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I was born and spent the first 6 1/2 years of my life in a very small town in Idaho.  It was safe.  It was quaint.  In the summer, my parents sent us out the door in the morning and my dad whistled for us on the front porch when it was time to come home for dinner.  We roamed.  We road bikes.  We played in “the dirt hills” nearby.  No cell phones.  No parents texting back and forth where the kids were off to next.  No parents meddling in what we were doing every second of every day.  In my mind, my parents had no idea where I was much of the time or what I was even really doing.  I don’t say that in a neglectful parenting kind of way.  It’s just the way things were where I grew up.  As a 5 year old in a small town, I had, what felt like, a lot of freedom.

I compare that childhood reality to the ones my kids live in and I’d say my husband and I have hit somewhere in the middle.  We live in safe neighborhood.  Our kids walk or ride their bikes to friends houses a few streets away.  They play outside in fields nearby, or ride bikes around the neighborhood.  I don’t always know exactly where they are at every given moment, but for the most part I do.  None of my kids have a cell phone yet (my oldest is almost 13).

I know there are some parents who know exactly where their kids are at every moment.  GPS tracking their every move.  Literally.

They say we live in a different world today.  In some ways I think that’s true.  In some ways, I think we make it scarier in our minds than it actually is.

That’s not my point for today, though.

Here’s what’s on my mind.

Just this week, we’ve had a few, incidences you could say.  One where one of my kids had something done to him.  One where a few of my kids were a part of something hurtful to another kid.

And the question keeps popping up in my mind (and one I really struggle with)–when as parents do we intervene?  When do we step in to the kid quarrels and disagreements and fights and leaving each other out?  And when do we step back and let them handle it themselves?

The first incidence this week, my kid was actually being physically attacked and I was there.  I saw it. I obviously intervened because he wasn’t defending himself.  We’ve talked a lot about it since.  I did not tell the boys mom for various reasons.  I did talk to my boy about how to handle it in the future (namely–you won’t get in trouble for defending yourself along with a few other things to think about).

The second incidence, I was contacted by a parent about some friends being left out.  I talked to my kids about it.  Seems to be a recurring conversation I have with my kids and kids in general.  It’s tricky, this whole leaving people out thing.

But I’m left with this frustration I guess you could call it.  My parenting style is definitely more on the “let the kids figure it out” end.  I don’t remember my parents ever ever ever intervening in an issue between me and my friends.  My mom never called another mom to work out my problems for me.  My dad never called another dad to inform them how his kids were being treated.  When another kid teased me or picked on me or one of my siblings, parents didn’t immediately start tossing around the word “bully” (as many seem to do these days).

As a result, I think I became a pretty good problem solver.  Because I had to.  It was up to me to work it out.  I’m not saying my parents didn’t help me figure things out or solve problems.  But I can’t, in a million years, imagine my mom calling another parent and saying “your kid left my kid out”.  She just wouldn’t.  And I definitely tend to lean more toward that style of parenting.

Were your parents the same?  Do you parent that way?  I’m curious.

My kids have a few rules I repeat over and over (and over).  A few of them:  One.  Be kind.  Always.  Two.  Be more aware of how you talk to people.  Three.  Don’t ever intentionally leave someone out and be inclusive whenever you can.  Four.  If you have a problem, yo, YOU solve it.  Then if you can’t, come to me or another adult and see if I/they can help.

Are my kids perfect abiders of these rules?  Not even close.  Are we as adults perfect with these things?  Not even close.

When my kids come running to me with an issue, my first question is “Did you try to resolve this on your own, or did you just immediately run to get someone in trouble?”  Have a conversation.  Try to work it out.  If you can’t resolve it, then come ask me and I’ll see if I can give you the tools or words to try and fix it.  But very rarely do I want to step in and resolve it for them (unless it’s physically violent–then I’ll lay some smack down).  Sometimes I find myself plugging my ears saying “la la la la la–I don’t want to hear it” when my kids want me to intervene in every sibling dispute.

I just don’t think stepping in all the time is doing them any favors.

But as my kids get older and their friend circle grows, I’m quickly realizing not everyone thinks the way I do (not sure why–sheesh).  And many parents are more than happy to step in and try to “fix” things.

