How to store your photos?

Let’s talk about how you store your photos. Since you probably don’t use film anymore you need to store them somewhere digitally, and probably not just on your computer. You don’t want to risk all your images if your computer crashes or gets stolen.

I’ve gone through a couple of the cloud-storage solutions out there and compared them with each other.

Dropbox Google Photos iCloud Photos Amazon Cloud Drive
Prime photos
Good search functionality no yes yes no no
Timeline-feature yes yes yes yes yes
Albums yes yes yes yes yes
Collaborate on albums no yes yes no yes
Collect family photos with different accounts yes yes no yes no
Support RAW-format yes no yes yes yes
Displays RAW-files as images no no yes no no
Works with Lightroom yes no no yes yes
Windows app yes yes yes yes yes
Mac app yes yes yes yes yes
iOS yes yes yes yes yes
Android yes yes no yes yes
Price up to 1 TB/month €8.25 €9.54 €9.99 €0.95 €9.44
Price over 1 TB/month €50.00*
* €10 / user / month minimum of 5 users
** Doesn't seem like you can buy more than 2TB.

Some findings

  • Google Photos is ridiculously expensive (100 times more than Amazon Cloud) if you have more than 1TB of files
  • No-one can compete with Amazon Cloud prices
  • iCloud and Google Photos have the best search. iCloud is probably a bit better because it has face-recognition
  • Google Photos has an amazing Assistant that creates albums, animations and adds filters etc. to your images automatically. It’s actually pretty good!
  • The Norwegian Jottacloud is a good competitor to the rest and the only solution that stores it’s files in Norway

My current setup

I sync my iPhone images with iCloud. I store the RAW-images from my camera on a Synology NAS that syncs the images to Amazon Cloud. This way I don’t have to store them on my computer, but has fast access to them at home. I use Adobe Lightroom as my image-organizer and Amazon Cloud more as just file-storage. Since all my pictures are RAW-files I sadly miss out on a lot of the great search-functionality that’s out there.

My dream setup

If Google Photos supported RAW-files and had a regular filesystem (so I could use it with Lightroom) I would pick that. Mostly because I love the Google Photos assistant.

What should I do if I just have images on my mobile phone?

Do you have an iPhone? Sync it with iCloud. It works great, is simple to use and works out of the box. It is however a bit more lock-in solution than Google Photos (and doesn’t have the assistant).
Do you have an Android-device? Sync it with Google Photos.
Are you switching between iPhone, Android or similar? Use Google Photos.

A last little tip

There is a clever app for macOS called Expandrive that can mount a lot of these cloud-solutions as a Network Drive. This way you don’t have to store the files on your computer, but they are accessible in the filesystem. It works great with Amazon Cloud Drive, Google Drive, Dropbox ++.