It always amazes me how technology changes and evolves. I remember when I got my first digital camera the memory cards were like 128mb, and now I’ve got two 32gb cards in my camera at all times. The ability to transmit files across the internet has also drastically changed. I recall downloading a single song could take like 30 minutes. Now, that same song takes roughly 30 seconds. Before, the only way I could do anything with my files was in a physical form of a hard drive or a disc, but now a new technology is out there. A Dropbox account is an extremely beneficial tool for all types of photographers.
What is Dropbox?
Dropbox is basically an online storage place for files. You can think of it as taking your hard drive and having it placed out there in the internet. You can upload your files from any computer or device that you have, and the same thing goes for downloading the files or viewing them. They even have an app for phones or iPads, so really, you can access your files from about anywhere.
Why should photographers get a Dropbox account?
First of all, it’s free. Well, a basic account is free and you get 2 gb of space. You can also increase the amount of space in your free account by doing things like referring others. Now, if you want/need more space, you’ll have to pay. For $10 a month, you can get 1 tb of space, which I imagine will be plenty for almost everyone.
Another big reason for photographers to use Dropbox is to protect their files. Hard drives fail, and no one wants to lose all their photos. A lot of photographers will just back up their files to another hard drive, but what if something happens to your house? Dropbox fixes this by getting your files out and to multiple locations. Your files are stored online, and backed up by Dropbox, but you can also set up your account to automatically download your files to multiple computers, so you do have protection that way as well.
Dropbox also gives photographers another option for sharing files with clients or anyone else. You can share files or even whole folders with someone else just by simply typing in their email. I’ve used this several times for smaller shoots like family portraits or engagements where I’m only delivering 30 photos and it would be a waste of a disc, but I’ve also put whole weddings on Dropbox.
It has helped out while I was shooting as well. I’ve loaded photo ideas into my account, and then I was able to look at them while I was at the shoot. I’ve done the same thing with contracts or schedules for events. I put the document in there and then I can access it later from my phone.
The only real issue I’ve had with Dropbox is that it does take some time to upload a large amount of files. If you’re uploading a whole wedding of 2 gb, it could take a day or so. The same goes for downloading. Don’t expect it to be really fast.
I really do love having a Dropbox account. As of now, I’m not paying anything for my account and it has been really useful. It’s made my life easier and saved me several times. If you don’t have a Dropbox setup already, I suggest you at least get the free account and try it out.