My youngest child has a tendency to hit (or scratch or bite) when things don’t go his way.  Yesterday I asked “What should you do if someone isn’t doing what you want?  Should you hit them or throw things at them or freak out on them?” His response:  “You should have a conversation–but he didn’t WANT to have a conversation”.  Took a lot of restraint to not laugh out loud.  Kidding.  I didn’t restrain at all.  I laughed out loud.

My question for you and for discussion in general–where’s the line?  Where do we step in and where do we stand back?  When you do step in, what’s your approach?  When you don’t step in, do you talk to your kids after the fact?  When another parent contacts you, how do you handle that?  What do you say?  Does it irritate you, or are you glad they let you know?  Is there an age where you intervene or don’t intervene?

Are you quick to defend your own kid?  Are you quick to attack another’s kid?

I’d love to hear some respectful responses.  I’m a big fan of open dialogue and discussions, even if we don’t agree.  What’s your opinion on this issue and how, as a parent or someone who is around kids, do you handle this?

  • Sarah

    Honestly, my first reaction to a parent calling me would be irritation. After being bugged though, I know I would try to understand where they are coming from, because really, I want kids to feel included. And it also depends on the level of friendship. If it’s a kid that my kid has been really good friends with, I understand the parent calling a lot more. And I can only see myself calling a parent if I was pretty close to the parent. It would take a lot for me to call someone. I also think it’s so interesting how different people can parent. I am guilty of assuming that people would agree with what I see is logical, but they are coming from a very different viewpoint. Honestly, if I look to past examples, when my kids have felt left out they find new friends.

    I have a friend who is really quick to own up to her kids being part of the problem, almost too quickly. I have to laugh because she basically blames her kids first. I remind her that it likely isn’t just her kid causing the problem. But its refreshing talking to her and makes me realize I need to be sure to have my kids accept responsibility.ReplyCancel

  • Brandy Barnett

    I have 6 kids ages 22 to 7. I have much the same parenting philosophy that you do. I have one child you is quite the extrovert and can be kind of obnoxious. He is one of the younger in the neighborhood and when the boys were leaving him out or being kind of mean, I probably know why. Yes they could have been nicer and more inclusive. I took the approach of him correcting himself and playing the long game at getting integrated into the group. It worked. You can’t make people include you. Maybe they’re not your people. My guess is that the kids is rude, obnoxious, immature, whatever….the type to have the mom call. haha…I just don’t think it helps.

    I did call a parent one time recently, though. There is a kid 2 years older in the neighborhood that REALLY doesn’t get along with my son. My son (8yo) was having trouble climbing up into his bed and we asked him about it and he said the kid kneed him int he butt really hard the day before and it still hurt. This was about the second incident and we told him to stay away from him and defend hinself if needed. I planned to say something to the kid, maybe, not the mom if I saw him. Not mean, just a warning. But I didn’t see him and a month later myson came home with a busted mouth. The other neighbr who had complained about this other kid to me before came over to check on my son and said how mean the other kid was and he should have helped my son , but my son won 3 fights that day with him but when he let the kid up he kicked him in the mouth. Seeing as how the other kid had started all of these fights by stepping on my son’s back…I thought his mom should probably know before he caused some expensive and serious damage. It seems he had lied about it and I knew he probably would, which is why we still almost didn’t call….but we figured if over a couple years she got more than one call….she might start to wonder if the version she was getting was accurate…and maybe not.

    I have also been raked over the coals by me neighbor for not intervening in stupid stuff. Because she intervenes in EVERYTHING. Calls her daughter’s bosses, etc. No, when my girls are teens they are expected to manage their own friends and their own jobs, etc. With my coaching….but I am not going to have a talk with their friends who come over uninvited like my neighbor wanted me to (had nothing to do with this lady or her child anyway.) If my daughter doesn’t want her friends just showing up, she will have to handle it.ReplyCancel

Just like most kids, I learned a LOT of things from my mom.  Most of which I didn’t acknowledge or recognize properly until I got a little older.  And a whole lot more I started recognizing after I became a mom myself.

