Photos become more special than ever after you have kids. It’s almost impossible to stop taking pictures to save all the special memories, especially the first year of your baby when every moment is new, exciting, adorable and unique.
I’m lucky to be married to a techie husband. He’s the one that inspires me to try these different picture storage systems. We’ve used a few different ones in the course of our baby’s first year, so we’ve discovered the pros and cons of each one until we discovered one that we both liked.
Check out these ways to save your baby's memories and pick one that works for you and your family.
Printing your family photos never gets old. It’s a great way to save memories and being able to display them around your home or having them in photo albums that you can open anytime you want. You can also do something creative like printing the most special pictures on a blanket, poster, coffee mug or a DIY a project like a photo wall hanging or your own baby memory book.
Pros: There’s something special about being able to touch a memory
Cons: The process and time involved in picking, printing and organizing printed photos can be overwhelming
What we upload on the internet never disappears. So the pictures you upload on Facebook, Instagram, a blog, can be found forever. It’s something daunting, scary but also beneficial in cases like this one, when every special picture that we share about our baby’s life can be found, shared, downloaded and even printed easily.
Pros: You can check out your photos as much as you want and wherever you want
Cons: Some memories are really personal and can’t (or shouldn’t) be uploaded for anyone to see on social media
Network Hard Drive or Computer
Use a computer to storage your photos on your personal network.This is a great personal, safe and free system since you can store your photos at home and manage them however you want.
Pros: Private, one-time cost to get started
Cons: Requires some technical knowledge and you have to organize and maintain it
Cloud Storage System
Cloud storage systems are amazing since you can synchronize photos from different devices like your phone, computer, or camera, and share them with friends and family members. Since almost all of them work differently and offer different plans, it’s important to think about the amount of photos and videos that you create every month to be able to pick one that works for your needs.
Apple iCloud. When you sign up for iCloud, you automatically get 5GB of free storage so you can save all your pictures from your phone with no problem. When you exceed your storage limit, you can upgrade the plan. You can get anywhere between 50GB and 1TB for less than $10 per month.
Amazon Cloud Drive. Store your images and access them from up to eight specific devices. The devices can be mobile devices, different computers, and different browsers on the same computer. Amazon also offers an Unlimited Everything plan with unlimited storage for all your photos and videos for $60 per year. Bonus: If you’re an Amazon Prime member, your membership includes unlimited photo storage plus 5GB for videos and files at no extra cost.
Google Photos. A photograph and video sharing and storage service by Google. Our favorite part of the application is that the photo service analyzes and organizes images into groups like people, places and things. It also creates amazing collages and sends you videos made out of photos from a special date. You can also search photos by what you remember about them in case you can’t remember when it was taken—down to the color shirt you might be wearing!
Dropbox. A file hosting service that offers a cloud storage system and file synchronization so you can upload and save your photos and share them with other family members and friends easily. A basic free account has 2GB of file storage. Upgrade to a pro account with 1TB of storage for $8.25 per month per user (so you can share a Dropbox with your spouse and pay $16.50 a month for both of you to use that 1TB of storage).
Flickr. It’s one of the best online photo management and sharing applications where you can upload your photos, share them and even give your friends, family, and other contacts permission to organize them. The great thing about Flickr is that you can upload unlimited photos at no cost. On the downside, Flickr doesn’t provide an official tool to batch download your pictures and since it’s an external web site, you’ll approach technical issues more often than you might if you were using an external hard drive or a cloud service.
Pros: It’s easy to auto-backup all your photos from mobile devices without much effort
Cons: There are a lot of options to choose from and you really need to compare the different features side by side, try them out to see what you like and it may take you time and spending some money to decide which option works best for you
Memory Card or External Hard Drive
You can download your photos from your phone or camera and upload them on a memory card or external hard drive, and if you want to be able to see them all the time you can use a digital picture frame to display them.
Pros: Private; you can display them in your home
Cons: You have to pick and choose which photos to save as you'll eventually run out of space and you have to manage the space yourself
Our Family’s Pick
We ended up falling in love with the Google Photos app since it’s so easy to manage and we really like the feature that it sends us videos and collages using memories from years before. We also have a digital picture frame in our living room, where we upload all the pictures from our camera so we can see them every day.