Save Your Photos Even Halfway Around the World

Posted Mar. 16th, 2018 by Daniel J. Cox

Save Your Photos

For some, like professional photographers, the ability to save your photos halfway around the world can be a career saver. For others it might be as simple as just wanting to protect a once in a lifetime trip with family or friends. Whatever the reason, I’ve never met anybody who doesn’t start to whimper when they think they’ve lost precious memories.

The one thing about digital photography I regularly tell my students is, “Easy come, easy go.” And that’s why having a system that backs your images up automatically to several places at once, is a dream come true. For me that dream comes in the form of Mylio.

Save Your Photos

The small Norway village of Longyearbyen glistens in the blue light of dusk. Svalbard, Norway. Lumix G9 with 12-60mm

Saving Precious Images for the ADP

This post was inspired by my recent assignment for Polar Bears International and the Arctic Documentary Project. I was producing stills and video of what PBI calls the Maternal Den Study where remote cameras are set up at great distances from polar bear den sites.

The goal is to try and better understand when females leave the den, how long they stay close to the den once they emerge, and any other visual data the cameras can capture. It’s an important project and one that would be impossible without the help from PBI’s partners: the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research and the Norwegian Polar Institute. You can learn more about the Maternal Den Study in the video below.

Mylio’s Pricing and the Competition

Although there are other programs that allow auto uploading/saving of images, such as Apple Photos and Google Photos, both require a monthly fee if you have a substantial collection. All three—Mylio, Apple, and Google—also have free plans, but for my library size FREE is not an option.

Mylio Pricing

Mylio gives you a FREE version if you’re shooting all JPEGs and no more than 25,000 pictures. To get RAW support you have to move to Mylio Premium which goes for $8.33/month with the ability to have 100,000 pictures in your collection. Then there’s my situation where I’m signed up with Mylio Max which is $20.83/month. But keep in mind I’m working with approximately 45 TB of data which is 1,070,000+ photographs. And I have up to 12 devices. Finally, Mylio is completely FREE for up to 500,000 images if you’re only using a phone or tablet.

Google Pricing

Google Photo gives you unlimited storage space if you are willing to limit photo resolution to 16 megapixels and video resolution to 1080p. They also compresses your images so no free RAW storage for this system. You do have the option to store at higher resolutions, but the storage counts against your Google Drive quota which for 1TB starts at $9.99/month. My current digital library is just shy of 45TB. Google’s largest amount of data space available is 30TB and they want $299.00/month. And that’s if I could even get all those images up to their cloud. Forget it!

Apple Pricing

Apple isn’t any better and actually not as good. The most storage space you can get with Apple Photos is 2TB and they want $9.99/month. So no chance of getting my library up to Apple Photos.

Don’t miss the first video at the top of this post. I actually produced it not even thinking about writing anything additional as I’ve done here. But I felt there was additional information I needed to share and was best presented in written form. Let me know what you think by adding your voice in the comments bellow.

Add Your Voice!
There are 9 comments on this post…
  1. Bill TylerOn Apr. 5th, 2018

    You mention that you have over a million photos in the Mylio system. But when I checked the plans, the Max plan tops out at 500,000. So how do you manage to have more than twice that number?

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Apr. 5th, 2018

      Bill, I currently just went over 1,078,165 images in my Mylio catalog. Thankfully, Mylio has given me a price that is for the 500,000 image library even though I have double that. Seems I’m not a normal user, which is part of the reason I consider myself Mylio’s #1 Test Dummy. Believe me, wit this any images I’ve found more than one way to break their site. But they just keep on fixing it and coming back even stronger. Below is a screen shot of the current number of pictures in Mylio some of them just added during my current trip in Tahiti.

  2. Mike VrobelOn Mar. 28th, 2018


    Thank you for the detailed response! That was enough for me to get started. I downloaded Mylio and it’s churning through my Lightroom folders as we speak.

    Re: adding my picture to the thumbnail: you’re welcome, and…I wish I could say it was on purpose. I have my own site, and I think the commenting system figured out who I am from that and loaded the picture. I’m glad it did – makes it easier to put a face to a name.

  3. Matt @ MylioOn Mar. 28th, 2018

    Hi all,

    Matt from Mylio Support here. I wanted to follow-up on some of the great points that Dan has made, and some questions from Mike about a workflow with RAW images on iOS and keeping them protected while you’re traveling.