In honor of her and all the other women who have played a motherly role in my life, I wanted to share a few things I learned from my mom.  Things I think can be of value for all of us as we try to become better people and learn to love (the whole purpose of life).

ONE.  Let them Be.

I’m sharing this one first because I think I value it most.   We are who we are.  My mom never pressured or pushed or tried to change me.  I was not your typical girl (and I’m still not).  I was about as tomboy as tomboy gets (I wrote my parents a persuasive essay when I was about 11 years old so they would buy me those hightop shoes that had the basketball you pumped to put air in the bottom of the shoes–please tell me some of you remember these).  I never once remember her trying to get me to change that or change who I was.  She let me dress how I wanted (like a boy), play what I wanted, participate in what I wanted and be friends with who I wanted.  I certainly wasn’t what a parent might envision their little girl being, but that didn’t seem to bother her.  I always felt accepted and loved and like I was good enough just the way I was.

I didn’t really see this as I was growing up.  It wasn’t something I thought about because it was always just there.  I didn’t ever question who I was or what I did because my mom never gave me reason to.  She didn’t make me think twice about who I was and who I was becoming because she just let it happen.   Now in all reality there’s a good chance she was worried as hell about what the future held for me, but she sure didn’t let me see that OR feel that.  She just let me be.

This is one thing I admire the very most about my mom and something I think of constantly as I parent my own kids.  Let them be who they already inherently are.


TWO.  Selflessness.

What’s mine is yours.  This was absolutely my moms attitude when it came to sharing things with her kids.  She shared anything and everything with me.  And she did it with a happy, willing heart.  I never once heard her complain or hesitate to share.  Her car, her clothes, her things, her treats, her time, anything.  I did not inherent this very well when it comes to my kids.  Get your dirty little paws off my…..    I’m working on it.


THREE.  Be a helper.  And a good friend.

My mom was always serving other people.  Not just her kids and husband, but her neighbors, her community, our schools.  She was constantly aware of others needs.  She had plenty on her plate, just like every mom, but she was quick to show up for other people.  One of her friends suffered from a chronic illness and often needed extra care and love.  Some of her bouts had her bedridden for weeks and even months at a time.  My mom spent hours and hours (and hours) at her bedside.  Not once did I hear her complain about helping other people.  She’s one of those you know you can call who will always show up in a time of need. She knows we belong to each other and are all here together so we can help each other.


FOUR.  Don’t talk smack.

I don’t remember ever hearing my mom talk poorly about other women or other people in general.  She never gossiped.  She never spread rumors.  She never compared herself (at least out loud to me) to other women.  She never spread stories that weren’t hers to spread.  I tried prying something out of her once that I knew she knew and nothing I did or said would sway her loyalty to keeping people’s business their business (I gotta up my guilt-trip game).  She was a steel vault.  People gave it to her in trust and that’s where she kept it.  I learned a LOT about loyalty from her and a lot about not talking smack.  Ever.  For any reason.


FIVE.  Never give up on your kids.

My mom had six kids (Jesus bless her) and we all came with big big BIG personalities.  We’re nothing short of crazy.  She had her hands full.  In every way.  But no matter what any of us did, she would never give up on us.  Ever.  She is endless chances and endless forgiveness.  This is quite possibly one of the biggest blessings she gave us as kids because it allowed us to learn and grow and fail and make stupid choices and take chances knowing we always always always had a mom to fall back on regardless of what we did. Succeed or fail, make amazing choices or insane ones, she will always proudly be our mom and she will always have our back.  My dad is for sure lumped in on this one with her.  They’ll never give up.  I know this because they’ve been put to the test multiple times with their kids.  And they never gave up.

One of my brothers is an addict and in a moment of nothing but pure desperation, my mom plead with God asking “why did you give me this kid?”  The answer she received: “Because I knew you wouldn’t give up on him.”

That is true for ALL her kids.  She will never give up and I’ve never doubted that or questioned it.  She walks the walk.


SIX.  Love.  Always love.

I believe in my core I could do ANYthing and my mom would still love me.  I could be anything, do anything, say anything and she’d still love me.  My love from her is not conditional on anything.  It’s just there.  And it will always be there.  She might not always like what I do or say or become, but she will always always love me.  Just as a mom should.  I know this isn’t the way a lot of kids might feel.  I am acutely aware of the blessing this level of love is in my life.


