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Tips on How to Archive Your Digital Photo Collection

Professional photographers say you should have your images backed up three different ways to protect them against unforeseen circumstances. While backing up and archiving your digital photos may seem like a chore, it will pay off in the end. You'll be able to find the images you're looking for and they'll stay safe and secure for years to come. It will also make sharing your photos with friends and family a lot easier.

Develop Good Storing and Naming Habits

Establish a regular schedule for offloading your images from your camera. Don't just dump them into a file on your computer. Take a few minutes to batch rename them. Using photo software like Photoshop Elements, ACDSee or Corel Paintshop Pro will help you rename your photos in a flash. Use descriptive names and be consistent so you can find particular photos later. Use your photo software's tagging and naming functions to give images keywords to help make future searches easier.

Burn Your Photos to CD or DVD Regularly

Did you know that if you use high quality CDs or DVD's and store them properly, they'll last up to 100 years? CDs and DVD's are a great choice for archiving your digital images. CDs will store about 700MB of data or images, which a DVD holds 4.7 GB or about 15,000 images. Be sure to use a high quality CD or DVD from a top manufacturer, as they will be less likely to deteriorate than cheap ones. Take care to store your media properly to avoid data loss.

Keep copies of your original, unaltered images. It's a good idea to burn your originals to CD or DVD so you always have your original. Most of us have accidentally overwritten our original with an edited version and then decided we didn't like the way it came out. It's nice to have the original to go back to.

Upload and Store Photos through Free Online Photo Service

Another safe way of archiving your images is by uploading them to an online photo service such as Snapfish or Shutterfly. They offer unlimited free storage, plus you can use these sites to share your images, edit them and order prints, photo books and keepsakes.

Store Photos on a External Hard Drive

In addition to burning my photos to DVD, I store my images on an external hard drive. Not only does it free up space on my computer's main drive, an external drive is less likely to be overused and fail. Plus it makes it easy for me to take my entire photo collection on the go when I travel. You can get a portable external hard drive quite reasonably at Amazon.

If you just take a little time on a regular basis, you'll find it doesn't take long to organize and archive your growing collection. For tips on organizing your images, click here.

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