One Scrapbooker’s Photo Back-Up System

As scrapbookers we take a large number of photos of everyday moments, events, and celebrations. Most of us don’t get to scrap those photos right away, but we need to empty our memory cards regularly in order to be able to take more photos.

Archive your photos on CDs and file them for easy reference

PinExt One Scrapbookers Photo Back Up System
Hi, everyone, CK contributing writer Mou Saha here to tell you about how I back up my photos until I have time to scrapbook them.

Delete and Organize as You Go

When I empty my card, I select the best images and delete the rest. Then I sort the selected images in folders marked by event, location, people, etc. For example, I label the images from our summer vacation this year as: SummerVacation2012_1, SummerVacation2012_2, etc. Depending on the number of photos I have taken, I would add subtitles like SummerVacation2012_1 (Swim lessons) or SummerVacation2012_2 (Trip_1) to make it easier to locate images easily and quickly when I have time to scrap them. I also print out the photos I need.

But if you ever had a computer crash, you know very well that that’s not enough. It is important to back up our images. I do this in three ways.

1. Hard Drive

The first place I save my photos is the hard drive of my computer. As I noted, I delete extra images as I go so I’m not overwhelmed.

2. External Memory Drive

Next, I save the image folders in a USB Drive or an external hard drive. This keeps my folders safe in case of a crash.

3. Compact Discs

Even though the external hard drive has significant storage capacity, it’s obviously not unlimited. So, I burn the image files into compact discs. I label the discs the same way I label my folders. That way, even if I mess up a photo on my computer, I don’t have to worry because I know that I have the original safely stored in my media library, and I can find it quickly and easily.

Label your back-up CDs the same way you label the folders on your hard drive
PinExt One Scrapbookers Photo Back Up System

Scanning Film Photos for Archiving

Now, this system works well for my digital photos. But those older photos from film cameras, heritage photos handed down–they need a few extra steps to back up. I scan those photos and save them in marked folders in my USB drive till I burn them in discs and make prints.

Scan Using Your Phone Camera

One way to make this process easier is to download an app called Shoebox from We featured this app in the Tips & Tricks column in the September/October 2012 issue of Creating Keepsakes magazine (see page 20).

Scan pics with the Shoebox app

PinExt One Scrapbookers Photo Back Up System
To use Shoebox, download the app for free to your phone (Android and iPhones are both supported) and use the camera function to scan old photos. You can then crop, edit, and add captions, as well as upload your photos to social media sites like Facebook. Moreover, your photos are permanently archived on the 1000memories website to be viewed and shared whenever and wherever you want.

Make sure to back up your photos for generations to enjoy!

Mou Saha, CK contributing writer

Mou Saha, CK Contributing Writer

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13 Responses to One Scrapbooker’s Photo Back-Up System

  1. Sharrie says:

    I organize mine on my computer, my folders are labeled with the year followed by the month, at the end of the year I place all 12 folders in one folder labeled with the year. If I have a big event or something special happen in a month then I make a subfolder in the month folder. Example month label: 2012-01 (Jan)

  2. Laurie says:

    Thanks so much for these tips! I upload my photos to Walgreens so that I can print them out there if I want, but also so that I have my photos in another location aside from my computer. I like the idea to use USB drives and CDs.

  3. Jenny Brown says:

    These are great methods and I use them but if you have a house fire, you are out of luck. Therefore I also upload my photos to websites like,, and

  4. Mou says:

    I agree with you Laurie and Jenny! Uploading and saving images at a remote site is great idea. not only makes it easier to scan old photos but also archives your old and new photos.

  5. Tausha says:

    I do all of the above, but since SD cards are fairly cheap, especially at warehouse stores, I don’t delete mine. They are strode in a safe deposit box. I’ve also scanned all of my old photos and saved them on SD cards too. They are so small, that I could get 100’s in a small safe deposit box.

  6. Thank ou for shareing! Great advise and the Shoebox suggestion was great! I started scanning right away!

  7. I do the same as Tausha – use the SD cards as one of my backup devices. They are small, cheap, and easy to store. My older Macbook Pro doesn’t have an SD card slot but I have an external plug-in one I got for cheap at Target. I can also use my Epson Picturemate printer which has a card slot.

  8. Pingback: What is Your Photo Back-Up System? And GURRRLLL You’d Better Have One! | Scrapbook OBSESSION

  9. Jodie says:

    I am just now getting on line to learn about organizing my photos so I can start scrapbooking. This article was so helpful to me. With three step grand babies, and a second marriage, my photos have really become a mess. I have way too many!

  10. Mou says:

    Tausha, Erika… great suggestions about the SD cards!

  11. Susan Stratton says:

    Organizing photos is soooo muuuuch work! I will try to be better. Thanks for the great suggestions.

  12. rap says:

    I recommend using an online cloud based storage system. Two free or reasonably priced ones (depending on how much you are storing) I’m familiar with are and Both have free trials and promo codes for longer trials are often available. In either case you can restore an individual file or get disks sent to restore a whole computer in the case of losing the whole thing. Both update nightly usually (or at your set interval) automatically so you don’t have to do anything. They will also back up your other important files on your computer. Pretty much sooner or later, everyone has a disk crash and risks looses everything.

  13. Pingback: PROTECT YOURSELF and your photos, digital art, etc | Who's This Chick

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