SEVEN.  Hard work.

You don’t think about this much when you’re a kid, but I don’t remember my mom ever sitting around.  She was always busy.  Always working.  Always doing.  And always working on our behalf.  She worked hard to keep our house nice, to learn, to feed us meals, to get us to all our activities, to fulfill her church responsibilities, to make her a community a better place to live.  She. worked. hard.

The only “indulgence” I remember her having was watching Jeopardy (which she usually did while making dinner).  I dare say she would dominate on that show had she ever had the real chance to compete.  Double Jeopardy’s got nothin on her.

My 7 year old just gave me a book he made all about me for Mother’s Day.  It was about 12 or 13 pages of various things he said about me.  In at least 7 of those pages, I was in a bed.  Sleeping.  Apparently that’s my favorite thing to do (according to him).  Definitely gotta work on the perception of my 7 year old.  I HIGHLY value a strong work ethic and that certainly came from my parents.


EIGHT.  Writing actually IS good for you.

My mom has been a consistent and avid journaler since long before I was born.  She has volumes and volumes and volumes of journals.  It’s nothing short of amazing.  She writes.  A lot.  She understood all along the value of writing things down.  Her life.  Her stories.  Her thoughts.  Her hopes.  Her frustrations.  Her dreams.  She wrote them all down (she won’t let us read them yet, but one day–can’t wait to get my hands on those).  And over the years she has become an incredible story teller and writer.  She’s funny, succinct, and clear in her writing.

Learning by watching her, I also started keeping my first journal in the 1st grade.  And somehow I stuck with it and have kept a journal my entire life (minus a few periods here and there when I started having babies and was in the “new baby fog” phase of life).

She inherently knew, like SO many successful and brilliant people in this world, writing things down has a positive influence on our lives and can catapult us in the directions we need to go.  It brings clarity of thought, purpose, and direction.  And it is often a much needed release for the soul.


NINE.  Reading is gold.

I definitely inherited my mother’s love for reading.  For as long as I can remember, my mom always had a book by her bed and in the car and on vacations.  And somehow, she passed on the fervent desire to read all the books to every single one of her kids.  I can’t thank her enough for this treasure she helped develop in my life.  Well done, mom.  Well done.


TEN.  Music speaks straight to the soul.

In my opinion, my mom has one of the most beautiful singing voices on the planet and I don’t even think I’m being biased.  My earliest human memory was when I was maybe 3 or 4 and I would lay underneath the piano bench at our home and listen to my mom practice with her trio.  I’d lay there for hours and just listen to her sing.  She taught me to love music and to cherish the gift it is to the world.  I will never tire of hearing her sing.  And I will never stop being in awe at the power music can have over the human heart.


ELEVEN.  Be who you are.

My mom was consistent in who she was.  Her personality didn’t change around different people.  She was never fake.  She was never striving to be someone she wasn’t.  She didn’t pretend or try to be anyone for anyone.  She was who she was.  And I took that to heart.  Be who you are.  Without apology.


I could write a book about lessons from my mom.  I am fully aware I had it better than many in a variety ways.  And there’s no doubt I’ll continue to realize more and more lessons I’ve learned from my mom as I continue to wade my way through life and motherhood.

Thank you mom.  I see you.  And ALL that you did and continue to do for me.  I love you.

  • Lisel Zito

    What a beautiful tribute to your mom. Also a wonderful list of things I’d like to work on for my own motherhood. Thanks for sharing!ReplyCancel

  • Barbara

    Dear Lindsay,
    I am sure your mom will love this list. Such a beautful way to tell her you how special she is to you.

    Maybe you need to talk to your kids about point 7, because I am pretty sure that your children also see you work hard. Just that they also see you in bed taking time to take care of yourself. And really in today’s world full of distractions, I believe showing your kids that it’s ok to rest and sleep and take care of your body and soul (diary!) is both important.ReplyCancel

One type of photo I love more than ANY other is every day stuff.  The little things that are seemingly mundane and boring.  The things we do and see every single day.  The things we think we’ll remember forever because in this specific moment they’re a huge part of our life.  But slowly, over time, those things subtly change.  And we forget.

