How do you manage and backup your photos on Mac?

How ya’ll backing up your photos? RAW files directly from the camera, and photos from iOS alike.

I currently have everything in Photos, it’s nice but also a bit worrying to have everything in one place. Also want to thin out my iCloud storage a bit

Optimally I want something like DEVONthink: Allow me to e2ee encrypt at different locations at the same time. Even better if I can do this like Arq does it: Directly use services that have an s3-like interface, and move files onto it.

Even better: Something that can also manage the photos for me. So I can see my library, but it is backed up to different locations

Does this perfect photos solution exist? :smiley:

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Perfect for me seems to be I have photos in Photos, with my Mac backed up locally and on BackBlaze. Job done.

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Photos is nice, but not really a backup solution, and putting videos + RAW files into Photos makes those iCloud Drive GB go up pretty quick :sweat_smile:

1 copy to Nextcloud (selfhosted) and 1 copy to my Synology NAS (Synology Photos), which is then backed up to cloud storage (encrypted)

I got rid of iCloud photo’s as soon as Apple announced they were going to start scanning content on my device if I use their cloud storage.

How do you like the Synology photos app? Is that what you use, or are you using another app to send the photos to your NAS?

I keep my photo library on an external drive with “save as originals” so I’m not storing a bunch of thumbnails. My computer and that external HD both get backed up to another external HD, and then to BackBlaze.

I use the photos app to sync.
It’s not as steady as iCloud sync, but that;s to be expected in the walled garden of the Apple eco system.
But, it gets the job done and Ive no complaints. I check if things are synced every week or so, and so far have found no issues.

I’m aslo syncing to Nextcloud using the nextcloud app, and that’s where I view my photo’s not from the synology.
I have Photoprism index my Nextcloud photo folder and that’s the interface I use to view pictures, create and share albums.

For my casual photos taken with my iPhone, I just use Photos and back up my Mac many different ways among three machines (Time Machine on all three, Chronosync on one, SuperDuper on one, Backblaze on two). One of those Macs is set to download originals.

For my Sony mirrorless camera photos, I use Lightroom (the Creative Cloud version). In addition to backing up along with my Mac, as mentioned above, every now and then I go through and back up each Lightroom album by doing an export to one external drive I keep at home, and another drive I keep at the office. I forget the name that Lightroom gives it, but it is the backup method that contains the original RAW files, plus a side file for each photo containing all the edit info. I’ve tested restoring from those backups, and it brings everything back into Lightroom, as best I can tell.

This is intriguing to me, because I really need to consolidate some old photo libraries, but I don’t really have the space on main (laptop) drive for all my photos.

How is Photos running off the external drive? Are you on a desktop or laptop? And what happens if you want a photo but you’re not connected to the drive? (Maybe only a problem with laptops?) And can it use Apple’s iCloud photo syncing when it isn’t on the boot drive?

Does anyone have experience running multiple photo libraries these days?

I also use the Photos app.

I have them set to download all the photos to my Mac (essential or they won’t get backed up), and then use Backblaze and Time Machine. I don’t ever keep RAW files, once I’ve processed them I save them as JPEG.

Lightroom/Photos is backed up by BackBlaze and Time Machine. So I don’t do anything special.

Photos runs great off the external, and I’m using an older WD external drive (HDD) vs an SSD. The only issue I have is sometimes it’ll freeze for a few seconds after clicking a photo or editing, but it’s nothing major. I imagine when I upgrade to an SSD this will no longer be a thing.

It’s connected to my M1 Mac mini so it never gets disconnected and yes, it syncs just fine with my iPhone, iPad.

I really like the idea of keeping a local copy and not trusting everything to the cloud gods, but I have far more photos than my M1 Mini could possibly hold, so this has been a good solution for me.

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Sigh. Another reason to want a Mac mini…


Manage: Adobe Lightroom Classic to cull, Hazel to process, rename, move
Backup: Google Photos

All of my photos, including those I’ve taken with my iPhone, are stored on an external hard drive in a well-organized hierarchy of Finder folders. I’m an avid photographer who only shoots raw (even on my phone), so my library is terabytes huge.

I back those folders up to the cloud using Backblaze.

The platform I use for my photography website offers unlimited storage of full-res files, whether they’re publicly-facing or not, so I store a copy of my most treasured images there as well, just in case.

I manage my photo library with Adobe Lightroom. (Photos aren’t stored in Lightroom; managing a photo library with Lightroom is roughly equivalent to indexing a repository of files with Devonthink.)

Since I process my photos with more than one application (Lightroom, Photoshop, DXO Photolab, and occasionally the Topaz suite of tools), and need to access them from a variety of different applications (everything from document creation to online posting to online sharing), storing them in Finder folders makes them accessible no matter what I’m doing.

I do maintain a few organized folders containing finished jpegs on my iMac’s desktop for those times that I’ll need to share them via Zoom, upload to a shared cloud drive, or send out via email.

I only use Photos as a place to store edited images that I want to put on my iPhone or iPad to show off or share.

I have a very similar system to @krocnyc.

I move all images from all cameras to my Mac, in finder folders as I too use a variety of tools to work with my images. Originals are stored on one hard drive. Processed images on another.

Both are synced daily to another pair drives with Chronosync.
Both are included in my Backblaze backup.

I also use a web service to host images, but that is for viewing and sharing, not as backup.

I do not use photos on my Mac.

Do you use the Photos app on your phone, assuming you’re using an iPhone? Curious if you curate your Photos library like @krocnyc or if you do something else.

I do use Photos on the iPhone, as it is what is available. But I move most of the images off the phone to my Mac for further editing and processing.

I process my images and save them as JPEGs, and save them in folders on the hard drives as described above.

I do not send images back to Photos on the iPhone for viewing. I have a SmugMug account that I load those images I want to be able to view on the phone or anywhere via the web.

Hope this answers your question.

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It does. Thanks!

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