Our travel photographs would be very expensive to replace. Replacing them would be more than just buying another ticket and heading back to some far-flung destination. They represent our memories. As a full-time blogger my photos are also part of the way that I make money. A text-only blog post is not as memorable and will attract less traffic.
So what do you do to protect your photos from loss? For me part of my strategy has been to upload my photos to Flickr (I have purchased a Pro account) where they can be stored “safely” in the big internet cloud from anything that might happen to my laptop and my backup drives (yes, that was backup drives plural).
I have been increasingly concerned, however, to find that photos that I put up on flickr are no longer there. I have not deleted them, but they are gone. And they are disappearing in some unpredictable fashion. A little over a year ago I went to Mexico City and Oaxaca Mexico. I wrote a journal about my trip which I posted to my blog along with pictures. Pictures have now disappear from days 1-4 and from day 8. Photographs from days 5-7 are still there. As a blogger I can notice when photos I have blogged about have disappeared but would you notice?
I am starting to hear that others are seeing their photos disappear but I have been working with Flickr support for about a month now and they have no ideas. They first said that I must have edited these photos which changes the URL. But these photos didn’t just get a new URL. They are missing. My Mexico City photo set used to have pictures of 3 full days in the city. Now it has 2 photographs. If you ask anyone who travels with me they will assure you that I take more than one photograph a day.
Check Your Account
If you have a flickr account you need to see if your photos are still there. Leave a comment here on what you learn. If this is a problem and Flickr knows about it then they should say something. A photo sharing site should NEVER EVER lose a photo. Even if my account were full (a Pro account is unlimited) then you should get a warning before any photo is deleted.
No matter who you use as your photo service you need to make sure you have a backup or two.
Alternatives to Flickr
I am using SmugMug as an alternative. (see travelphotos.amateurtraveler.com). I have had good experience with their service and I can host the photo gallery under my own domain. In case you are also interested in looking at them I have included a (affiliate) link below.