related stuff. I was pleasantly surprised when I realized that DropBox also served as a backup option for other files, not only documents and PDFs. The issue with the free version is the limited space they offer (2GB), but we enjoy the subscription plan (we are on the Plus Plan). With the Plus Plan, we get 1TB of backup and we can store any type of file.
- Plus Plan – $8.25/month when billed annually; $9.99/month when billed monthly
- Professional Plan – $16.58/month when billed annually, $19.99/month when billed monthly
I enjoy the peace of mind I have knowing that my photos are uploaded and stored with a company that specializes in storing people’s information. DropBox does not allow tagging of people and the uploads are not automatically sorted by date or location. This process has to be done manually. That’s one drawback to their service. The upload time is quick and all photos are stored in a ‘camera uploads’ file. Download the App for your phone and begin enjoying the ability to backup your photos and videos to a safe place.
3. Amazon Prime Photos
Amazon Prime… Oh, Amazon Prime, What would we do without you???? In addition to letting you receive your most desired items within two days, Amazon Prime also offers a Photo/Video Storage service for their Prime members! Wow! What can I say??? I love everything about this. With their Cloud Storage, you get UNLIMITED Photo Storage. Yes, you heard me right? I. Said. Unlimited. Amazon Prime Photos automatically organizes your photographs by date, but you can search for places, people and things (trees, beach, snow, etc).
You can also collaborate with friends and create albums with all the photos in one, private place. If you happen to have an Echo Show, Echo Spot, Fire Tablet or Fire TV, you can view all your photos remotely. The uploading process of the photos is done quickly and can be done in the background if you desire using another app.
Along with the benefits of Prime for quick delivery and their Amazon Video Service, this makes the yearly membership worth every penny. Go ahead and download the App on your phone and start saving those precious memories.
4. Google Photos
Google Photos comes to you from the people that you know and love. Since you already trust them to help guide you when searching for something on the internet, why not trust them with your photos and videos? If you have a Gmail account then you automatically have Google Photos linked to your Gmail account. With this Storage service, you also get UNLIMITED FREE Storage! What???
The best way to use the Google Photos is to download the App and connect it to your Gmail account. It will quickly upload and store your photos and videos. Upon uploading the photos and videos, Google Photos also sorts them by date and location. In addition, you can also search for photos by People, Places, Things or Activities, such as Birthdays.
It’s very user-friendly and uploads the content quickly and easily. To add to the greatness of Google Photos, you now can get reminders about sharing photos, you can also share libraries with another person and you can also order actual albums with photos suggested by Google. They also send emails featuring photos from the past and make video snippets for you to relive a particular event or day. Warning: this feature often evokes tears.
Other Services that people enjoy using:
Snapfish came onto the scene when everyone was uploading their pics and sharing their albums, as well as, being able to order online albums, make calendars and order prints of special days and occasions. But now they are also known as a reliable photo storage service that offers some nice features for free. By downloading the App and either linking it to an existing account or opening a new account, you have UNLIMITED free storage.
The biggest difference between this service and others mentioned in this blog post is that with Snapfish you have to manually select the photos you want to upload. With other services, the upload process happens as soon as you open the App and they upload everything, including the picture of the inside of your purse you accidentally took while taking said phone out of the purse.
A big perk of using Snapfish is that you get 50 FREE prints per month by using the service! For someone like me that enjoys scrapbooking and physically documenting memories, this is an amazing deal! I may give this one a try.
2. Microsoft OneDrive
Microsoft OneDrive is another Cloud storage system that not only stores your photos, videos, but also other types of files. They offer a free OneDrive Basic 5GB storage plan, but like I said before, 5GB is not enough storage for me.
- OneDrive 50GB for $1.99/month (Storage only)
- Office 365 Personal for $69.99/year (Storage capacity is 1TB, sharing links, offline folders and more)
- Office 365 Home for $99.99/year (Storage capacity is 5TB to be shared between 5 users, as well as the features from the Personal Package)
I have not had the use of paying for another service since I already pay for two others, but this is a nice option for those that are willing to pay. Their prices are competitive.
3. Shoebox App
Shoebox App is a newer service on the market that offers free UNLIMITED photo storage. Although I have not tried this service, their website is laid out nicely and the signup process was easy enough. They offer the ability to upload your photos and see them on multiple devices (computer, tablet, phone). Just like Google Photos, they send you ‘Memories’ so you are able to relive those past events and days.
They offer an upgrade to their Pro Plan for $5/month where you can upload your photos in their original resolution, as opposed to a condensed version and you can upload and backup 10 hours of video. The main focus of Shoebox App is to relive those special moments.
Flickr has been around for years and has changed hands several times along the way. They are best known within the blogging community as, not only a place to store photos and videos but also a popular service to use if you are embedding photos into the blog or social media.
In addition to the storing capabilities, Flickr offers an online community of photographers. It offers its users 1000GB/1TB of storage for Free and also the ability to have another social networking app all in one. Another addition is the ability to follow other photographers that you enjoy and share pictures with them. You can also edit images right on the App. Using the Auto Uploader will guarantee that you never miss storing a photo.
Their tagline is “Find Your Inspiration” and this is particularly appealing to those you who are a more serious photographer.
No matter what Cloud Storage Service you decide to choose, make sure that it is one that is simple for you to use. Try a few out. What works for me may not work for you. Ease of use is what is important here.
That being said, get on your phone and download one or a few apps and give it/them a try. The most important this is that you keep your beloved memories safe for years to come.
Now that you read about my Favorite iPhone Photo Services, Tell me which one is your favorite in the comments below.
I would love to see how many of you use what I use or if you use something different.
Until the Next Adventure…
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