5 In Creative Photo Projects/ Digital Photos/ Photo Disaster Prevention/ Scanning Photos

Is Your DPH (Digital Photo Hub) Naughty or Nice? How to Pick One that Works!

Perhaps you’ve heard the term DPH or digital photo hub, but isn’t sure what it is, or why you need one? In this blog post, I break down what it is, why you need one, and why you must choose wisely! Read on, internet friend!


Hey there, photo enthusiast! Today’s topic is an important one! This post is all about one of the most important purchases you will make in your digital life – your photo hub!


What is a Digital Photo Hub?

Glad you asked! A digital photo hub is THE place where you store all your digital photos. It could be a folder on your computer, an external hard drive, or any other place where the majority of photos live.

Your hub is also sometimes referred to as a Master. In other words, it’s the original. Think of recording artists, and how they have one master recording of a particular song. If you download that song, you are getting a copy, not the original. There is only one original, and everything else is derivative.


Why do I Need a Digital Photo Hub (DPH)?

Designating a digital photo hub is a must if you want to keep your photos organized, and backed up! Once you have a hub, every original goes there, and stays there, while derivates may occasionally exit out of it. Every photo you click is meant to pass through your DPH! Yes, EVERY image!


Is Your DPD Naughty or Nice?

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How Do I Pick The Right One?

Let’s outline what you have to look for when picking your digital photo hub:

What Makes a Hub Nice?

  1. It’s dedicated
  2. It’s intentional
  3. It’s accessible at all times
  4. It is high capacity
  5. It’s durable
  6. It’s predictable

Examples of Nice Hubs:


What Makes a Hub Naughty?

  1. It’s not dedicated
  2. It’s not intentional
  3. It’s not accessible at all times
  4. It is not high capacity
  5. It’s not durable
  6. It’s unpredictable

Example of Naughty Hubs:

  • Your phone’s internal memory
  • Online cloud solution


Your Hub Must Be Dedicated

Having a dedicated hub means that only your photos are stored there. Nothing else. Disorganization starts with clutter, and in digital organizing, it’s even more important to keep the clutter at bay because it’s not tangible, and therefore easy to overlook. Your photo hub should be free of anything unrelated. It should be a place where you go to look for photos only, such as an external hard drive. The photos folder on your computer is acceptable because it’s as dedicated as possible while still fulfilling all the other criteria. It’s also the most logical place to look if someone else wanted to find your photos.

Your Hub Must Be Intentional

Your digital photo hub should be a place you selected intentionally, taking all facts and criteria into consideration. It’s shouldn’t be a place that just happened. These are your memories – give it some thought, and select carefully. You’ll be glad you did.

Your Hub Must Be Accessible to You at All Times

Your hub should be local, and available whenever you need it. It should live where you live, and not at someone else’s place. It also shouldn’t live all alone in the cloud. Don’t get me wrong, the internet is great, but it’s only for additional backups and sharing, and not for use as a main storage hub. The very simple reason is that you need to have a subscription / connection to access it, which isn’t ideal in all situations. Perhaps sometime in the future we’ll all be constantly wired, but until that day comes, make sure you don’t need to be online to access your photos. Paying to access your own photos is a no-no in my opinion.

Your Hub Must Be High Capacity

Your digital photo hub should have ample storage space available, enough for your current photos as well as your future photos, and if you have a backlog waiting to be scanned, those as well. The whole point of having a digital photo hub is to have everything in one place instead of scattered around. By using one hub with enough space for everything instead of several smaller hubs that are divided, we are simplifying everything. No longer will you have to wonder which hub a photo is on – there will only be one choice. The capacity you need will depend on the types of files you have, and how many, so everyone’s needs will be a little different, but anything less than 1TB of space is generally not worth it.

Your Hub Must Be Predictable

Technology is sometimes unpredictable, so this is kind of hard criteria to meet, but I mean as predictable as possible. This is a great example of why using an online service isn’t a great option as a main hub because with some of these online services, you may not actually own your content after it’s been uploaded. Not only that, but you may actually have to pay to download your photos. You should own your photos, and not be dependent on a third party service who may or may not change their terms of service at any time. A lot of these changes can happen right under your nose, so it’s best to stay clear of them in the first place unless you are creating a back up, creating books, photo products, or are sharing copies with someone else. Case in point: As I am writing this, Shutterfly (one of the main players in the online photo storage space) does not allow you to download high-resolution copies of your photos; instead you have to select the ones you want, and pay $10/DVD to have them mailed to you. Smugmug recently changed their policy, and you can now only download one photo at a time. Can you imagine how long it will take you to download your whole collection? Ummm, no.


Tell Me: Where is your digital photo hub, and why did you pick it? What’s You Criteria? Share your comment with me below!


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  • Reply
    March 28, 2016 at 8:21 am

    I purchased a 4 TB LaCie, and am using Time Machine on my Mac Book Pro, which has had to be recovered a time or two. ( I don’t fully understand Time Machine, and panicked when I thought older files were being deleted, rather than compressed, to make room for new files. So, I let three months go by, without backing up, and of course it crashed. It cost me $200 to retrieve my files.)

    Somewhere along the line, I have lost my original folders in iPhoto, and THOUSANDS of files have been combined where I have to do a search to find.

    Is there a software or program that will organize massive files into some sort of order for me, for instance…folders by date?

    • Reply
      March 28, 2016 at 9:58 am

      Hi Marlene! Sorry to hear you’ve had trouble with your photos! You might want to give MYLIO a try (http://www.mylio.com). Even with their basic (free) edition, you can specify your folders and let it do the sorting for you. I would recommend letting it sort by date taken first to group all related photos together, and from there you can then sort further if you need to. Let me know how it goes!

  • Reply
    Marlene Fredricks
    March 28, 2016 at 6:29 pm

    Thank you! I will.

  • Reply
    July 22, 2016 at 4:09 pm

    My technically inclined husband chose a good external hard drive for us, but we’ve been lack in updating it. Photos from our cell phones go automatically to DropBox and that seemed good enough but after reading your blogs I totally see why it’s not! So happy to be getting this important project underway again with your help, Caroline! God forbid something happen to the decades of family history we have in our photos…

    • Reply
      Caroline Guntur
      July 23, 2016 at 12:44 pm

      Tack för kommentaren, Kelly! Funneling all your digital photos from your phones into DropBox is great, as long as you create backups of the DropBox account! I know you have Mylio too, so see if you can’t sync your photos to a secondary place automatically! 😉

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