A Boston-based nurse anesthetist, Michelle Duggan works long hours — except when she’s traveling the world to take wildlife photos. Over the last 20 years, she has taken over 35,000 photos with her Lumix Panasonic FZ300 at some of the world’s most incredible natural hot spots including Antarctica, the Galapagos, Machu Picchu, Tahiti, South Africa, and Madagascar. 

Leopard resting in a tree in South Africa. Photo credit: Michelle Duggan

A handful of years ago, Duggan believed she had lost access to thousands of photos of some of her most amazing memories forever. A former user of iPhotos, Google Photos, and Aperture (Apple’s image organizer that was phased out in 2015) she wasn’t able to see many of her photos without the discontinued software. Essentially, the photos were locked in obsolete libraries on an aging hard drive.

Finding lost photos is possible

During the pandemic lockdown, Duggan discovered Mylio, a photo manager that helps users backup and preserve their images, with no cloud backup required. She decided to use her downtime to try the application and finally organize and protect her massive photo library. 

With the help of Mylio customer service and customer champion J.C. Figueroa, she was able to retrieve all her lost photos. Since then, she has organized and safely preserved her entire photo collection in Mylio. Let’s hear from Duggan about her experience.

Polar bears wrestle playfully in Manitoba, Canada. Photo credit: Michelle Duggan

How did you start organizing your photos with Mylio?

I wasn’t working during the early pandemic, so I had a lot of time. I pulled out all three external hard drives where I had stored photos. Figueroa spent hours with me and helped me find all the original photos and files that I thought I would never see again. I could have never done it without him.

Then he showed me how to organize them into folders, tag faces, and edit or add any missing or incorrect locations and times taken in the photo metadata. The whole process was just amazing. It’s so much easier for me to find specific photos now.

Juvenile King penguins in Antarctica. Photo credit: Michelle Duggan

How many devices do you have synced on Mylio?

I view, edit, organize, and share my photos on my phone, laptop, and iPad. Plus, I have two Seagate external hard drives that serve as my Mylio Vaults, where all my original photo files are stored. I don’t use a cloud service. When I connect my external hard drives to Mylio, the latest version of my collection automatically syncs on all my connected devices, which is amazing in and of itself.

How has Mylio customer service supported your photo organization?

The Mylio Support team has been great. When I have a question about managing my photos, I check the support site for answers or contact the support team. I continue to refine the organization for my 35,000 photos, which takes time! If I’m working on photos and I see one I think somebody would like, I’ll send it to them via the Mylio app, which is a great option.

Solo King penguin in Antarctica. Photo credit: Michelle Duggan

Do you print your photos, or have old family photo prints?

I had between 6,000 and 7000 photo prints before we all went digital. I bought a scanner and uploaded all the scanned prints into Mylio, even really old black-and-white photos from my parents. They’re now stored on Mylio and my hard drives so they’re never going to go away.

Where have you traveled to take photos?

I’ve been blessed to be able to go all over the world: Japan to see the monkeys and the cranes, Africa several times, Antarctica for the penguins, Canada’s Hudson Bay to find polar bears, and the Galapagos of course. Also, Machu Picchu, which is wonderful even if it’s not really wildlife.

What’s your favorite trip?

My number-one place is Antarctica. Ever since I was a young girl, it had always been my dream to go there. One of my favorite leaders, Ernest Shackleton, is buried there. I wanted to get out there and see his grave for myself. The photo memories I have from that trip are amazing, just amazing.

Duggan at Ernest Shackleton’s gravesite in Antarctica. Photo credit:

Download Mylio today to try out our solution for editing, organizing, storing, and syncing your entire photo collection across multiple devices, including your phone. The application’s unique peer-to-peer technology means Mylio users enjoy great performance even with very large photo and video libraries.