How I lost and recovered my photos!

You will not believe what happened to me!

Very shortly after doing that Facebook Live session talking about the 3-2-1 backup method I accidentally dropped my external hard drive on which I store my photo collection or hub as we call it. I kid you not, I’m not making this up!

Imagine my shock, when I realised that the drive doesn’t show up at all when I plug it into my computer. Plus it makes that clicking noise, never a good sign.

At this point, I was grateful for two things:

  1. It was my own drive and not one of my client’s
  2. I knew the drive is 100 % backed up with Backblaze

So, no need to stress out and panic (I don’t even want to start imagining how it would have felt if I hadn’t had a backup …). Thanks to using the 3-2-1-backup-method, all I had to do is to go to my Backblaze account and restore the drive with a few clicks. Because it’s so much data, I am not downloading the restored files from the cloud but Backblaze does that and sends me a new external drive with all my photos. I haven’t made this up, it really happened and you can imagine how grateful I am to using this cloud backup service. It’s really affordable and soooo worth it.

Using the 3-2-1 backup method I of course have another backup on another external hard drive. However, I don’t backup daily to that drive. I could have restored everything from there but would have lost a few hours worth of work that I had invested to work on our photo collection over the past weekend. Hence, I decided to get the 100 % restore drive back from Backblaze.

Here is the link if you would like to try it out for free (2 weeks). And yes, it is an affiliate link but I’m not sharing this to make money but because I care about your photos and I don’t want you to experience the same without having a backup of your most precious memories.

Go to Backblaze

3-2-1 Backup Method for Digital Photos

Are you worried you might lose your precious digital photos and videos?

In our photo organising industry the saying goes that it is not a question of if it ever happens but when. In this day and age we have to expect that we will lose digital data sooner or later. And that of course includes photos and videos, that are so close to our hearts and very precious. So why is it, that we are not always making sure that they memories are safe at all times?

Yes, we are all time-poor and lead very busy lives. Today, I’d like to share the industry standard for backing up your photos: the 3-2-1 backup method! It is nothing difficult, it doesn’t require a lot of time or any fancy setups. Yes, it will cost some money but hey, restoring a computer, a phone or an external hard drive is muuuuch more expensive! And we’re talking about precious photos, so let’s keep them save.

Watch this recorded Facebook Live video and learn how easy the 3-2-1 backup method really is.

If you are interested in trying out Backblaze, you can sign up here for a free account and a 2-week trial (affiliate link): Backblaze

SmugMug buys Flickr – what does that mean for you and your photo collection?

Image SmugMug buys Flickr

You might have heard in the news that Flickr is being bought by SmugMug. What exactly does this mean for you if you have a Flickr account?

First of all, nothing will change at the moment, so no need to panic.

If you have a Flickr account, you won’t see any difference. You can use your usual login and do whatever you where able to do until now – as you would have been informed by email. What changes at the moment is the ownership. What SmugMug will do over time with Flickr we naturally don’t know, we’ll have to wait and see.

Should you not agree with the change in ownership and choose to not have your account transferred to SmugMug, you will have to go to your Flickr account, download everything you want to keep and then delete your account in your account settings. This will have to be done by 25th May 2018. Should you need help with this, I’m more than happy to give you a hand – just call me on 0413 216 589.

However, if you’re not bothered about the ownership change, you don’t need to do anything. Your account will be transferred to SmugMug and their terms and conditions and privacy policy will come into force (read here:, and here:

While this all sounds kind of harmless, it is one of the reasons why companies and service providers like these shouldn’t be used as backup systems. At least these accounts shouldn’t be your only backup. It is entirely out of our control what they do and how it affects our content. Whilst they absolutely do have a place (I often use and like SmugMug), we shouldn’t rely on them heavily and stay in control of our photos.



Prepare and Backup Your Photos BEFORE Natural Disaster Hits

How do you prepare your photo collection for the worst case?


Living in the bushfire prone outskirts of Melbourne, in beautiful Nillumbik – which is also called the green wedge – has triggered my passion for keeping photo collections safe at all times but especially during summer.

It can be a very overwhelming project and there is no doubt it is usually very time consuming. Read in this guest blog how you can prepare and backup your photos before natural disaster hits. If you are time-poor, the quick solution will be scenario 2 mentioned in the article. I call it the ‘Grab and Run’ scenario. Ideally however, you are able to set some time aside and work on your photo collection to prepare it even more. Either way, you will gain peace of mind knowing that your photos are as safe as they can be.

Click here to read the complete article.

How to Digitise and Store Children’s Artwork

Most children produce a lot of artwork over the years. We can’t put it all on the walls or fill entire shelves with these masterpieces (read in the first part of the series how you can display children’s artwork). So, what can we do to save space and also keep at least the most precious pieces safe? Read in this post how to digitise and store the children’s artwork. The last post of the series finally talks about what things you can make from children’s artwork.

Click here to get to the tips about how to digitise and store the children’s artwork.

How to Backup Photos While Travelling

Pinterest - How to backup photos while travelling

Please note that this post contains affiliate links. If you follow an affiliate link and purchase that product or service, I will be paid a small commission, however your cost will be the same. I only recommend products or services I know and trust.


I have travelled quite a bit in my life, mostly before I had a digital camera and a smart phone, and backup was never even mentioned. So, after the holidays, I had a few rolls of film that needed developing. From there, they went pretty much straightaway into an album. Easy peasy … until our children came along and we bought our first digital camera and a video camera.

