This post was sponsored by the makers of ibi as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central. The makers of ibi sent me this for free. All opinions expressed in my post are my own.

If you’re like us, you have taken waaaaaayyyy too many photos of your kids through the years. Now that Sophia is 17 and Ava is 15, we’ve got quite the collection as you can imagine. With nearly 40,000 family photos (gasp), we’ve struggled with how to best manage and share them with family and friends. And it’s every parents’ nightmare to lose any of these invaluable captures – which is what happened to us! We recently found a great solution to managing your photo library with ibi.

ibi (pronounced “ee-bee”) is a smart photo manager. It’s a device that automatically saves all our favorite photos and videos in one place. Sitting on the desk in our living room right now, ibi is running in the background to collect photos from our iPhone libraries as soon as we enter the house. It’s a simple white cylinder that blends in with our decor just fine, so no need to worry about some hideous tech device cluttering up our house (any more than it already is)!

ibi allows sharing photos with family and friends

The ibi device is about the diameter of a wine bottle, and unobtrusive in design.

Solution to Managing Your Photo Library

Since our girls were newborn, we’ve been chronicling their every move. Taking that on the road with our travels around the world, you can imagine how many shots we have. It’s just that they are so darn cute! We’re just compelled to capture these memories and look back on them as the girls grow. That library of photos has grown too, and become pretty unwieldy.

But What if we Lose Family Photos?

About a year ago, I went into our digital photo library to find a specific shot from our trip to Hearst Castle on the California Coast. As I opened the folder marked Hearst Castle, my stomach dropped. The file was empty – as in no photos at all. Of course I freaked, and started searching for those photos frantically. In this process I discovered whole batches of empty files, which meant thousands of photos were missing. Just gone.

outdoor swimming pool Hearst Castle

One of the lost Hearst Castle photos I was able to borrow from a friend. Heartbreaking.

Without a proper backup for our photo library, there was nowhere to turn. I was sick to my stomach facing the fact that many years of adventures, birthdays, playdates, family reunions and everyday laughs were lost. I can’t even tell you the lengths to which we had to go to get them back (involved talking with Apple and accessing their cloud – long story). Still to this day, I discover missing photos and realize we will never get them all back. And those shots of Hearst Castle I needed? Gone forever.

Obviously I needed to find a solution to managing my photo library.

laptop view of photo grid from iPhoto

We currently have nearly 40,000 photos and videos in our collection, and that’s not even all of them.

Where ibi Takes Over

On top of managing your photo library, you may find like us that there select shots best shared with family and friends but not the whole world. For us, what we share here in the blog and on our social channels is only the tip of the iceberg. Those public photos have to be carefully screened, mostly to minimize potential embarrassment to teenage girls. That leaves a pretty thin margin of acceptable photos to publish. But the rest? We pick some of the best (and sometimes most embarrassing – hehe) and share them our inner circle across the country. Before ibi, we’d have to email or text them one by one, or maybe send a compressed file with a collection of photos.

father and daughter viewing laptop on couch

It’s fun to share photos with our friends and family via the ibi device and photo sharing platform.

Super Easy to Use

After downloading the ibi app to my phone, I logged in and started the process of downloading my photo collection to the ibi in my living room. When I was ready to share them, the ibi app prompted me to add members to my inner circle. Right away, I added my brother Chris and my niece Becky. From there, I simply accessed my photo library stored on ibi and tagged the ones I wanted to share to my inner circle. It was that easy – they got an email on their end that a video and photos were waiting for them to view.

ibi photo selection

To share photos and videos with my brother, I can just tap and post for him to see.

I can be better organized too. ibi has a great process for setting up albums of photos I want to share with my inner circle. When I want to create an album, I just tag the photos I want to include in that album, choose a name and cover photo, and it’s auto loaded into my library. It’s just that easy.

Shared Albums

Many times when we’ve traveled with family and friends, everyone is taking pictures of everyone else. Collectively, we’ve ended up with a variety of best photos on many different people’s cameras. Now with ibi, I can create a shared album and invite others to contribute their photos too. Instead of fumbling with file sharing programs or clumsy thumb drives, we can now just all upload our photos to the same place. From there we can access the entire shared library, each picking and choosing the ones we want to keep in our own family albums.

ibi photo albums

With ibi, I can program photo albums for storage by date, subject or both.

That would have come in handy for trips like the one we took to Turkey and Greece with several other families. Everyone had great photos, but none of us has a collection of the best from all of us. Problem solved with ibi.

woman on couch smiling at phone

From our ibi photo album in San Diego to our niece Becky, our family photos are shared seamlessly for her to enjoy anywhere from her phone.

A File Back-up Just in Case

Another reassuring feature that comes along with ibi is that it serves as a back-up file for all the photos I load into the ibi device. Now we can be assured there is another place that contains all our important photos, just in case we ever have an epic photo fail like last year. Nothing is perfect, but redundant file backups just make me feel better!

The Facts

ibi smart photo manager is made by Sandisk, a well known data storage supplier with a great consumer reputation.

Price: $179.99 (includes shipping)

Storage capacity: 2 TB

Photo capacity: 500,000+

Video capacity: 200+ hours

Of course, the storage capacity of photos and videos depends on the size of the files, the mix of photos versus videos, etc. Each person’s experience will be unique to their own photo and video libraries, but suffice to say that is a hell of a lot of storage space!

For more information, visit meetibi.com.