Backing Up Your Flickr Photographs

Flickr by far has become the exclusive destination for any photograph I intend to share. I’ve been a Pro member since 2005 and while I’ve haven’t seen the service as a complete online storage for my work, I’ve also never put thought in the possibility of what my reaction would be if I lost it all.

I like to think Flickr is not going away anytime soon but that doesn’t mean you can’t plan for any surprises. All of my photographs are backed up on a 1TB Western Digital hard drive as well as on DVDs but despite that, I would have a greater piece of mind knowing that every single photographs I’ve uploaded to Flickr is safely stored elsewhere.

But it’s not all about the photographs. The reason I can’t envision myself moving on to another photo sharing site like Google’s Picassa is because I’ve already invested too much time using Flickr and I value the community I’ve managed to build through my photographs.

A photograph in itself can be valuable but it increases in worth when people other than you feel a connection towards it and I measure all that through the amount of comments and “favorites” a photo has received. I want to be able to backup all of that including the titles, descriptions, geotags, sets and of course the comments.

Some of the solutions I’ve found accomplish everything I want while others focus more just on backing up your photographs. In case your’e wondering why all the applications I mention cater just to Macs it’s because that’s what I work but there are PC solutions available as well.

In no particular order, here’s what I found:

1. FlickrBackup: A perfect tool for downloading all of your photos off Flickr and creating a backup. It’s written in Java and available for both PC and Mac users.

2. Bulkr: A free Adobe AIR based application which lets you download Flickr images in bulk. Features include downloading photos in 6 different sizes, up to 200 images in a batch download, resuming of downloads in case you lose connection and it also downloads title, tags, and descriptions.

3. FlickrToucher: This is a Python script that you run via the command-line and it grabs all your photos from Flickr and dumps them into a directory, organized into folders by set name.

4. Backupify: This is perhaps the one option I was most intrigued by because I was unaware there was a service that performed backups for your cloud based data from services such as Google Apps, Facebook, Twitter and of course Flickr.

The services provides an automated setup that backs up every photo in your Flickr collection, along with the tags and metadata that make your image collection uniquely useful. The backups take place weekly or daily based on what subscription plan you have. It is a paid service but the prices seem very reasonable.

5. Offlickr: Even with written instructions, I’m completely loss in trying to these type of scripts that require you to use the Terminal.app so although they seem to provide very decent solutions, I see myself wasting more time in trying to get them to work rather than getting anything accomplish.

What option did I choose? I haven’t yet but unless I can get someone to help me run Offlickr, I’m fascinated by Backupify especially because it’s an automated service that you set once and forget about it. We’re all already consumed with endless amount of task in a day so not having to worry about one more is a beauty.