Home > Images, photography, SmugMug > Archiving and Keeping Your Phone Photos Safe

Archiving and Keeping Your Phone Photos Safe

In your busy life, the camera you usually have is the one in your pocket: Your phone! The photos you take with it are the easiest and most “real,” but they’re also the most difficult to get safely archived and online.

Don’t let your best memories die in a digital graveyard! It’s simple to get them out of your phone and safely up into SmugMug where you can cherish them for years… no matter how many times you drop, dunk, or destroy your device.

Today, we’re reminding you to do this often, so you’ll never be left grieving over the loss of your priceless mobile memories.

On iPhones and Android

If you have an iPhone or Android phone, it’s a no-brainer: use our Camera Awesome app. It’s a camera, editing suite, social hub, and backup service all in one, so you’ll never need to exit the app (unless you want to)!

How to do it: Download the Camera Awesome app. Tap the little gear icon at top left to open the settings and connect to your SmugMug account. You can then use the app to take all the photos and videos you want, edit them, and, when you’re ready, upload them to your account.

  • You can also upload photos taken via other apps as well as your phone’s default camera through Camera Awesome, since we’re all about equal-opportunity backups.
  •  If you choose, you can set ALL photos and videos that you shoot with Camera Awesome to automatically back up to your gallery as you shoot. Or opt to send them only when you’re connected via WiFi.
  • Alternatively, you can choose to save photos from Camera Awesome to your phone’s photo library and manually upload them to your computer’s hard drive (and to your SmugMug account!)

Hot tip: If you’ve taken a photo and for some reason can’t find it in your photo library, our Support Heroes use apps like iExplorer to find and access every file on your device.

Backing up on other phones or apps

If you aren’t using Camera Awesome, your phone should still allow you to access your images manually, so you can upload them to your SmugMug website for safekeeping.

We won’t go into specific steps for how to do this, since you’re probably already familiar with the process of plugging in your phone to your computer. You may even already use manufacturer’s software to download your photos to your computer and they may even offer to put a copy of your photos into existing free services that you use, like Dropbox or Facebook. This is a convenient option, but we recommend taking two more seconds to also drag your files into SmugMug, too.

Why? SmugMug’s the only service that’s completely unlimited to use, and we won’t squish or resize your images. Storage is already included in your subscription fee, and you can retrieve everything using the built-in backup feature.

We’ve got several really great ways for getting your files into SmugMug; use the one that works best for you. We like using the default browser drag-and-drop window, with the option to automatically skip or allow duplicate files.

If you walk away remembering nothing else….

… be sure it’s this: Please download and back up your photos on a regular basis so if your phone should ever get lost, stolen, or go on the fritz, you won’t miss a single memory that you’ve recorded. We’ve all had this happen to us, and with SmugMug you can retrieve thousands of lost memories with a single click.

Happy snapping. And don’t forget to back up!

  1. JPC
    April 10, 2014 at 12:19 pm

    There are numerous reviews stating that this app does not work on the S4. I need to know that it does before I pay for it. Standing by…

    • April 10, 2014 at 12:32 pm

      Hi JPC! Camera Awesome does work on Samsung S4 phones, but keep in mind that because there are many Android devices out there not all features will work on all phones. We’ve heard that two finger focus and exposure doesn’t work, and HDR may not work. So if you are still unsure about whether the app will work on your phone (or has the features you want the most), you can always buy the app and try it out.

      If it’s a no-go, you can ask for a refund within 15 minutes, or contact us.

      Good luck and we hope this info helps!

      • JPC
        April 10, 2014 at 12:36 pm

        Thanks for the quick reply.

        1) How do I go about requesting a refund?
        2) How do I assign the gallery to which the pics are uploaded?
        3) Do you have plans to fix these issues with the S4? It’s kind of a popular phone, don’t you think?

  2. April 10, 2014 at 2:27 pm

    JPC :

    Thanks for the quick reply.

    1) How do I go about requesting a refund?
    2) How do I assign the gallery to which the pics are uploaded?
    3) Do you have plans to fix these issues with the S4? It’s kind of a popular phone, don’t you think?

    To request a refund through the Google Play store you’ll have to read their terms and conditions. Otherwise, you can contact our Camera Awesome team at ca-android@smugmug.com to get direct help.

    As for your questions, there are some basic characteristics of each phone type that don’t allow support of certain features, which is why they don’t work across all devices. Unfortunately this means it’s something that can’t be fixed with code.

    To change the upload gallery, just open the app and hit the little gear icon at the top to open your settings. You can set which gallery your photos are archived to, or tap the “SmugMug” button under the Services list to specify which gallery you manually share to.

  3. AP
    July 8, 2014 at 10:38 am

    How can we setup SmugMug (Camera Awesome App) to auto backup my photos from my iPhone 5S (similar to how the Google+ and OneDrive apps do so)?

    • July 11, 2014 at 4:27 pm

      Hi AP, you can set your archive options in the app to back up to your camera library, or you can set it to automatically upload to your SmugMug galleries under “Cloud Archive.” the latter is disabled by default but enabling it will ask you to log in and choose a backup gallery. Hope this helps!

  4. Berry
    September 2, 2014 at 2:31 pm

    Hello there! Camera Owesome doesńt want to show me my videos i did yesterday! It’s shut off as soon as I try to open it. Kind of bug! Could you help me to fix it up, and make my video back and open… Thank you

    • September 2, 2014 at 2:38 pm

      Hi, Berry, we’re sorry to hear about the trouble! Could you shoot our Support Heroes a message with these details as well as any other info that you can think of (like your phone model and iOS version, what you see when you open the app, and any error messages you may see)? We’ll be able to help right away:

      http://help.smugmug.com/customer/portal/emails/new

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