Mobile Photographers, What Cloud Service Should You Choose?

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It’s not just about taking beautiful photos.  It’s not just about posting to your favorite social media platform.  There is a necessary element that should not be overlooked if you are going to enter the world of mobile photography.

Much like many responsible photographers across the world, mobile shooters should really consider the best options for storing your photos.  Backup, backup, backup. This should be your mantra.  I definitely suggest backing up to your physical harddrive.  I definitely suggest backing up your physical harddrive to another harddrive. But what if you want to access your archived photos across different platforms?  This is where cloud storage comes in. But how much will that cost? Let’s look at the best options that could best fit your needs; from the power to the casual shooter, I’ll try to best sum up our options.

Things of note:  All of these services have apps that you could use that will link services to a desktop application.  All of these services are paid services and you really will get what you pay for.  All of these services provide somewhat similar services but things consider may or may not have strong security.  This is paramount and should be considered when deciding what service and ​plan is best for you.

A few years ago, cloud storage options were not affordable to the general consumer.  Things have changed and now these services are in abundance.  Mobile application support is a common feature and now the consumer has the upper hand.  That’s a win for us mobile shooters.

Prices for cloud storage are down significantly and privacy and security concerns have forced most services to up their measures on safety and encryption. Again win and win for us mobile shooters.

However, the level of competition in the space has risen tenfold. Probably more – there’s no way for me to actually know. But at least from the consumer’s standpoint, the space is getting crowded, forcing those who were already around to get creative, competitive, and offer a better deal than the competitors.

Below, I will try to provide some of the best options that I’ve found and even let you know what I use as a power shooter not just for mobile but for my big camera DSLR work.  All of this is paramount for me to continue showing my skills as a photographer as well as archive my daily jaunts as a family man. It’s not just about the professional, it’s also about keeping our personal photos safe.

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OneDrive. Microsoft

Microsoft is also in the mix for cloud storage options. OneDrive is a great option. It doesn’t differ much from the other providers but it has the cheapest package for 1TB. If you are a power user for the Microsoft products such as Office, well this is a great option.  It integrates well with Office 365 across all your devices. For me this is the best option because I integrate my products across Apple and Microsoft. OneDrive is available for Android, iOS, and Windows Phone

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Google Drive

Google Drive. Google

How many of you have a Gmail account? If you raised your hands then you already have Google Drive.  Every Gmail account has 15GB.  Of course you can upgrade but if you are like me, you probably should.  I find this a great option for not just storing photos but documents and such that are attached within my Gmail. Google Drive is available for AndroidiOS, and Windows Phone.

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iCloud. Apple

Apple’s iCloud Drive is a storage option for just Apple consumers.  Obviously if you are not an Apple faithful, this option is not for you.  The options are affordable at $.99/ month for 20GB up to 1TB for $19.99/month.  This is a great option if you are that Apple diehard fan. iCloud is for iOS only.

Here's more detail on OneDrive.

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Mega offers the largest amount of free storage upon signing up at a whopping 50GB. The main thing about Mega is it’s beliefs and principles on privacy and security.  Other cloud storage options hold the decryption key to your account.  Mega let’s you decide your safety options giving you the key to your storage kingdom.  Mega's mobile application covers Android, iOSBlackberry, and Windows Phone.

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Box is an option if you’re looking for cheap pricing and ok storage.  Once signing up you will receive 10GB free BUT your file sizes are restricted to 250MB.  This is fine for mobile photographers as files sizes for photos are significantly smaller even with the addition of RAW formatted photos. You can upgrade your plan for just $5 to 100GB which increases size limits to 2GB. Box is available for AndroidiOSBlackberry, and Windows Phone.

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Copy is an option that provides 15GB upon signing up.  For 40GB more, refer your friends and have them sign up.  There are no file size limits and the mobile applications cover Android, iOS, and Windows Phone.

What does this mean for you?

Overall it is hard to say which is truly best for you. You really need to consider pricing structure and privacy and security. If you are looking at privacy and security before pricing, then Mega is probably the best fit for you. If you are looking at best price for the amount of storage and a pretty standard service, I say go my route and get OneDrive or Google Drive. As a consumer and a photographer, don’t be overwhelmed. There are many options for you and one of them is bound to fit your needs. The best part is these services are expanding. Cross-platform use and support is growing and with that prices are becoming way more affordable than before. It’s a win for you, you, you, and everyone. *In my best Oprah voice*