    Here is a general workflow that I have personally used:

    1. Enjoy your trip. Take awesome photos.
    2. Once back in the hotel or somewhere with wifi, import the images from the SD card to Apple’s Photos App using the Lightning to SD card dongle.
    3. Once imported, open Mylio. Mylio references the originals in the Photos App (Camera Roll) and imports them automatically.
    4. As soon as they’re imported, Mylio will connect to a computer at home (as long as the computer is on, connected to the internet, Mylio is open, and RendezVous is turned on). We’ll start sending the Originals there automatically.
    5. Once the Originals are protected to the computer (this is easy to tell using Mylio’s Dashboard), use the Free Up Space On Camera Roll command on your iOS Device.
    6. Mylio will check to make sure the photos are indeed safe in Mylio at home and, once confirmed, ask to delete the versions from your iOS device’s Camera Roll.

    It is important to note that, when importing to an iOS device, Mylio references the original image in the Camera Roll. If this image is deleted before the Original is sent to another device, then you’re deleting the Original image. Luckily, Mylio’s “Free Up Space on Camera Roll” option will do all of this for you automatically so you never need to worry about deleting Originals accidentally!

    If you have any questions or if we can help create a workflow for you and your trip, please feel free to email me: support (at) mylio (dot) com.


  4. Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

    Daniel J. CoxOn Mar. 27th, 2018

    By the way Mike Vrobel, I really appreciate you uploading your mug shot to the Blog. I’m a firm believer in putting a face to a name. Very considerate of you to do that.

  5. Mike VrobelOn Mar. 27th, 2018

    Daniel, thank you! A few questions:
    1. What is your editing workflow? On your blog you mention editing in DxO, outside of Mylio. I’d love to see the details of how you edit (and then get the edits back into Mylio?)

    2. How does Mylio deal with lower storage size devices?
    2A. Do you have a full, high quality of Mylio on your travel hard drive (Mylio “main” lacie), or is it lower quality unless you request it?
    2B. How does Mylio handle syncing back to the library and freeing up space on your travel device?
    2B1 – Related question for iPhone/iPad – if Mylio imports a picture from my camera roll, and I later delete the photo, does it stay in Mylio? (Again, trying to think through how to free up space.)

    Background on the space questions: I have a MacBook and iPad, both with 256gb internal storage, that I want to use while I travel to Italy next month. My Lightroom library is not quite as impressive as yours (?), but it is a little over 1TB in size, so I’ll have to have a compressed version of Mylio on my travel device(s). I love the idea of it backing up to home while I’m in my hotel, but I’m worried I’m going to overwhelm the tiny hard drives on my devices. (Should have sprung for the larger SSD.) Also, I’d love to travel with only the iPad and use it to import full-res RAW into Mylio, but I think that will take twice as much storage – import into iPad camera roll, and from there into Mylio.

    (I’ll be shooting on the GH5 with dual memory cards set to copy, so I’ll have copies of each image on separate SD cards…but that’s still not enough copies to make me confident in my backup.)

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Mar. 27th, 2018

      Hi Mike, great questions. Let me step though them in order.

      1). My workflow is very simple. I do most everything in Mylio by first Importing to it. The Originals then go on my MacBook Pro. I only have a 1TB drive so having enough space for new originals is a definite requirement. More on that when I answer 2A. After Importing to Mylio I then go through all images and select anything I feel is worthy of keeping. When looking at Thumbnails, if the subject is people or wildlife, I first look for what I call body language. With an animal it may be how they are moving, a foot up as it walks broadside to the camera is more interesting than an animal with four legs looking as if they are cemented into the snow. Below is a visual of a recent shoot in Yellowstone that details what I mean.

      Body language is my first criteria when I’m looking at a series of images shot quickly in high speed burst mode.

      Once I’ve selected this image for body language I then use the Z Key in Mylio to bring it up to 100% to make certain it’s critically sharp. If it’s razor sharp I then give it the star rating. For me 3 Stars signify something I want to add to our online searchable database for the editors and clients we work with. Nest step is to decide if Mylio can handle any edits I may want to make. In the case of the elk image above, depending on how I want to use it, lets say for social media, this blog or ay other uses seen on a computer screen, Mylio can handle the edits of this image just fine. If this were a night photo of the milky way, Mylio wouldn’t have the ability to solve what would be noise issues and other possible more difficult editing tasks. For that I move the image out to DXO PhotoLab. Once I finish my work in DXO I save it with the DXO option to Save In Oringal Folder.

      This image was taken out to DXO PhotoLab due to the very dark light I was shooting in. Mylio has no tools for Noise reduction and even if it did I doubt it will ever compete with the superb noise reduction tool in DXO PhotoLab.

