Ways To Protect and Share Your Travel Photos

Sharing your travel photos by flickr user indi

I’ve heard many say they would rather have their camera stolen than have their precious travel photos erased permanently.  In order to prevent this from happening there are a number of methods to back-up, store and showcase your amazing shots.  It’s one thing to just have your photos backed up on-line or on a portable hard-drive, but it’s also worth considering ways in which you can share your photos in a more engaging way than just clicking through photo viewing software on your computer.  The following are some suggestions worth considering:

On-Line Storage

Protecting your travel photos on-line is essential.  You can have your photos backed up on as many hard-drives as possible but what if there is a fire in your house or one, two or three of the drives malfunctions?  It may sound like a bit of a pipe-dream but I personally know people who have been diligent backpacking up their photos that have lost everything through a series of unfortunate events.  I personally recommend using Smug Mug and Flickr.  Both companies offer unlimited storage capacity and also have excellent features that allows you to show and share your photos with others on popular social media platforms and websites.

Portable Hard Drive

Although I mentioned above that hard drives are not a fool proof solution, they still should be considered as part of your strategy to protect your photos – especially when you are on the road.  Computer hard drives fail easily, so having a portable hard drive to back-up all of your photos is an absolute must.  Even for those with on-line storage solutions, there will be times when internet access is terribly slow or not available.  In these cases it’s important to back-up your photos with your portable hard-drive.  As a bonus tip, keep your portable hard-drive in a separate location from your computer just in case that is stolen.

Prints and poster on the wall by flickr user N02

Prints and Posters

Nothing showcases a photo better than an enlarged print or poster.  Services such as UPrinting poster printing allow you to create massive posters with a number of custom features.  Some of these features include whether the poster is standard or custom, the size (ranging from 16 x 20 to 27 x 40 inches), print turnaround and pricing with associated discount.  Family sized photos just aren’t going to cut it when you want to show your very best work.  You can consider to proudly display your posters on your wall, office or billboard. You could also add wall clings for a nice touch.

Youtube Slideshows

Finally consider showing your amazing travel photos with a much larger audience than just family and friends.  I’ve personally been showcasing my photography on my youtube travel channel for years.  Some of my travel photo slideshow videos have received over one thousand views.  They’re easy to make and upload using free software, such as Windows Live Movie Maker.  Click on the video above to see one of my most recent slideshows related to the Boryeong Mud Festival.



  • Patrick says:

    Thanks for the great tips. I will be sure to adopt some of these ideas, since losing my photos is one of my greatest fears.

  • Sista Voyage says:

    This post has caused me to get with it! I have been a member of photobucket for a while, but I haven’t used their services to store my travel photos in quite some time. Let me stop slacking, lol.

  • Simon says:

    It’s worth remembering also that sometimes even when you delete photos from your camera they remain on the memory card until they’re recorded over. I had a situation once when I lost my computer – and my most recent photographs along with it – but fortunately many of the photos were still recoverable.

  • My EuroTrip I lost a camera and broke another. I Learnt to rationalize not having one and live in the moment more. I found myself more motivated to write as a result of it. I don’t know how I’ll feel 20yrs from now though (Who does?)

    An exhibition for Jacques Henri Lartigue in Madrid is what made get my First replacement camera. He described taking photos as a way to “trap happiness”. I’m not so fussed not having a camera but for that, its worth having one!

  • Hogga says:

    Losing all my pictures has replaced the taking a test I haven’t studied for dream in my most dreaded feelings…

  • Priyank says:

    Hi Samuel,
    Great tips! No matter how much I backup I always feel paranoid about losing photos. I almost lost few days’ worth pictures once (memory card in a puddle) and the only solution I saw was to go back and visit the places again. Now I’m wiser and travel with 2 memory cards (changing them mid-day) and transfering all pictures everyday. Phew, that’s lot of work and then you are suggesting online backup in addition? 😀
    cheers, Priyank

  • I’m one of the people that managed to have three separate hard drives fail at the same time and lost a bunch of photos. Since then I’ve been traveling with five external hard drives, but I realize that’s still not a foolproof solution. I’ve tried online storage before, but it took so long to upload a few photos that I just gave up on it. Maybe I should try again now that I’m in a country with decent internet speeds.

    • Wow! That’s some serious bad luck. I agree with you though – even if I had 50 hard-drives I wouldn’t feel my photos were backed up until I had a solution online. The uploading speeds when travelling tend to be atrocious at times though, so it’s not always easy.

  • I also worry the same thing since I am a very careless person and I did lost my camera during traveling. Now that I have my big Trans-Africa trip coming, I need to plan better ahead. That’s why i started a website, to load everything though http://FTP…ahaha. I agree to load photos online..but hard drive?? really? they are too heavy and it’s break easily…hmmmm. I think i will pass..what you think?.and yourtube..OH MAN, I think I have open up 100 accounts in this past 3 months!!!!!

  • Zoe French says:

    Great ideas! I’m always paranoid that my photos will get erased, my hard drive will crash and I will lose them, etc.

  • Hey Samuel, I was just contemplating this today actually. I settled on a 1tb external solid disk hard drive. The solid disk hard drive was more expensive but the best buy guys told me that it lasts many more hours and is much harder to break. I then have everything backed up on a 500gb hard drive that I keep at home. I’m not taking any chances.

  • Cassie says:

    I never thought about making a YouTube photo slide show! Interesting idea!

  • Furio says:

    It’s great you wrote this post now because I’m procrastinating since a couple of months on this topic.

    I do have 2 external HD but, as I have an account Smugmug, I would also like to backup my images there.

    However I live in China and my Internet connection is not really fast. So I’m afraid it will take me two years to upload all my photos : )

    p.s. What about cloud systems as Dropbox? I think this is also a good possibility

  • memographer says:

    MyBook drives work for me so far. It will take forever to upload RAW to the Flickr. I brought 64Gb data from my last trip to Southeast Asia. It is 16 DVDs of data 🙂

  • Linda says:

    Great post! Although I do some of these you really made me wake up, not only to the necessity to ensure my photos are safe, but to their possibilities too. Thanks!

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