( I finally figured out a way to rescue my lost post from last week so sorry for the repeat post in your reader.)
I take my camera everywhere. It is both a good and bad habit of mine. Good because I have so many wonderful pictures of almost aspect of my life, bad, because I am pretty sure if my husband glares at me one more time for taking his picture, his face might get stuck that way. I still get a good chuckle out of the fact that my husband, who hates having his picture taken, married a photographer.
Anyway, because I take my camera everywhere I tend to have a fair number of pictures of other people's children. More than once I have gotten this heartbreaking message, "Hey Debra, this is so-and-so, our computer just crashed and we lost everything. They are going to see if they can recover the hard drive but they don't think so. I was just wondering if I can have all the pictures you have taken of my kids, so we have something." It makes me so sad, because it could have been prevented by backing up your photos.
You should back up your photos EVERY TIME you add new ones to your computer. Everything should always been in at least two places. It is a pain to add an extra step, but it might just save all of your photos later. You have quite a few options when it comes to backing up your images, here are some of the ones I use.
An external hard drive is a must for anyone who takes a lot of images. They have really come down in price and you can often find the 1 TB drives for under a hundred bucks. Seriously, do you know how many pictures you can put on a 1 TB drive? It depends on the file size but it is probably more pictures than you are ever going to take, right now after five years of having my SLR and operating my business I still have only filled up half of it. This option is easy because you can just drag and copy your images onto your external right after you add them to your computer.
Burning CD copies. This can be time and space consuming, especially if you are going to take a lot of photos. I use my external as a primary back up to my computer and then for the very important events I burn a copy and leave it somewhere safe that is NOT my primary residence. For example, there are CDs at my parents house that have my wedding photos and my daughter's birth on them. If disaster did strike, there is a good chance that the photos I would be devastated to lose will be safe. Every year I burn a disc of my favorite photos from that year and add it to the stash at my parent's house.
Uploading photos. There are so many online places that will allow you to upload all of your images. I upload all of my photos with Shutterfly, because they offer free unlimited upload space. I know Lorene uploads her photos to Picasa Web Albums (through your Google account), Picasa Web Albums give you 1 GB of free storage, letting you purchase more space if you need it. Picasa Web Albums is where your Blogger photos are stored so many of you already have some photos on there.
It doesn't matter where you back up photos, but you need to back them up!