Amazon Cloud Drive for Photographers

One of the advantages to being home for the holidays is catching up on all the projects that are too difficult to accomplish on the road. Amazon recently announced for prime users that the Amazon Cloud Drive service would offer unlimited photo storage for no additional fee. At $99 a year for Amazon Prime, you get expedited shipping and access to Amazon Prime Video. It’s a great deal that just got even better. I currently use Backblaze for my cloud backup of EVERYTHING. Terabytes and terabytes of data backing up continuously in the background for $50 a year.  I keep my master files on the hard drive of my main computer (currently a MacBook Pro) and on an external hard drive. You can never have enough backup solutions so I decided to add my master files to the Amazon Cloud Drive. The interface is slow and a bit clunky, so the idea of adding all my images was too daunting. That’s what I have Backblaze for. With Amazon, I created folders for each gallery (similar to what you see on my site) and added the TIFFs. It took about 5 days to get everything backed up and now it’s accessible by logging into my Amazon Cloud Drive account from any computer in the world. In addition, there is an iOS app that allows access. Because they are large TIFFs, this is not a practical solution for downloading your images, but it does a decent job of pulling up previews.

For those curious as to what I mean by master files, let me go into greater detail. When I am done editing an image, I save it as an uncompressed TIFF in Photoshop and give it the official title that you see on each image on my site. That TIFF becomes the crucial base of all iterations of the image. The TIFF can’t be shared because it’s not sharpened for presentation or print. I use Tony Kuyper’s sharpening actions to create web worthy images based on the TIFF. When I have an order for print, I use the TIFF to create a specific file to match the order. Let’s take a look at example file names for this image, titled “Endless Wonder.”


The master file will be titled: EndlessWonder.tiff

Here are possible iterations of the title:

For my website: Endless-Wonder-Proxy-Falls-Website.jpg

For my iPhone: EndlessWonderiPhone.jpg

For a 12×18 print on luster paper: EndlessWonder12x18Luster.tiff

For a 32×48 metal print: EndlessWonder32x48Metal.tiff

As you can see, everything is derived from the master file. Losing my master files or not having access to them at all times would be extremely detrimental for my business. Using the Amazon Cloud Drive gives me one more point of backup, and since I was already a happy subscriber to the Amazon Prime service, it was a bonus feature I was thrilled to take advantage of.


7 responses to “Amazon Cloud Drive for Photographers

  • marionowen

    Hi Justin, great post and reminders. For what it’s worth, Adobe gives you 20 GB of cloud storage via Creative Cloud.

  • Lee T

    Thanks Justin! I always learn extremely helpful and valuable tips from you! I’ve also been a happy Amazon prime customer for years, but didn’t realize they would take any amount of data in the cloud?? I have at least a 3 or 4 terabytes so didn’t even want to try uploading to a cloud backup, but have 3 different hard backups. Regardless of price, do you prefer Amazon to Backblaze? Happy New Year!

    • Justin Reznick


      Happy New Year! For 3 to 4 terabytes of data go for backblaze. Works in the background, super easy. For Amazon, upload on the important files and an additional backup. Looking forward to seeing you in 2015!


  • mikeguilbault

    Justin… Great article. I was just about ready to purchase another external HDMI for backup, but Backblaze sounds like a much better solution, especially for the price. Does it work well with large image files? I have a few panos from the Gorge that are GB’s

  • Terry

    Appreciate the insight into your offsite backup and workflow. Backblaze sounds cool. I’ll check it out.

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