Travel and photography go hand in hand. Taking pictures is one of the main reasons I love to travel! Necessary side note: I will forever be grateful for the patience of my travel companion, Jane. The times she waited for me to take 30 photos of the same church, or didn't eat her meal when we were basically starving so I could photograph our food are countless.
It doesn't take long to build up a hefty collection of pictures while traveling. Soon enough your phone and SD card are going to be clogged with beautiful, but somewhat identical photos. For shorter trips (ie: 2 weeks) most people just deal with this when they get home and are on their own computer. But if you are traveling for a long time, this isn't an option. Besides, do you really want to sit down and sort through 10,000 similar pictures all at once? I can tell you, it is grueling.
So, how are you going to sort through these pictures? How are you going share them with friends and family? How are you going to back them up?
No worries! Without further ado, here are my tips for sorting, storing, and sharing your pictures while traveling:
7 WAYS TO SORT, STORE, AND SHARE PHOTOS WHEN TRAVELING:
1. PICK YOUR MEDIUM... AND STICK WITH IT
At the beginning of my trip through Europe I tried to take pictures with both my iPhone and my camera. I wanted pictures on my iPhone so they would be easy to share, and I wanted some pictures on my camera because they would be higher quality. This was really stressful, and I do not recommend it. Stick with one device for the bulk of your photos. Consider what your priority is - do you compromise quality for the sake of ease? Use your phone. Do you want the best quality photo possible? Use your camera and figure out a way to get your photos off your memory card to share (keep reading.)
I hated having half of my pictures on one device, and half on the other. I was much happier and more in the moment when focussed on using one device.
2. SORT THROUGH YOUR PICTURES EVERY DAY
You're not going to do this and I don't blame you - I've never done it either. You're going to be invited to go on a bar crawl with awesome Kiwis you just met and you're not going to turn them down to "organize your pictures." Don't do that. I would never do that.
But, if you try for every day and fall short, it is still a million times better than saving all your photos for when you get home (don't do it guys). So when you figure out your system (keep reading), aim to do it every day.
3. USING A PHONE? JUST DELETE AND BACK UP
If you are using your phone for most of your photos, you are in luck. It is 2017, baby.... it couldn't be easier for you to store and share your pictures.
First, you need to go through your pictures and delete all of the ones that look the same. I keep saying this, but don't put off doing this. It is super annoying to do it all at once. If you have an iPhone I suggest favoriting (by hitting the heart on the picture) the ones you like the most (ie: would instagram) so you can find them easily in the future. Sorting - done.
Backing up? With an iPhone, if you don't take an absurd amount of photos, and delete them frequently, your iCloud should be enough space to back up your trip for the time being. Set this up by going to: Settings> iCloud> Photos> iCloud Photo Library ON
If you do take a lot of photos and the iCloud isn't enough space, I would suggesting emailing photos to yourself or utilizing dropbox (keep reading).
4. STAY IN HOSTELS WITH DESKTOP COMPUTERS
If you are using your camera, you are going to need to get your pictures off of your camera... unless, of course, you have one of those voodoo cameras that connects to wifi. About halfway through our trip I realized the beauty of staying in a hostel with a computer for guests. Yeah, smart phones are great, but nothing replaces sorting through pictures on a screen larger than your hand. Most computers made in the past decade have SD card slots, so getting your photos on the web is super easy. I started looking to see if hostels had computers before I booked them. If i was between two hostels and one of them had a computer for guests, I would stay there. You'll be surprised how many hostels have public computers if you start seeking it out.
5. MAKE FRIENDS WITH PEOPLE WITH LAPTOPS
No public computer? Well, you could ask the hostel staff if you could send a few photos to yourself. I am sure they will help you find a way to do so. If not, befriend the person sitting in the common room on their laptop. Most travelers are kind and social... plus they get it. They will most likely be more than happy to let you use their device for a reasonable amount of time. Still feel uncomfortable? Offer to buy them a beer for an hour on their laptop. No one will say no to that.
6. UTILIZE DROPBOX
There are many online storage providers and I am not saying dropbox is the best. By all means, do your research and find one that works best for you. Personally, I have always used dropbox, and I am too lazy to research another company, so I just stick with it. It works great for me.
I usually make a new folder on the desktop of the computer I am using and and drag photos into it from my SD card. I then go to dropbox and upload the entire folder. The photos I upload are my absolute favorites. These are the pictures I would be horrified if I lost.
7. SAVE THE PICTURE TO YOUR DEVICE TO SHARE
After you have backed up your favorite pictures, either open your email on your device, or use the dropbox app (what I use) to save your photo onto your device to share. Voila! You have now backed up your photos, and they are ready to share! After I upload my pictures, I usually delete the downloads from my phone to save space. I recommend doing this often to prevent the crisis of running out of storage right when you need to take picture.
When done little by little, it is super easy to sort, store, and share your photos!
If you have any questions on the specifics of saving and uploading photos on the go, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your question for tech help!