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Maintain Your Photo Album When You Use Multiple Devices

Numerous Tiled Images

Many of us have a camera in our smartphones. We also have point-and-shoot cameras or DSLR cameras for high-resolution shots with optical zoom. Digital pictures are great, but collecting them into one location can be a challenge.

Goal: Create an annual photo album

My family collects all our good shots into an annual photo album, which is actually a folder on a computer hard drive that gets backed up regularly.

We have a Panasonic Lumix camera that serves us very well. Getting the pictures off its SD card, reviewing them, deleting the turkeys, and saving them to the album is a fairly easy process.

The challenge is getting the album-worthy shots off our iPhones. Along with capturing priceless moments, we take odd pictures of products while we’re shopping to keep as reminders or to share with each other later. We save the funniest Facebook pictures to our camera rolls. We’re not interested in keeping these for posterity. More on this in a moment.

Several apps are available for iOS, Android, and Windows Phone that will automatically upload your camera roll to cloud services. Some are better than others, of course. DropBox’s app includes this functionality, but it can only upload when it’s running. And when the iPhone auto locks, the upload process is suspended. Amazon offers Cloud Drive Photos for Android and for iOS. It is similar to DropBox, but it prevents auto lock during uploads (Nice!). The problem with these cloud backup services is that they upload everything, including the unimportant pictures like the one’s I mentioned a moment ago.

A Thoughtful Approach

I put some thought into this and created a strategy that I hope works for us … and maybe for you, too.

I decided to create a cloud-based folder structure for the current year’s photo album, and I created it in Microsoft’s SkyDrive service. The iOS app allows me to selectively upload photos from my camera roll. And just for kicks, I created a folder for my favorite funny images from Facebook, too.

With this approach, my wife can also upload the best pictures she takes from her phone. Once the photos are uploaded, they are synchronized to my desktop. So I have the photo album locally and backed up in the cloud. Our photos are collected in one place, and they’re safe without too much effort.

I’m hoping this strategy works well for us. Hopefully, you can adopt it or adapt it to your own needs. Share your own insights or strategies in the Comments section.