What is digital files?

Digital files are digital images, videos, documents, and recordings of any kind. They have their very own language on the computer. For example, digital photos use the file extension “jpg” or “png” while digital videos use “mp4.” Digital images can be uploaded to websites like Facebook and Instagram; digital videos can be uploaded to YouTube and Vimeo; digital documents can be directly uploaded to Gmail, Dropbox, or Google Drive for safekeeping.

Digital photos are easy and convenient to manage because they require no physical shelf space like albums or prints. However, they are not enough when storing your digital image data—you also need at least three digital storage devices (in different forms and offsite) and a safe backup procedure.

What is digital storage?

A digital storage device is where digital files live, whether on your laptop or external hard drive or in the cloud. Digital storage gives you the convenience of digital file management without requiring physical shelf space. External hard drives are a popular digital storage device for digital photo storage. However, digital files on an external hard drive are still at risk of crashing or getting corrupted due to fire or theft.

According to Backblaze, the overall annualized failure rate (AFR) of 0.85% for the quarter is the fourth consecutive quarter where the AFR was below 1%, a trend we are very pleased with, especially as we’ve added over 42,000 new hard drives to our farm and migrated another 23,600 drives over the period.


Storing files in the cloud means keeping them on a computer server accessed via the internet rather than on digital storage media physically attached to (or in) your computer. Storing documents online comes with its own set of unique risks that are different from digital photos kept locally or on an external hard drive, like potential hacking and data loss if the cloud company goes out of business.

While there are plenty of ways to store digital photos, from your computer hard drive to a flash drive to the cloud, none of them are entirely foolproof. Hard drives can be corrupted, flash drives can decay or break, and the cloud can be hacked.

When storing your digital pictures, the best thing to do is have at least three storage places. That way, if one is lost somehow, you still have a backup. Ideally, all three of your storage options should be in different forms, and at least one should be offsite, i.e., not in your home.

At Loc Le Films, Seattle Wedding Photographer, we keep your digital files are in three different places. One is in the cloud, one is in the studio back up, and the last is in offsite storage.

Remember home movies? Everyone had camcorders and stacks of video cassettes. Nowadays, it’s a challenge to find a VHS player, and if you didn’t transfer those home movies to a DVD or digital file, you likely have no way to watch them.

Technology changes more and more rapidly over time. Floppy disks were the norm 20 years ago before giving way to CDs, which are already considered outdated in favor of flash drives and external hard drives. The same is valid with digital images. As technology changes, you have to keep up and constantly move your digital photos to the latest storage system. Otherwise, you may not even be able to find a way to view your images!

Every digital storage option has a shelf life. While keeping your images in the cloud may seem like the perfect option (it’s offsite and can be accessed anywhere), one hacker can take over your account and erase all your images with the click of a button. Or if you store your photos on Amazon, maybe one day you can’t pay for your account, and suddenly you lose access to all the memories you held dear.

There is something special about digital storage devices like CDs and DVDs that digital files don’t have. While they are easy to access, digital images can also be very fragile. Digital photos must be stored in more than one digital storage device (three at least) and backed up regularly to ensure their survival for generations.

Physical prints or digital photos printed on sheets or pages can be kept safe indefinitely without worrying about digital corruption. Additionally, digital images can’t compare to the nostalgic value of printed photos. The same goes for digital pictures compared to physical prints: digital photo albums aren’t as satisfying, and digital images on the wall don’t carry the same weight as a framed photo.

While not immune to damage or loss, physical prints and albums still have an advantage over digital files. They can become family keepsakes, passed down from generation to generation. How many times have you looked through your grandparents’ old photos?

Prints also give you something tangible to hold onto, a way to look back at your memories without struggling to remember a password or figure out where exactly you put that flash drive with all your photos on it. While digital files may be lost or just forgotten over time, physical prints can hang on your wall or sit on your bookshelf—a clear reminder of your most cherished memories.

Are you still concerned about print? You can read my other article about the benefits of printing out photos.

Print album instead store in digital files
Heirloom Album
Print Metal wall art instead digital file
Metal Print
Canvas Print instead Digital file

Digital photos are great for sharing memories and nostalgia with friends and family, but many people know that they won’t be safe in any file format or on an external hard drive. Businesses like Loc Le Films Seattle Wedding Photography provide a digital-to-print service so you can keep your most valuable memories safely offline at home.

We hope that our article has helped you to understand the importance of printing out your wedding pictures as soon as possible! If you want help transferring those images quickly and easily from digital files to printed photographs, we’re here to assist. Our team is ready and waiting to partner with you today; contact us now if we can be of assistance!

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