G Suite: A Photographers All-in-One Solution
What even is “G Suite”?
Before we look at the various features that a photographer would love in Google’s “G Suite”, see below a brief list of what’s to offer. G Suite comes complete with:
- Online document creation: Docs, Sheets and Slides – a word processor, spreadsheet app and presentation app. Alternatives to Word, Excel and PowerPoint respectively.
- Drive – cloud storage
- GMail – e-mail app (send/receive/manage e-mails)
- Calendar – this does what is says on the tin, it’s a calendar
- Hangouts – video conferencing
- Keep – a notes saving app
- Sites – website builder
- and more…
As a photographer, I know too well the issues that we all face, especially when starting out – the questions it raises and in fact, during this “undecided” period of time, it is common that we go to and from the solutions available until we are “comfortable”.
If you are a photographer and have any of the following questions, keep reading my blog below.
- What’s the best way to store all my photos?
- How can I showcase my photos to my clients?
- How can I securely share my photos with a client, for them to view/download?
- How can I make sure there are backups of my photos in case of a disaster?
- Where can I store RAW photos without losing the original quality?
So, what’s the best way to store photos?
This must be, without a doubt, the most popular question that runs through a photographers mind on a regular basis. I think that even once a decision has been made, you continuously think this to ensure you’re still doing the right thing. It isn’t just because this is your business or even your hobby, but you’re potentially handling people’s memories. This isn’t always just your photos that you’re storing, it could be other people’s photos – who may want them sending again in a year or two (when they ironically lose them!)
Printed Photos – I have never met a single photographer who stores photos in printed format. Not only would you eventually need a storage container just for the photo albums you’d produce, it is an unreliable way to store them. Flood, fire, theft all come into the risk when you store photos in this manner. But they also fade and become brittle with a risk of tears and cracks etc.
Physical Drive Storage – Many photographers adopt this method because they believe it is the safety, most private way to store photos. A lot of this is due to misunderstanding about the cloud. They feel they can control their storage better through using physical drives, however it is important to remember that physical drives do fail eventually. Their life span will come to and end and the drive will fail – therefore, you are then looking at disaster recovery. So you then need to consider, if you chose this option, having a backup of every drive. Technically, you should probably have two copies of one drive, meaning you have three copies in total. And one of those copies should be stored somewhere other than your home/office.
Cloud Storage – This is the most modern form of storing your photographs, either the exported JPEG’s or the full RAW files. I actually recommend storing any of your files in this way. The largest disadvantage of storing files in the cloud is surrounding internet connection. Unless you store a version of the file locally (which often defeats the object of storing all this data in the cloud), you will lose access if you lose internet access. However, given that there are so many ways to access the internet, it is unlikely you will be unable to access the files for long. So, what are the pros to using cloud storage and for the benefit of this blog, particularly G Suite:
- Automatic backups, stored across the Google datacentres. Therefore, even in the extremely unlikely event of a full datacentre failure in the Google network, there will always be a copy/backup somewhere else, extremely remote.
- Hardware failures are responded to by Google. You wouldn’t even know if hardware fails.
- A number of ways to access, from desktop to mobile, software to mobile apps.
- Sharing controls and privacy settings – so you can restrict who can see what if your Drive structure is set up properly. Including public viewing and/or restricted to e-mail addresses.
- Bin/Trash – accidentally deleting a file is a thing of the past. Google will store deleted files in the ‘Bin’ for 30 days, allowing you to recover the file, before it is permanently deleted.
Why G Suite?
There’s other options, I won’t lie.
Prices are accurate at time of publishing
OneDrive – £5.99 per month for 1TB of cloud storage and Office365.
Box – £7.00 per month for 100GB of cloud storage and a 5GB individual file size limit.
DropBox – £8.00 per month for 1TB of cloud storage.
Amazon Drive – with Amazon Prime you get access to unlimited PHOTO storage (image files only)
Flickr – Free 1TB of photo storage with all accounts. Flickr Pro only removes ads and gives you photo stats. No upgrade available. 1TB is the limit.
G Suite – £6.99 per month which includes all Google features, professional e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) and 1TB of drive storage – this is per user in your “organisation”. If you have more than 5, then you each get unlimited storage.
Sharing Photos for View/Download with a Client
Google invest a lot in privacy, in my opinion, despite all the negative press they often receive. The ability to share files with anyone in various ways is a unique selling point for Google. You can share individual files, full folders and you can share with specific accounts or anyone with a link. You can also allow those people to share on – for example – you send the sharing link to the client direct and they want to add their parents. You can allow them to do that, so the sharing permissions are in their control too!
Not To Mention All Other Features
So, now you know about the online storage, it is worth me adding that the other G Suite features are outstanding. Google sites allow you to create your own website. In my opinion, their e-mail software (Gmail) is far superior to all others. Their spam protection is 99.9% of the time highly accurate and reliable and overall it allows you to manage your e-mails very well. Both on desktop and mobile versions of software and compatible websites. Their document processing applications are also extremely good. They can convert to many popular formats, allow you to collaborate in real-time with other users and of course, all of this is stored in the cloud. It is saved as you go, so even if you have a power cut – your document will remain saved! And finally, if you have an Android phone, you can sync your Google bookmarks, your calendar, your contacts and so much more seamlessly.
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