The Best Way to Store Pictures

What are the best ways to store pictures? Whether you have physical photos or digital photos, there are several digital storage options like in the cloud, on hard drives, thumb drives, etc.

It’s always a great idea to have a digital backup of all of your photos.

Indeed, it’s something we recommend even if you’re dealing with photos taken before digital photography was a thing. Taking pictures of your old photos with your phone is a great failsafe in case anything was to happen to your precious family photo albums.

You can at least go back and look at old memories and keep them forever. 

taking photos with digital camera

Finding the best physical and digital storage solution for your pictures will guarantee you’ll have your memories to cherish for decades. You’ll also be able to pass them on to any family members in the future.

Here are some of the best ways to store pictures long-term. 

At Home

How to Store Photos at Home

Most people keep their photos in frames and albums in their home. The main considerations around storing photos in a house are ventilation, light exposure, and temperature.

You want to store photos somewhere with good ventilation and airflow because that will prevent mold or mildew from growing inside your photos and eating them up.

Proper airflow will stop any organic damage from affecting your precious photos. 

storing photos using an album

You also want to keep them out of direct sunlight or exposure to light in general for too long. That will help avoid any fading.

Some fading will happen to old photos to some degree, but proper storage will prolong the lifespan of your pictures. 

Finally, colder is better when it comes to storage temperature. Keep old photos out of the attic and avoid moving them around if it means there’s going to be a big temperature change. 

Where to Store Photos at Home

We’ve already mentioned keeping your pictures out of the attic, but where should you be storing them?

The basement, if you have one, is a decent place to start. You can also buy sealable storage bins to place your photos in and take them out whenever you want to look at them or share them with others.

Make sure you keep them elevated. If you’re away and there’s a flood, storing your photos on low shelves or under tables can expose them to water damage. 

storage boxes for storing photos

For a lot of people, photos are their most prized possession. Do your best to store them in a place where they are easy to grab if you need to get to them in a hurry. 

In a Storage Facility

Self-storage facilities are a great option for people who want a secure, long-term solution for storing photos.

This is a particularly important consideration if you’re tight on space in your own home, or you’re concern about things like ventilation, water damage, or any other issue.

People are often surprised at how affordable self-storage units are and how much peace of mind they get knowing their possessions are well-protected. 

storage unit for storing photos

5 Things to Consider Before Storing Photos in a Storage Unit

There are things every person should consider before choosing a self-storage unit. If you’re thinking about storing photos, here are five things you should look at before you choose. 

1. Climate Control

Make sure your unit is climate-controlled so your photos aren’t exposed to any wide swings in temperatures as the weather changes.

2. Proximity

You want your pictures to be close enough to where you live or work so they’re easily accessible. 

3. Price

The price of a storage unit has to be worth the cost of storing your photos. 

4. Security

Look for different security features to guarantee your photos are protected. 

5. Good Management

Talk to the manager, see how quickly they call back, and whether they take good care of the facility. 

Digital Photo Storage

Regardless of what kind of photos you have, it’s a smart move to back each photo up.

This can be done in layers. If you’re dealing with pictures in frames or photo albums, you can fairly quickly go through them all and snap a photo of each with your phone to create a digital image. 

external hard drive

Once you’ve established your digital library, it’s time to start thinking about the best ways to store them for the long haul.

Be smart here about what you choose, because too many people find themselves with photos scattered in several phones not knowing what’s what.

Here is some helpful information to get you started. 

Types of Digital Photo Storage

External hard drives are getting bigger and cheaper every year. You can buy an affordable storage device online or at your neighborhood electronics store. They come in a range of different prices and become more expensive the large available space there is.

Our advice here is to go with the established brands like Sony, Western Digital, Samsung, etc. to make sure you’re buying quality.

A lot of these drives have password options for you to protect your photos inside the drives. That also makes them a great place to put personal documents like a will or business contracts in addition to your pictures. Just make sure you remember what your password is!

external hard drive for storing photos

Storing your photos in the cloud in places like Dropbox, iCloud, Google Photos, OneDrive, etc. is another good option. Indeed, if you want to protect your photos digitally, then you can create a cloud storage solution on top of keeping them on a hard drive.

Many of these cloud providers give customers a limited amount of space for free. Though, if you’re storing a lot of photos in the cloud, you’re eventually going to have to start paying a small fee for space. The good news is that the cloud offerings are very competitive, so it’s easy to get a good deal.

Cloud storage also comes with some great features like password protection and access granting authority. You can share photos with friends by creating links to folders or single photos. 

How to Digitize

Snapping photos of your physical pictures isn’t the best way to create a digital photo library. It can be done, but the photos will essentially look like photos of photos, so there will be some sacrifice in terms of quality.

Here are some better ways if you’re looking to capture higher-quality digital images. 

scanners to digitize photos


You can buy a scanner to digitize your photos at home in your spare time. They aren’t prohibitively expensive, and a lot of scanners are capable of capturing several images at once. 

Phone Apps

There are several phone apps available in the app store that will digitize your photos for you. They do this by taking high-resolution pictures of your pictures in a way that mimics what a scanner can do. It’s better than just taking a regular photo of your old pictures, anyway.

phone apps for storing photos

Third-party Services

If you look online, you can find several services that will digitize your photos for you for a fee. You send all your pictures to them in the mail, and they mail them back to you along with digital copies on a CD, in the cloud, or on an external hard drive.

They will typically charge you per photo or according to the size of your digital library. Read online reviews before you make any purchases to make sure you’re using a company with a good track record. 

Whatever option you choose in the end, make sure you have a long-term strategy suitable for storing your photos. The decisions you make now will enable you to enjoy and share your photos for years to come. 

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