I like to photograph those things.  The expressions my kids make with their faces on a daily basis.  The toys they play with or leave around the house (kids live here).  The way their bedrooms look.  Who sits where in the car.  What activities they currently like to do.  Where we eat.  What we eat.  Homework time.  Bedtime routines.

You get the idea.

These are also my favorite photos to print and include in our yearly albums.  We love looking back on how the every day things have changed and remembering all the little things that make us who we are.

I created an entire guide on this very idea.  The Every Day Photos Guide!

I was rounding up some photos this week for a project I’m helping with for another company and thought I’d share a few here.

  • Anna


    I look at your pictures, they are so cute! 🙂
    I can recommend a great place to print out pictures, photo books un posters! And dellivery within a week! https://themyprint.com/ReplyCancel

I don’t have time.  Words I hear more often than possibly any other.  And for some reason it’s really started to bother me.  I don’t have time.

We live in an age where all people do is try to save time.  Find more efficient ways to do things.  Inventions that help us do more, faster.  To get places faster.  To accomplish things, faster.  To cook faster.  To clean faster.  To wash faster. To become something, faster.  And yet, we still claim “I don’t have time”.

I’ve been doing some thinking about how I spend my time and why I spend it the way I do.  What matters.  What doesn’t matter.  What’s taking up most of my time.  Is that what I want to take up my time.  Am I doing things that make a difference in the long run.  Am I busy for the sake of being busy.

At the end of the day, can I say I used my time the best way I could.  That my use of time made me better, my family better, the people around me better.

As I’ve gone through this process, the phrase “I don’t have time” has nearly left my vocabulary.  Because we DO have time.  We have plenty of time to do the things that really matter to us.  We have time and to spare.  We just have to pick what it is that matters.

Instead of saying “I don’t have time” try making a shift in your words.  And anytime you find yourself going to say those words, say “It’s not a priority for me” instead.  Be it out loud or in your head.  And see what happens.  Suddenly the things you thought you didn’t have time for but actually really matter to you start to take priority.  And the things filling your time that maybe don’t matter as much as you thought they did, those get replaced with top priority items.

“I don’t have time” changes to “It’s not a priority for me”.  We have time for what we want to make time for.  This is almost always true (barring obvious things like chronic or short-term illness or really little kids who need our constant attention to stay alive, etc.–you all know what I mean).  But even then, there is a season to our time and priorities shift during different seasons.

Yes, some things get left behind and things we’d like to do don’t get done.  Sacrifices have to be made.  Not because we don’t have enough time but because some things don’t matter as much as we fool ourselves in to thinking they do.

And not all time should be filled with a million activities.  Sometimes, we need time to just be.  Time to be available.  Time to think.  Time to talk to God.  Time to be still.

But the things that matter the most–those get done.  We have time for those.

Try it.  This week.  Instead of saying I don’t have time, make that mental shift and see if it helps get the things that actually matter to the top of your list.  You’ll be surprised at what you actually have time for.

I was walking in to the Verizon store several weeks ago to exchange my phone.  My new phone had arrived in the mail, I took the case off the old phone, put it on the new phone and had the old phone in my hand.  As I stepped up the curb to go in the door to the store, that slippery little bugger shot right out of my hand and landed face down on the sidewalk (about 2 feet from the door).

I flipped it over, saw the shattered screen and uttered some not-so-nice words for all the parking lot people to hear (I’m sorry for what I said when I was super angry).  I have amazing phone cases, drop my phone at least 10 times a day, and I have never once shattered a screen.  Until now.

Obviously a phone will still work with a shattered screen, but I share this story to point out an already obvious fact of the million and one ways to ruin our phones.  Sometimes we get lucky and they’ll still work.  Sometimes we drop them in the lake or pool, bust them up in a recliner (true story–totally happened–see photo below), forget about them in our pants pocket and they fall in the toilet (I know you people are out there), run over them with the car, lose them on a rollercoaster (seen this first hand), drop them off a ledge, get them stolen or lose them, and on and on and on.

