Photo Storage Strategy

My wife and I are taking more photos these days, and like most people, we now need a "photo storage strategy" - a solution for managing all of the digital photos we take. We have a couple of thousand old photos, and new photos coming in via our iPhones and our digital camera.

Our criteria for the system were:

  1. Easy-to-use photo management software for the wife.
  2. Large storage capacity (the 60GB on the Macbook Air was filling up fast).
  3. Cloud backup.

The solution we came up with was:

  1. iPhoto. Wife was already using it.
  2. 1TB external USB drive that we already have.
  3. CrashPlan $6/mo cloud backup.

We considered various alternatives.

  1. Alternatives to iPhoto: Picasa. But people say it's not so easy to use. Plus my wife already knows iPhoto, although she finds the photo-book functionality annoying to use. I told her to just use albums instead of photo-books.
  2. Local Storage: For network drives like Synology ($500) or Zyxel ($250) I'd rather not pay. A nice thing about the Synology is that you can do headless backups (no computer required) - I'm not sure about the Zyxel. There's also the WD MyCloud ($150) but it has terrible reviews.
  3. Cloud Backup: Google Drive and Dropbox don't seem to work well with external USB drives. MS OneDrive says that they do work with external USB drives, but I don't trust it, given that Google Drive doesn't. So I'm left with CrashPlan and BackBlaze, which are pretty much on par with each other.

One cool thing I discovered about iPhoto is that when I sync our iPhones and camera with it over USB, it figures out which photos have already been imported, so it imports only the new ones. Nice!

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