Product Research

Should Professional Photographers Store Their Photos on the Cloud


by Joe

Professional photographers spend as much time behind the lens as they do in front of a computer organizing their photos.

But, what makes a Professional Photographer? 

Check out some of the opinions here.

Let’s say when they finish shooting a project, they usually have to deal with hundreds of raw images. And sorting them is truly a nuisance.

What’s more, they also have to make sure that all the files are safely backed up.

Imagine having to tell the clients that all their hard work is gone because the hard drive had failed.

That’s why a reliable storage system is key to staying sane and keeping clients happy.

Local or Cloud Storage

When it comes to storing images effectively, there are two options to consider — local storage vs cloud storage.

Both have their strengths and weaknesses, so let’s take a closer look.

Local Hard Drives

The most convenient way to manage photos is by storing them locally.

Photographers usually prefer to keep their photos on a computer or an external hard drive since it’s faster to access and edit them that way.

There are many types of external hard drives on the market that come with different storage capacities and performance capabilities.

Some larger hard drives will need to be plugged into a power outlet which isn’t optimal when it comes to portability.

On the other hand, hard drives that can work over a simple USB connector are more convenient in that sense.

It’s also possible to connect multiple hard drives into a single storage unit. With that kind of setup, I can add more hard drives in case I run out of space.

But, in general, the size of my hard drive will depend on the amount of space I’ll need. It’s pointless to spend money on larger hard drives if I don’t utilize the extra space.

Speed is another important factor that photographers should consider when choosing a hard drive.

Slow hard drives might create lag which can cause performance issues while editing large photos.

Besides, hard drives won’t last a lifetime.

Find out all the hard drive failure rates by Backblaze, a cloud backup company.

They might stop working at some point, so having more than one backup solution could be a lifesaver.

Some photographers prefer to keep all their backups locally, such as RAID by using NAS.

That’s fine, but I think that keeping an extra backup online is a good fallback option.

Cloud Storage

Cloud storage has proven to be reliable in many ways. Despite the privacy and security concerns that might be alarming.

That’s why the most secure cloud storage is always crucial in making the first move into the cloud.

My files on the cloud are stored remotely; that way, the chances of me losing all of my work are greatly reduced.

Plus, I don’t have to worry about backing up my files as the cloud does that automatically.

In other words, even if there is some kind of failure, my photos will be safe, and I’ll be able to access them from anywhere.

Photographers can choose from a variety of cloud storage providers.

The best ones will usually offer unlimited storage for a fixed monthly price.

On top of that, encryption features and daily backups are some other things to look out for when choosing a cloud service provider.

But storing photos on the cloud has its downsides.

For the most part, editing photos on the cloud is practically impossible.

I have to download the photos from the cloud onto my computer before I can edit them.

Also, uploading large amounts of photos to the cloud can take several days, especially if the internet connection is slow. 

The fastest cloud storage might be able to help you scale down on your cloud storage candidates if speed is important to you.

Check out how much time you need to upload all your photos to the cloud here.

The Bottom Line

Ultimately, there is no one-size-fits-all solution for how photographers should store their photos.

The price is probably the biggest advantage of external hard drives compared to cloud storage.

That’s because hard drives are a one-time purchase that doesn’t have recurring monthly fees.

In the meantime, these 7 best cloud storage for photos might be some good options as well if you’re looking for photos storage online.

Bonus: Make sure you check out my Nikon Image Space review that offers 20GB of free image storage!

Even though cloud storage is more costly, it’s still a great backup solution in case of possible hard drive failures.

We had listed out the best cloud storage for photos if you need to find out who they are.

In essence, the best storage setup for professional photographers should include both local and cloud storage.

Love to take things apart and kind of a habit. When he is not breaking things, he usually sits in front of his computer and start browsing the web.