      DXO then drops my finished image into the original image folder with an extension that includes DXO so I always know this image has been worked on. Within seconds of DXO saving the image to the oringal folder, Mylio automatically sees a new image and imports it with no work on buy part whatever. One thing to keep in mind is that the more deices you have, and the further out of sync they are, this auto process may take more time. Why? Because Mylio is going through the process of syncing numerous devices and it may take awhile to get to the image you want Imported. If I want a corrected image immediately I shut down all syncing and Mylio then sees the new image virtually instantaneously.

      2). The way Mylio deals with devices that may have smaller storage options than the 45TB’s my main original library consists of is by way of Thumbnails and Previews. For example, my iPad and iPhone have only Thumbnails on them. Thumbnails are relatively small but look fine at the screen size even the iPad has. The iPad doesn’t look as good as the iPhone with Thumbnails but if I’m connected to the internet I can always call a Preview over from another device or even the oringal if I’ve left my MacPro at the office or Mac Mini at my house on. This can take some time, 5-30 minutes,  depending on whether I want a Preview or Oringal, how many images I’m asking for AND how fast my internet connection is. But in general the images on the devices are enough to make decisions in most situations. The exception is if I want to work on an image and export for the Blog or other uses. For this I have an external USB device, the 4TB Mylio Main Lacie that contains all images as large as Previews. Yo can actually work on Previews and for most social media, blog and even slide shows, the Previews are large enough to look great. By keeping these large Previews on the External USB, I don’t fill up my 1TB macBook Pro SSD yet I still have access to all my images, even if I’m don’t have an intern connection.

      2A) Details in answer 2.

      2B). My travel device is my MacBook Pro so as I’ve stated above, it only has a 1TB SSD. That’s enough space for 1,070,000+ Thumbnails AND Originals of current shoots. Keep in mind that my MacBook Pro is not setup to KEEP Originals. It will accept them via the Import process, but Mylio knows Originals are not meant to be on the MacBook Pro. However, it will not eliminate them from the MacBook Pro UNTIL it has sent the Originals to TWO other devices. Once Mylio knows there are two copies safe in other places, it will then start to purge the Originals from the MacBook Pro if it needs the space for new Originals I want to Import. With so many images I often wish I had a 2TB SSD and in the future I will get one. With so many images, I’m sometimes juggling new and older Originals. What I mean by that is that Mylio won’t remove them from my MacBook Pro unless they are on two other devices, but those two devices are generally on my Mac Pro at the office or Mac Mini at the house. If Mylio sees that those originals are safe it will start to purge them from the MacBook Pro. I sometimes don’t want that since I may be off on a new shoot and not finished culling or reviewing the last shoot. But I may need the space to get new Originals Imported. This would all be solved with a 2TB SSD and for most people even the 1TB SSD would be plenty. For me it’s a bit of a hassle audit requires I pay attention to how much SSD space I have at all times.

      Mylio is currently working on an update that will allow us to purge Originals from the main device but leave them on the External USB drive sucks as my Mylio Main Lacie. Currently when it purges and it knows the images are safe on the main drives back at home and the office, it takes them off the USB as well. I’m really looking forward to this improvement.

      2C). I’m not completely sure whether Mylio will remove the image from you camera roll. I’m not as familiar with the phone images as I should be because I renumber all my images, including my iPhone pictures. To do that I save all iPhone pics in a separate folder and then reimport to get them renumbered. This is a pain in the Keister and Mylio has promised the eventual ability to renumber pictures even though they’re already in the library. One that’s possible it will eliminate the reimport process of iPhone and iPad pictures. Maybe one of the folks from Mylio can jump in on this question as well as your interest in just using your iPad. Again, Iv’e never Imported RAW files to an iPad. I’m going to reach out to the support team at Mylio and have them clear this up for both of us.

      Hope this helps. Sorry for the long reply but hopefully you’ll have a better idea of the process now. Thanks for the questions and joining the conversation.



  6. DeanOn Mar. 16th, 2018

    I share your enthusiasm for Mylio. While I appreciate your need to “keep it short and simple,” I’d like to add to your brief review by emphasizing how fantastic a company Mylio is from the standpoint of customer service and technical support. This is a company that really cares about its users. Other than Apple’s technical support, I have never encountered such a knowledgeable and proficient team as Mylio’s. Mylio truly wants to help photographers and it the program is a joy to use. New users should, however, be prepared to spend a lot of time getting their photos into the system – – depending on the size of their photo library. But, once set up, it is startling how convenient it is to have access to your library on computers, phones, and tablets. More than once I have been talking with someone about a particular photo and then simply called it up on my iPhone to show them. It is simply mind boggling!

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Mar. 16th, 2018

      Thanks for adding your voice Dean. Do me a favor and share this any place you think might be interested. Always good to hear from you.

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