Why almost losing my photo library was a good thing.

A few weeks ago, husband came to me and said, “It’s time to back up your stuff and reformat the computer.” We do this every so often to delete unwanted files and install upgraded software. I had been wanting to upgrade from iPhotos to Photos on my Mac but was just lazy to do so.

Having this deadline to reformat was the push I needed to clean things out. I didn’t want to have to do it afterwards because for some strange reason I felt like everything should be set and taken care of.

I began transferring photos by drag-n-drop. Usually this works like a charm without problems. I didn’t notice at the beginning how many photos I started with but I quickly jotted down. 48,176 or close to it. I had already processed 5,285 so just quick math gave me the 48, 176. As I was doing each batch I would get notifications that my uploads were complete. I’d then delete them off my iPhotos and then empty the computers trash completely. I did this for a while and paying attention making sure to wait until it said that the upload was complete.

Somehow with the sheer amount of photos, somewhere, there was a glitch. I went over to my new photo library and noticed that quite a few of my photos had missing files. Meaning that the thumbnail was there but the actual photo was gone.

I went into severe PANIC MODE. I searched and searched but they were gone. Most of them were photos I had just taken but a lot of them were videos of the girls, or photos were I was practicing photography skills and they came out really well. I felt sick. I wanted to cry. I pulled myself together and stopped everything. I ran to husband and told him what I did. He tried to help by using some software to extract old data from my camera card but it didn’t work. It pulled up photos that I had already uploaded without a problem.

I immediately thought of a blog post by Jennifer at BabyMakingMachine where she mentioned ways to back up your photos. Why hadn’t I done weekly back ups or at least started using an online service?

I’m pretty sure the majority of my photo library looks like this. multiple shots like these.

While all of this was happening, I had a realization. Why in the world do I have nearly 50,000 pictures and yet less than .00001% are printed? Why was I holding on to 15-20 pictures of one shot. If it’s blurry. DELETE. Get the best one and save it. All others.. DELETE. I was getting so bent out of shape for picture I hadn’t seen in years, hadn’t printed, and videos that weren’t published on YouTube. If they’re SO important to me, then why not display them?

So, once I calmed down, did a screen shot of the “lost photos” I wanted to save, we continued to reformat. Now, I’ll be spending the next few months painstakingly going through the remainder of my photo library and deleting the pictures I don’t need at all. The rest will be sorted into albums which I’ll have printed into hardback books, pocket instagram books and videos will be published to YouTube.

I’ll also have my library triple backed up!


*How do you back up your photos (and music)? Let me know in the comments below.

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