Storing wallet pictures

I fondly remember the days when I carried in my wallet family photos that were taken with a 35mm camera. We all know how analog cameras were replaced by digital cameras. Like many other changes involving an analog widget being replaced by its digital counterpart, these analog-to-digital transitions often change how we use the widget.

As an amateur photographer, I do miss the sense of wonder and excitement that accompanied the film development process. Why? The results of the film development process, i.e. negatives produced to print pictures, showed how well the shots were framed or how the lighting was metered at the subject – questions I kept in mind before taking each shot on my 35mm camera.

With the digital camera’s ability to instantaneously display the picture just taken, and retake if necessary, the discipline for picture composition, for example, wasn’t as important anymore. Bad lighting? No problem! Retake, review and repeat if necessary ... which meant multiple takes of the same subject unnecessarily clogging the memory card, aka digital roll of film.

I still use digital cameras when appropriate but the smartphone became my primary memory keeper. It is also appropriate to call the smartphone a wallet due to its capacity to make digital payments at merchants equipped with such terminals. Hence smartphones are the modern day equivalent of pictures in the wallet – literally!

However, with the penchant to distribute our digital memories right from the smartphone by texting, emailing or posting to social media platforms such as Facebook, it’s easy to forget that these digital memories you took must be stored somewhere for safe keeping.

Sears, a real world company that has been around more than 125 years, recently filed for bankruptcy. If you agree that internet “time” is like dog years, a company born on the internet may only last 18 years in the digital world if you use Sears as an example. Can you entrust your memories to one company?

Whether you own many types of devices, or just a smartphone, there are many options to mitigate your risk of a company going belly up and taking your memories with them. Who ever thought that Sears would have vultures circling above them?

Smartphones, whether Apple’s iPhone or one of Google's Android-based phones from other manufacturers, can be set up to automatically backup your pictures, videos and documents to the cloud. That means even if you only own a smartphone, you have at least one backup destination you can elect to use. If you own multiple devices, connecting your smartphone and making backup copies to your computer becomes another risk mitigation option for your precious digital memories.

Printing the photos you took as 4x6s, or creating photo books (aka digital scrapbooks), is essentially making backup of select pictures. Local drugstores’ photo departments and online print services are places where this can be done.

Tak Sato

Strategist and technologist with almost 30 years of experience in the private sector. Holds Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Science and Executive MBA from Cleveland State University.

As Founder of the Center for Aging in the Digital World, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit empowering seniors with digital literacy, Tak connects the dots to help people utilize appropriate technology in their personal and professional lives.

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Volume 10, Issue 23, Posted 10:18 AM, 12.04.2018