There are a lot of different cloud service options out there for photographers looking to store and manage their photos. From Canon’s Project1709 to Google Drive, DropBox and Amazon’s Cloud Drive, each service has its own unique options that might be perfect for you.
But while each has its differences, there are some key things to remember about using a cloud service that are relevant to any provider you may use:
01 You’re already using cloud storage
That’s right: the first tip on using cloud storage is you’re already using cloud storage. So keep doing what you do best! Many of you reading this probably have a Flickr account. More will have Facebook or Instagram, Google Docs or one of the other many popular platforms. You know what works best within those applications in terms of organising your content. Apply those principles that have worked best so far to your more sophisticated cloud storage service.
02 Sync local folders to the cloud
Sometimes you don’t want to physically move a folder into the cloud. Why? Let’s say you just want to use your cloud service to back up a folder, which you can access from all of your computers but still use from its current location. Seems reasonable, right? Most cloud services have a desktop client or shortcut that allows you to do just this. Take a look on their FAQ or Help page, and most will spell out how to do this.
03 Know your limits
There’s nothing worse than being forced to make a snap decision you weren’t prepared for (The Matrix, anyone?) That’s why it’s a good idea – particularly on a free plan, such as DropBox – to always be mindful of how close you are to your maximum storage limit. You’d hate to upload files from a recent shoot and find you’ve exceeded your capacity and have to delete something.
04 Don’t exceed your bandwidth
You may have got a great deal on cloud storage and plan to back-up your whole portfolio going back decades. Sounds sensible, right? Well, be aware that most internet providers have a maximum bandwidth, and if you incur this limit within a given month you will incur extra charges. If it’s not terribly urgent, prioritise your huge archive and back it up in chunks spread out over a few months.
Do you have any tips for other photographers looking to use a cloud service? Share them below…