These days, digital cameras come in all sizes and shapes. There are also several other devices such as iPods and tablets, and of course a mobile phone that takes pretty good pictures and is easy to carry around.

Especially when travelling, these things can easily get lost, stolen, or damaged and you might lose all of those precious photos you took (possibly even those taken before your trip if you haven’t got a backup system in place). So, what can you do to keep your photos safe and backed up during your trip?

I’ve listed some options for you and have tried to cater to as many needs and budgets as possible. Just go through the list and find which method suits you most. You may even vary between methods from one trip to another depending on where you go.

Photo organisers recommend that you save three copies of a photo. This might not always be realistic while travelling but keep it in mind. Also, downloading your photos to a backup place and then deleting the photos on your camera is not a backup – it’s just a relocation of your photos!

These are general tips and I haven’t tried all of the mentioned methods and products. Technology changes all the time so please do your own research with regards to the equipment you need.


Backup from a Phone

Young woman taking a photo with her phone in London

To the cloud (automatically or manually)

You might think that the whole topic is a no brainer because you just upload everything to the cloud, possibly even automatically. Well, when you’re travelling you might not have easy internet access or possibly only a very slow connection. Therefore, in many cases, the cloud will not be an option.

However, if you do have internet access it is a great way to backup your photos. Especially because photo organisers recommend that you not only have three copies of a photo but also in two different locations.

I recommend checking out two of APPO’s partners – either Forever or Mylio.

Dropbox has worked well for me in the past. There are of course lots of other services such as iCloud, Google+, OneDrive, etc.

A word of caution: read the small print of all providers before you make a choice. Just as an example: there are some who will charge you if you want to download your photos from their cloud service or with some of them you won’t get back the original resolution or you might have to download them one by one which takes ages.


To a portable hard drive with WiFi

Together with the right app (depending on your phone) you can upload your photos wirelessly to a portable hard drive. An example is Seagate Wireless Plus.


To a portable hard drive without WiFi

This is a bit trickier because you will need a computer via which you can copy your photos to (see below how to do this). Don’t shy away from the idea of using a portable hard drive. I use Seagate all the time and they’re really light and small; perfect to carry around.


To a computer

If you take a laptop on your trip you simply need to connect your phone to your computer and download, or rather copy your photos (remember – if you download and then delete them on the phone it’s not considered a backup!). To be even safer you could then copy the images to an external hard drive or  USB to backup your computer – et voilà: you’ve got your three copies J.

You may also use a computer in a hotel business centre or in an internet café if you travel without your own.


To a USB flash drive for smartphones and tablets

There are various USB flash drives which you can connect directly to your phone and download your photos to. They come in various sizes and are pretty easy to carry around. This is definitely a favourite of mine.

Examples are the PictureKeeper, SanDisk iXpand, or SanDisk Ultra Dual Drive.


To a tablet

The fastest way if you don’t have internet access is probably to use Airdrop (Apple only), which creates a peer-to-peer network. SHAREit works similarly.

To an SD card

Some Android phones actually include a mini SD card. Make sure in the settings that this is where the photos are stored. If you want to transfer photos from the SD card please see below for options.

iPhones cannot export or copy photos from the phone directly to an SD card. It is only possible via a computer.


Backup from a Camera Memory CardMemory card


Remove the memory card from your camera (or your Android phone) and use a card reader to import the photos to a computer, your phone, a tablet, or another mobile device. Make sure you have the correct reader/s and adapters with you.

If a computer and a portable hard drive is too much to carry along, a memory card backup system like Nexto DI or Hyperdrive might be the ideal solution. They are like a hard drive with slots for the memory cards and come with a display as well.

Camera lens close-upBackup from a Camera via USB Connection

Connect the camera to a computer via the USB cable and copy your photos. While you’re at it, you might make another copy to an external hard drive or to the cloud if you have internet access.

Wireless Backup from a Camera Memory Card

Invest in an Eye-Fi memory card which can transfer photos wirelessly to your device or computer. Keep in mind that the camera will have to be powered on while photos are transferred which requires battery power.

Once you have copied the photos from your camera to a computer or other device, you can use the above-mentioned tips to back these up.


Before You Travel


  1. Work out a backup plan that suits your needs.
  2. Make sure you have all the necessary equipment formatted correctly (especially portable hard disks).
  3. Don’t forget at least one international power adapter.
  4. Think about how you want to transport these things so they stay organised and safe. Try to keep the camera away from the backup.
  5. Make sure all your cameras always have the correct date/time setting (of the time zone you’re in when taking the photo). It will make your life a lot easier because you will automatically have the correct chronological order (especially if you use several cameras and devices).
  6. Once your trip has started, keep in mind to set aside some time to backup your photos regularly.
  7. Enjoy your holiday!


After Your Trip

Remember, these backups are meant to happen while you’re travelling. If one of the copies you made is now already in your photo hub (e.g. Dropbox) it will save you the time to download everything again. If they are not in your usual hub yet, you’ll have to move your photos to your hub as soon as possible and use your usual photo management workflow.

Save Trip!






This post was also published by Save Your Photos, an initiative by the Association of Personal Photo Organisers (APPO) to celebrate ‘Save Your Photos Month’ in September. Read it here.


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