Google Photos for Photographers: The Best Backup Solution?

Google Photos for Photographers

Is Google Photos a good option for photographers? In this article, we’re going to find out if it’s a worthy candidate for storing, organizing, and backing up your photos.

We’re also going to answer some questions, such as:

  • Does Google Photos allow you to store RAW files?
  • Is the storage truly unlimited?
  • Is it private and secure?
  • Can you easily share photos with clients?
  • Can you publish Google Photos on your website?
  • Can you also store videos?
  • Can I download a backup of my Google Photos?

Organizing your photos can be a daunting task. In fact, I often find myself snapping off hundreds of photos in a day. Especially when I’m on vacation.

So how do you keep it all organized? How do you backup those images to preserve those priceless memories?

Google Photos to the rescue!

One of the great things about almost all of Google’s products is that they’re free. And the same is true for Google Photos. But, there is a small catch.

If you want to upload the RAW files from your camera, you’ll need to select “Original” in the Google Photos section. This allows you to download all photos in the same resolution

and quality that you took them. But it does have a limited quota.

Google Photos Settings

When you have your Google Photos account set to the “High Quality” setting, it creates a reduced file size. Essentially compressing your photos using their advanced algorithm. This is the setting that will give you free unlimited storage. In most cases, your photos will retain excellent image quality. Especially if your main use is to view them on the web, share with friends, or for small prints.

But if you need to store RAW photo files, be sure to change the setting over to “Original”. Which has 15GB of free storage. After that they allow you to purchase additional storage at a very low cost.

Despite this small catch, I still find Google Photos to be the best solution for storing, organizing, and backing up your photos. And for many people, the free option is more than enough.

Advanced Search Capabilities in Google Photos

There are a lot of competitors in the online storage space wars. Including Dropbox, OneDrive, Amazon Photos, and iCloud. But one of the things that really stands out about Google Photos is their exceptional search capabilities and facial recognition that allows you to find almost any photo with ease.

google facial recognition

You can search your photos by location, facial recognition, date, activity or keyword.

So for example, Google can detect whether someone is fishing in a photo or swimming in a pool. So you would simply type in “fishing” in the search bar and you’ll be able to see all of your photos where someone is fishing. You can type in snow and it will show all the pictures that contain snow. Pretty cool.

This makes finding and organizing photos a lot easier.

Google also has some of the most advanced facial recognition software in the industry.

This allows you to search for photos based on WHO is in the photo itself. They can even recognize your pets. So you can search specifically for your pet name and Google will bring up all of the photos containing your pet.

You can also search based on the location where the photo was taken. Which is perfect for finding specific vacation photos.

Here’s an overview of some of the best features you’ll find inside Google Photos.

What if I want to download all my photos from Google Photos?

Google has a feature called Google Takeout that allows you to download all of your data. It’s a pretty cool feature.

It’s not found inside of Google Photos directly. But it’s inside your Google Account. You can find it here.

From here, you can download all of your bookmarks, calendars, contacts, email, and a bunch of other stuff. Including your Google photos.

You’ll need to select what data you want to include in your download, then scroll to the bottom of the page and hit “Next”. This will take you to a page where you can download your photos as a .zip file.

You can also choose to send the backup file to your email, Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive, or Box.

Once you’ve selected your options, simply click on “Create Archive” and Google will create your backup.

So now you can have your photos backed up in multiple locations.

Google Photo App… A must-have if you take any photos with your phone.

If you take a lot of photos with your phone, here’s another cool feature. By using the Google Photos App, all of the photos on your phone are automatically downloaded to your Google Photos account.

Google Photos Mobile App

So you have an automatic backup. You can then delete the photos from your phone in order to free up space. Because we all know those photos can start clogging up the phone’s memory bank.

In fact, with a single click, the Google Photos app allows you to remove all photos that have already been safely backed up. Saving you even more time.

And by downloading them to the Google Photos app, they’re now automatically organized via Google’s world-class search technology. Allowing you to find and share them a lot faster.

Perfect after a long day of shooting photos.

Plus, you never have to worry about running out of space on your phone again.

Google Photos also has a really cool feature called Google Lens. Which is an Intelligent Image Analyzer that tries to identify exactly what is in the photo.

It can identify specific breeds of dogs. Activities. The names of famous photos. And more. It’s pretty incredible.

The mobile phone has caused an explosion in the number of photos we take. And this app helps you keep them all organized. Without bogging down your phone.

Can I share Google Photos with Clients?

This is an important consideration for professional photographers. And I’m happy to report that Google does indeed allow you to share photos with clients, while still keeping your assets safe and secure.

Google allows you to share photos or entire albums with specific email addresses. Your client will be invited to privately view the photos.

You decide on the access rights they have. So you can share access to view / edit / or share the photos. Or a combination of the three.

This allows you to protect your work. If you simply want to allow your client to preview the photos, without being able to download or share them, you can give them “View” access and add a watermark to all of the photos.

This allows your client to select which one’s they want to purchase.

There are lots of solutions out there for professional photographer’s to create albums they can share with their clients. But at the end of the day, Google Photos is one of the best options. And certainly the most affordable.

You can also add Google Photos (or entire albums) to your website. Allowing you to easily showcase your work to potential clients.

Here’s a tutorial that shows you how to embed Google Photos on your website. Or use this one if you’re looking to embed an entire album.

Have you ever accidentally deleted a photo?

Well, it seems that Google Photos has thought of this as well. Whenever you delete an image, they hold on to it for at least 60 days in the trash.

So all you have to do is go to the trash folder, select the photo you want to undelete, and restore the photo good as new.

No more accidentally deleting photos. The same feature is also available for videos.

And finally, for those who like to share their photos, Google has a cool feature that allows you to display your photos on the big screen.

If you have a smart TV, Roku, or Chromecast, you can easily display your photos on the television. Allowing you to easily share them with friends and family. Or simply display family photos during a get-together. It’s always fun to reminisce.

So… there you have it. A complete review of Google Photos and the main features. There are a lot of competitors in the online storage space. They all do a similar task. But where I think Google Photos stands head and shoulders above the rest is in their advanced search capabilities.

Being able to search through your photos via facial recognition, location, activity or keyword. And now with an even more advanced technology they’ve been developing called Google Lens.

While Google Photos may not be suitable for all professional photographer’s, I’m betting it’s a perfect fit for 90% of people. Especially those who just want a great way to store, organize, and backup their photos.

Happy Shooting 🙂


Leave a Comment