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Gear & Apps

Top Five Reasons You MUST Get Dropbox!

By Matthew Saville on February 9th 2012

Don’t have a Dropbox yet?Click HERE and get started!

 

Okay if I say “cloud” and you think of the white fluffy things in the sky, you might not be ready for this.Everybody else, pay attention!Photographers especially-If you take tons of photos but you never back them up on more than a single external hard drive, and especially if you never SHARE your photos with the rest of the world, …then you need to finally get around to giving Dropbox a try.The first 2 GB are FREE, and even though that doesn’t sound like much I promise you’ll be able to put those two GB’s to good use!And of course they have 50 GB and 100 GB options, for the very fair price of $100-$200 per year.But don’t take my word for it, here are the top five reasons that EVERY photographer should be using Dropbox…Enjoy!


5.)Stop eating up your Gmail quota, and send larger attachments as a Dropbox “public link”
This is one feature that I recently discovered-How many of you are getting close to having to clean out your email accounts because of all those dang attachments with 20-50 MB worth of photos?Ugh who has time for that… Well now all you have to do is plunk that PSD / JPG / ZIP folder into your Dropbox “Public” folder, right-click it, go to the Dropbox option, and select “Get public link”.Paste that link into your email, and boom you’ve shared a 10-50-100 MB file without eating up youremail, or waiting for the dang attachment to upload so you can hit “send”!

 

4.)Automatically keep your latest, best photographs at your fingertips.
This is one trick that I’ve been doing for YEARS now.Whenever I’m editing a job and I find my favorite ~20 photos that are probably going to be blogged, all I have to do (in Lightroom 3) is right click that set of photos, and click my export preset for “Dropbox Websize Inbox”.Boom, my best photos automatically get saved to my Dropbox, and therefore to my Android / iPhone / iPad, for me to share with potential clients or fellow photographers.Sometimes, when I’m importing a small job and I’m SUPER excited to check out the photos but I barely have time to download and backup before hitting the road again, one thing I’ll do is just export ALL the photos at very low-resolution, to a “Latest Gig” folder on my Dropbox, so I can glance through them over dinner, or while on a long drive, from my phone while my computer stays at home exporting and automatically uploading…

 

3.)Synchronize entire folders with co-workers, friends and family, and still be able to access them even when you can’t go online.
This is such a lifesaver, once you start using it you’ll have no idea how you ever lived without it.The examples are endless, but for example I can work on a file from the studio on my PC, then go home and double check it on my iMac, and even later on the weekend when I’m at Disneyland but a co-worker or fellow photographer wants this or that JPG or PDF, …I can easily go on my phone, find the file, download it to my phone and/or share it right then and there.It’s such an awesome tool for team collaboration.

 

2.)Backup ALL your important documents and things, and access them from ANY device.
Even with the free 2 GB account, you should be able to cram in pretty much ALL of the documents and misc. small files that you need to access every day.As a photographer, I usually deal with PDF contracts, various DOC and XLSfiles, a few ZIP files here and there, and not much else.(Aside from many, many GB of photos, but that’s another post for another day!)With Dropbox, everything is automatically backed up online and even remembered for up to 1 month even if I delete a file.It’s like Time Machine, (an Apple thing ;-) …except its online, and up to 2 GB is FREE!Awesome…

 

1.)Automatically backup your cameraphone photos / videos to the cloud.
This is Dropbox’ latest, and quite possibly the COOLEST feature yet.Alright everybody, be honest, how many of you photographers neglect backing up your cell phone pics?Honestly I go months and months without downloading / backing up my cell phone photos, it’s embarrassing to admit but it’s true!I put so much time and effort into backing up my REAL photos, but I figure that it won’t be the end of the world if I ever lose my phone and with it lose a few hundred pics of my puppy or whatever.Well, now Dropbox is currently testing a new beta version of their software, (available on their forums) that allows your cell phone / tablet to automatically upload any images that get captured or saved to the device. How cool is that!No more having to plug in my phone, click a bunch of options, and then download a bunch of random snaps to a random “cell phone backup” folder, never to be seen again.Now, they’re automatically uploaded to the Dropbox cloud, and thereby downloaded to all your computers in the new “Camera Uploads” folder.Now my wife doesn’t have to remind me to email her the latest cute pics of our dog, and your business team doesn’t have to worry about getting those misc. reconnaissance photos you snap from the new jobsite.

Also, on the computer end of things, Dropbox is testing a new function for automatic camera importing and online backup.Just plug in your camera / memory card, and Dropbox automatically (if you choose) starts downloading your photos, and then uploading them to your Dropbox.This isGREAT for any photographer who travels for work, because as long as you can find yourself a fast internet connection, the 50 GB or 100 GB accounts are perfect for a quick online backup of your latest job.(Tip:If your internet isn’t fast enough to rock 20 GB of RAW files and you gotta fly home in the morning, just quickly move the RAW’s out of your Dropbox, and then use Lightroom etc. to export quick low-res JPG files at ~80%.You can get 50+ GB worth of RAW images down to 1-5 GB, which can easily upload overnight on a decent DSL or cable connection.)

 

There you have it.How can you NOT use Dropbox?I have no idea…

=Matt=

Matthew Saville is a full-time wedding photographer at Lin & Jirsa Photography, and a senior editor & writer at SLR Lounge.

Follow his personal wilderness adventures: Astro-Landscapes.com

See some of his latest wedding photography featured on: LinandJirsa.com

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Ed Rhodes

    i love dropbox

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  2. Binto

    Or as an alternative see Trend Micro’s Safesync
    http://www.trendmicro.com/us/home/products/storage-backup/safesync/index.html 

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  3. Jenn Bates

    Cool – I will be giving this a try!

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  4. Jon Yoder

    Great post! I’ve been using Dropbox for about a year now and I’m also quite a fan. The one feature I’m really hoping for is to favorite an entire folder from my phone. Currently you have to favorite (to download to phone) one file at a time.

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