The Family Ringleader Fixes her Photos

Heather works at a home maintenance startup, helping customers keep their appliances and services in order. Yet at home, she needed some help herself - with her tech. Over 50,000 photos had become scattered across different platforms, and she was dangerously close to losing all her data. From opposite coasts we caught up over video chat to look at her situation.


When we first met, it seemed like you had a look of terror permanently stuck on your face… what about your photo dilemma was keeping you up at night?

I was mainly worried that a lost phone or busted computer would result in losing decades worth of life memories in my photo stream. So, per my usual, I overcorrected and signed up for all the services: Dropbox, Google Photos, iCloud Photos… and aside from fretting over having to pay for each of the different services each month, I started to feel completely at a loss as to where the images actually WERE. I had no faith that anything had backed up correctly, so I felt like I couldn't cancel any of them. Did Google update everything? What was still in Dropbox? Was iCloud getting it all?

After some in-depth investigation, we found that these different services were mixing up different pieces of your photo collection. Do you feel like tech companies are making it harder to keep things straight?

I don’t think they are doing it on purpose. I think it’s just a byproduct of living in a complicated and glutted digital world. I DO think they purposely try to lock you in - making it hard to share images across different platforms, difficult to cancel, etc.

When we saw the entire library in one place for the first time, we both shared a major sigh of relief. How are things going now with one organized setup?

I just feel confident that my entire photo world lives in one place now, and it IS a huge relief. It’s all set up to automatically update to the cloud, and I just know I can access it no matter where I am. You were fabulous to work with! Now, figuring out what to actually DO with all these photos now that I have them is a completely different matter… 
Robbie Klein