I know most people are taking all their photos with their phones these days.  So my question–if your phone suddenly stopped working today (for whatever stupid reason), would you lose all your photos you have on there?

If your answer is “YES”, keep reading.  This is for you.  If you answer is “NO”, are you sure?  I don’t say that to be snarky–I just mean, are you really sure your photos are safe?


My first piece of advice is to make it a habit to get the photos OFF your phone and on your computer on a regular basis (and especially after a big event or vacation).  Plug those babies in and get the photos on to the computer (and of course back them up from there).  I keep a lot of the photos on my phone even after I do this, but my computer is the main hub for all my photos.

In the meantime, it’s good to have a backup solution to keep the photos on your phone safe until you can get them on your computer.  If you have a lot of storage on your phone, my guess is you have thousands and thousands of photos on there.  Of big events and every day moments.  Things you obviously wanted to remember and preserve when you took the photo.


The good news–There are 3 easy ways to back up the photos on your phone so when you can’t access the photos from your phone, they’re still safe.



Google’s claim is “Free storage and automatic organization for all your memories”.  It’s true, it’s free.  Just keep in mind that google’s main purpose is data-mining and their user agreement is a little loose, but if you’re comfortable with that (which I personally am), you don’t have to pay any money for this service.

I only use Google photos for my phone (I have a different backup system for the photos on my computer and external hard-drives).  My rule for back-up is at least 2 different places, and 2 different locations.  So Google photos is one of my 2 for my phone (the other is iCloud which will get to in a minute).  But you can use Google photos for the photos on your computer as well.  We’re not getting in to that here.

To use google photos, download the app to your phone and walk through the steps.  It’s very user-friendly and easy to setup.  It works on Android or iPhones.

A few things to keep in mind.  It can take quite a while to initially get all the photos backed up.  It starts with photos, then it does the videos.

When I initially did this, it had several glitches and started over a few times so just make sure when it says it’s all done, that all the photos and videos were actually backed up (just a quick scroll through to see that the photos are on there).

When you delete a photo from your phone, it doesn’t delete from Google Photos.  They’ll only delete from Google Photos if you delete them from there, not if you delete them from your phone.

The unlimited free account of storage will reduce the file size on your photos only if they are bigger than 16MP. Photos on your phone aren’t bigger than that so the photo quality won’t be compromised at all.

To FIND the photos once you’ve uploaded them, you can see them through the Google Photos app on your phone, OR you can go to photos.google.com and login there to see all of the photos that uploaded to the Google cloud.  The screen will look like this:

google photos

Google Photos has some pretty incredible search features (not surprising–that’s what Google specializes in) and it also uses your photos to create animations and short movies like this (you don’t do anything–it just takes photos and starts creating things you can watch and save):

This was just a random one I saved real quick of a trip we recently took to California.  We went on a whale/dolphin boat excursion and it was SO so cool.  Something we’ll never forget.  Google Photos just grabbed a few photos from that day and made this little movie.  My kids have loved watching a lot of these creations with no effort on my part. Winning.

If you want a more in depth look at how Google Photos works, how to get it set up (it really is super user friendly), and some of the extensive search features and perks of Google Photos, check out this FREE resource from Modern Photo Solutions.



iCloud is another cloud based service (obvious from the name) that will backup the photos on your phone.  iPhone users get 5GB free (which will store like 7 photos–okay maybe a little more but 5GB isn’t going to do much), 50GB for $.99 a month, 200 GB for $2.99 a month, or 1 TB for $9.99 a month.

If you’re just using iCloud for your phone (which is all we’re talking about here), the storage amount you get will be dependent on how much storage your phone has.  My phone has 128GB of storage so I have the 200GB plan (because 50GB won’t be enough).  I could just use the 50GB plan if I didn’t want to keep as many photos on my phone, but I do–hence the reason for the bigger phone.

Yes, it costs.  But I think $3 a month is totally worth the peace-of-mind that comes with knowing all my photos are safe until I get them on my computer.

To check your iCloud storage or to buy more, go to Settings, scroll down to iCloud, then choose “Storage”.  You can choose “manage storage” to see where your storage space is going (with all your apps on your phone including Photos) and how much storage your photos are using.  Then you can choose “Change storage plan” to change your iCloud storage amount to fit however much you need.

