Photography storage: best solutions for professional photographers

Photography storage: best solutions for professional photographers

Updated: May 16, 2024
Created: Aug 8, 2023
Time to read: 7 min

Whether you are a professional or just a beginner photographer once in a while you can end up with a massive amount of photographs in your storage. Photography storage space might not be a significant issue, however, you may think about how to provide additional safety to that data to prevent its possible loss. We live in a digital world where our biography is embossed on social media and sometimes our digital data have more value than most paper documents.

In this article, we are going to discuss different ways of storing and backing up the data to provide maximum safety for it.

The rule of thumb: do not put all your eggs into one basket

Most people use SD cards as storage for photos. Professional photographers have plenty of those to not run out of space while doing the job. SD cards are pretty durable, but even they have a tendency to degrade over time especially if your job is intensive. On top of that they are very easy to lose. So the 1st step is to duplicate the SD card that you have in use most of the time to prevent durability and loss issues. You never store data on your primary card but during the actual photoshoot when you are in the field. So in case of malfunction, you may lose just a day of work and no more. Therefore, do a physical backup every day if possible.

On top of that you should always copy that data on your PC hard drive, two different storage doubles your safety. From all the photography storage ideas this could be an obvious one, however, it is more about discipline to not forget to do that consistently. Let us discuss more photography storage solutions.

Digital storage for photographers

If you are a professional photographer you must be familiar with RAW data storage issues. Raw images allow you to have these precious source data that you can have as a backup of your edited photos. Raw images require more storage space as it contains the data with no compression. These photos are much higher volume compared to PNG, JPEG containers, or whatever file format you prefer to use while editing them. Learn more about file formats and their differences in this article from our blog. That way, having these raw files in your management would demand you some additional storage space.

Synology NAS which stands for Network Area Storage is a good way to store your RAW source photos. NAS is a case with a series of hard drives to place inside which lets you store photos but also has redundancy in those hard drives. So if one of those hard drives goes down you do not lose your photos. This is probably one of the best storage options for photographers if we talk about physical devices available for you at any time.

Cloud storage for professional photographers

Having that raw data on your NAS has one good benefit - it cloud saves your data on your Synology C2 Cloud Backup Account via included software in the package. That way all the data become available for you when you are on the road if you have an internet connection of course. As you could realize NAS has an internet connection to plug in and is able to use all the data through different interfaces, whether it be the cloud or your Wi-Fi spread in between all your devices at home or the cloud itself. When you set up your NAS you can choose the mirror option which means that you have your data saved on each 2nd drive plugged in. That provides additional safety in case one of your drives fails. And you can always extend the space by adding new hard drives in free slots, there are two, four, six, and ten-slot models available. The software allows you to set up an automatic or manual backup from your physical device. Hence, we can call it the best online photo storage for professional photographers so far as it allows you the management between cloud and physical storage and management over your data at the same time in one piece of equipment. On top of that, NAS does not just allows you to store and transfer the data, but also allows you to provide access to that data for your clients. You can upload share and manage all sorts of media files in the app and also provide access for those who you trust.

Let us resume overall NAS features:

  1. Physical storage in a mini-computer
  2. Mirrored mode saves your data in a Raid Massive structure
  3. Internet-connected NAS provides cloud storage and file management in the cloud.
  4. The software allows you to set auto-backups which leaves you uninterrupted and with more room for your own business.
  5. You can share, upload and download the data in/from the cloud remotely.

Being all-in-one and probably the best cloud storage for professional photographers NAS may be really expensive at the beginning. Thus, let us take a look at more cheap and even free options featured the same way.

Free cloud storage for photographers

Google Photos is free and offered unlimited Cloud Drive space for pictures if you choose to let Google compress your images. But it has been changed in 2022, and for now, Google Photos service provides you only 15 GB of storage space for free and the rest options are to purchase. 100 GB for $1.99 per month 200 GB for $2.99 and 2 TB for $9.99. Google's familiar streamlined interface makes it easy to jump right in and start uploading and editing photos. It is not an advanced photo editing tool but still, you can select from an array of filters to give your photos an artistic look. For a little more manual control, Google offers sliders for light, color, and pop. While Google Photos makes it simple to upload tweak and share images it is not particularly well suited to tackle complex photo storage organization tasks, so large Enterprises with detailed workflows will want to keep looking. However, if you are just at the beginning of your professional career as an individual, this may work well for you.

And for better interaction with the cloud, you can add here some external hard drives with an SD card interface on the board. That way you can do your 1st two backups on the run and then 3rd backup to the cloud when you are at home. In a complex that can already be a good solution.

Common issues

Make sure that your external hard drive matches your PC and internet connection speed to not suffer from compatibility issues in this way. Purchasing an external disc, make sure that it is SSD, not HDD. Because even if both are portable, HDD has moving parts inside which is not a good way to utilize your backup data while moving to different locations with it – you may lose your data of that.

Life hack

The good thing about portable SSDs is that they have a USB interface that can be plugged into your router’s USB. That way you can make your portable SSD interact with the cloud. At this point, you can access this drive remotely by enabling access to the device via a router from any location. Overall this is probably the best cloud storage for photographers to utilize if you aim for a low-budget option and still want to have usable features as NAS provides. You have to figure out how to make this setup work, but it is way cheaper at the same time.

If these options are not enough as the storage for photographs, here is a list of alternative services to choose from.

iCloud

Apple’s iCloud is not the best cloud service unless you are bound to Apple devices.

Here it starts as 5 GB for free and up to 2 TB for a $9.99 monthly plan. So if you have iPad and iPhone in your common use then we would advise you to at least try that free option. iCloud integrates with everything seamlessly syncing your photos and videos between devices and supports every file format that you can shoot in their Apple ecosystem.

Amazon Prime

Being a member of Amazon Prime you get unlimited deliveries throughout the year. But you also get unlimited photo storage. If you are not an Amazon Prime subscriber yet, you still have that 5 GB of free storage in use. Important note, the unlimited storage is only unlimited for photos. You can upload videos there but at a 5 GB limit only. But if you want to upgrade then 1 TB will cost you $6.99 per month. Another drawback of Amazon is that it does not support iOS burst photos, Google or Samsung motion photos for start, and it is not the fastest service to sync your photos.

iDrive

iDrive win the cheapest backup service of the year title. For $0.99 a year, you get unlimited storage space for videos and photos taken on your mobile device. And also 1 Tb of data storage for either your Mac or PC data for $9.99 per year.

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