How to store, organize, and share your photos

So you’ve taken hundreds of photos of all your amazing adventures… now what?

The first thing to do is to get them off your camera and on to your computer, tablet or smartphone. Then you need to store them somewhere safe, organize them however you like, and edit out any imperfections—although we’re sure those are minimal. Lastly, you’ve got to share them with friends, family, and whomever else you want to impress.

Confused about how to get through these five steps? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

Step 1: Get your photos and videos off your camera or phone and on to your computer

Many computers allow you to simply plug in your device, or even just your memory card, but you can also use your camera’s Wi-Fi connectivity to upload your photos online, post them on social media, or send them to your device. All of this is made easier with Canon’s Camera Connect app. It allows you to wirelessly transfer photos directly from your camera to your smartphone or tablet.

You can also use a tool like the Canon Connect Station CS100 as a hub. It comes with up to 1 TB of wirelessly accessible storage, which means you can keep around 150,000 photos, or 70 hours of video content, directly on it. It’s also super easy to use: you just hover your NFC (Near Field communication) capable device over the CS100 for a quick and seamless photo transfer. You can also just insert your memory card into the CS100, or plug your camera in through the USB port, like you would if you were transferring your photos to your computer.

The CS100 will organize your photos for you by date and device, and you can share your photos wirelessly with other Canon connect stations—so if a friend or family member has one at their house you can transfer photos directly onto their station. You can even play a slideshow or video by connecting the CS100 to your HDTV, all you need is a HDMI cable.

Now that you know how to get your photos onto your preferred device it’s time to learn how to back them up, which leads us to step two.

Step 2: Safely store your photos and videos

The Canon Connect Station will store your photos securely, but you can also use other tools to backup your photos as an additional precaution.

External hard drives commonly come with 1-2 TB in storage, are inexpensive, and connect through the ubiquitous USB port. They’re great for those worried about an emergency—just store them in a safe location or fireproof box. While these drives are the go-to for many, they aren’t perfect. You have to manually manage and organize them, and photos can’t be recovered if the drive is seriously damaged or lost. They’re probably best used in concert with a digital or cloud-based storage system.

Which brings us to backing things up online. If you have a Mac computer (or iPhone) you can use iCloud, which gives you 5 GB of free storage. If you want more than 5 GB of space, however, you’ll have to pay for a subscription. If you don’t have a Mac (or if you need more space) you can subscribe to an alternative program like Dropbox or Google Drive, which are both trusted services. They back-up automatically, so you never have to worry, and work just like uploading a file to your email.

USB flash drives are another simple, portable tool for storing photos. They’re inexpensive, and great for sharing photos when you don’t have easy access to Wi-Fi. They’re not, however, designed for long-term storage, and rarely come with a lot of storage space.

While all these options have their purpose—and are easy to use—you probably want to use a combination of storage services to ensure you never lose a photo. But once you have your images securely backed up, it’s time to start managing your library.

Step 3: Organize and edit your photos

There are a bunch of programs available for desktops, tablets, and smartphones, so you may want to download a few of them and see what you use most.

We recommend using iPhoto or Picasa for cataloguing your photos on your desktop. The programs are built by Apple and Google respectively, and let you organize, store, and view your photos easily for free. They provide a great base for organizing and then uploading images to social networks, blogs, or galleries.

If you want to edit your images, you can try out one of Adobe’s beloved products. We recommend Lightroom, which is designed for the amateur photographer who wants to quickly and easily edit their photos, and Photoshop, which is the more complicated, but thorough program. You’ll get the most out of them when on your laptop or desktop, so if you’re a smartphone-centric person you may want to look at another service.

You can choose from a plethora of free and paid apps for your Smartphone or tablet that let you edit images before putting them online. You can download ones built just for framing, adding text bubbles, adjusting colour, adding in effects, or cropping images. They’re great for someone who puts everything on social media or wants to edit while on-the-go.

As we mentioned before, Canon’s Camera Connect app is great for transferring photos seamlessly, but it’s also good for organizing your photos and tagging them with a specific location—ideal for someone who wants to toggle between their computer and phone. The app is also very handy when completing the next step.

Step 4: Share your photos with your family and friends

The most important step: making sure everyone gets to see your amazing photos. There are many programs and services that help you send, upload, and share every image. You can use social media, create a blog, or just send images directly. Let’s break down your options.

Canon Image Gateway is a free, online resource that allows you to upload and share up to 10 GB of your photos and videos. You can use the service as a digital photo album and share photos by inviting people by email, blog, or social network. This is great tool if you want to share your photos in multiple ways.

Instagram is the go-to photo-based social media. It lets you upload images directly from your phone and you can edit within the app. You’ll garner likes and comments, plus you can follow other people and see what photos are defining their lives. It can also cross-post to Facebook, the old photo sharing standby, and is a great way to share your images with friends and family across the globe. You can upload to both Instagram and Facebook using your Canon app or directly from your camera.

If you want to add some context to your photos you can start a Tumblr, or create a blog on WordPress or Squarespace. All three of these sites are simple to setup and use, and can be easily followed by loved ones. Plus, you can use your new blog as a jumping-off point if you want to build a larger audience to share your adventures with.

While we are in the age of digital photography it’s still nice to print out your photos and put them in frames or a scrapbook. Canon PIXMA Photo Inkjet Printers are ideal for at-home printing. The PIXMA PRO – 100 allows you to print borderless photos up to 13″x19″, has a 8-colour ink system, including gray ink, and 9600 x 2400 maximum colour dpi. What this all means is that you can create large, vibrant and detailed colour or black and white prints in your home, which will make it easy to create a gallery wall with your favourite images. You can put your memories front and center so everyone who enters your home gets to see them.