To start your photos backing up to iCloud, go to “Settings”, then “iCloud” and find “Photos” and make sure it’s switched to “On”.  This will start the backup of your photos to iCloud.

To FIND your photos once they’ve loaded to the cloud, go to iCloud.com and log in to your iCloud account (your apple account).  There you can see all the things that are uploading to your cloud account (contacts, calendar, notes, etc).  If you click on the “Photos” icon, you will see all the photos that have uploaded to iCloud.  The screen will looks like this:

iCloud screen

This will also take some time if you have a bunch of photos on your phone.

The intent of iCloud is to sync ALL your photos from ALL devices so you can access them anywhere (computer, phone, iPad, etc.).  I don’t love the workflow of that so I just use it for my phone (and phone backup is all we’re covering here).

One thing to remember–and this is important–iCloud works kind of like e-mail (syncing all devices together).  So if you delete a photo on your phone it will delete from iCloud just like if you read e-mail on your phone and delete the e-mail, you no longer have that e-mail in your account on a computer or another device.  

The only time that won’t happen is if you’re using the “save storage” feature of iCloud and when you take a photo, it automatically goes to iCloud and doesn’t store on your phone at all.  But that can be really confusing for people.  So for the sake of this post which is merely to get the photos on our phone backed up and safe, just remember that when you delete from your phone, it is also deleting from iCloud.



I only recommend Dropbox if you are already paying for the additional storage in Dropbox and have it anyway. Otherwise this would be a more expensive option and not necessary if you use the other two features.  I love Dropbox and use it all the time to access all my photos from other computers and devices.  This is another way to back up the photos on your phone.

If you already have Dropbox and want to use it to backup your phone photos, download the Dropbox app to your phone.

If you have an iPhone follow these steps:

  1. Open the Dropbox app.
  2. Tap Recents.
  3. Tap the gear icon at the top of the screen.
  4. Tap Camera Upload.
  5. On the next screen, toggle the Camera Upload option on or off

If you have an Android phone follow these steps:

  1. Open the Dropbox app.
  2. Tap the menu button.
  3. Tap the gear icon (or Settings, on older versions of the app).
  4. Scroll to the Camera Upload section.
  5. Toggle to either Turn on or Turn off Camera Upload.

Dropbox has a ton of easy to follow tutorials to get up and running with this, but if you follow those above steps, that will start uploading your photos to a Camera Uploads folder.  The downside to this is you’d have to organize the folders from that upload folder.  But it at least gets the photos somewhere safe until you’re able to do this.  You can also manually choose different photos you want to upload and choose the folders they go in to.

So there you go.  THREE EASY WAYS to get the photos on your phone BACKED UP and SAFE so when something happens to your phone, you won’t lose any of those photos.

Here’s the aforementioned phone that slipped out of a pocket and went down in to the crevices of a recliner.  We pulled the lever to try and find it and, well, it didn’t go so hot.  It’s funny now.  Well, it was funny then too.

Backing up the photos on your phone is something you can easily do right now.  It only takes about 10 minutes to get one of these systems set up and I am positive you won’t regret it.

If you want some more info about managing your digital photos, some mistakes you might be making and how to fix them, check out this post.

If you want to see what company I use to back up ALL my photos and why I chose them (after an insane amount of research) check out this post.

Get those photos backed up!!!

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  • Danielle Clayton

    Thanks. I have been struggling with this for some time now. I really appreciate this and am downloading google photos to my phone right now. I have icloud but hate that it mirrors everything on my phone. I wish when I first got icloud I would have known that. I think a lot of people are misled with that information. I even talked to a few techies at Apple on the phone and they didn’t know it did that.ReplyCancel

  • Yvonne Gustavsson

    I have a problem with google photo.
    When I delete pictures from my phone it also deletes in google photo. How can this be fixed?

    • ltross17

      Hmmmmm….that’s weird. I’ve never had that issue. Maybe check the account settings and see if there’s something in there?? But it shouldn’t be doing that. you should be able to delete from your phone and not have it delete in Google Photos. If that problem continues, I’d try contacting Google Photos support.ReplyCancel