Do you love to travel light? Next time you take your photography on the road, leave the laptop behind and instead, transfer your photos directly to your phone for backup and editing. No computer or camera WiFi required!

About two or three phones ago, I received my first one of these little adapters in the box:

A Samsung USB Type-C to Type-A adapter, included standard with Samsung Galaxy range phones that use the USC-C charging port.

Haven’t seen one before? It’s a USB Type-C to USB Type-A adapter, and if you’re a Samsung Galaxy phone user like me, they come as part of the standard kit. I’ve got a slowly growing collection of them, now that I’ve had a couple of phones which use the USC-C charging port.

The adapter is included so that you can use a standard USB Type-A to USB Type-C cable, such as a charging cable, to transfer your old phone data onto your new phone. But these little things are useful for a lot more than that. They effectively add a standard USB port to your phone (or tablet). It may not support the whole range of USB devices out there in the world (even my computer struggles with that), but I’ve used mine to plug in a wireless mouse, a keyboard, and best of all: A card reader.

The adapter adds a Type-A USB port to your phone, allowing you to plug in a standard USB device.

With a card reader and the USB Type-C to USB Type-A adapter, you can copy photos directly from your camera’s memory card to your phone. It’s a lot faster than WiFi transfer, and less fiddly too. I generally spend about twice as long trying to get my WiFi-enabled camera to connect to my phone than it takes to copy the photos off the card directly!

I recommend setting up a dedicated folder on your phone or your phone’s microSD card for your camera photos. Copy the photos to your phone using the adapter and card reader, then import into Lightroom for mobile. Your originals will upload from your phone to your Lightroom cloud storage: Backup done. You can then edit direct on your phone for exporting and sharing while on the go, or when you do get home to your computer, your photos will be there ready for you in Lightroom.

Keep your photos on your phone, camera card and in cloud storage to safely backup while traveling.

Once uploaded to the cloud, you could delete the originals off your phone to save space. But make sure that you’re following the 3-2-1 backup strategy for your photos before deleting anything: Three copies, two on separate devices (i.e. on your phone and your camera card) and one offsite (i.e. in the Lightroom cloud). That will keep your photos as safe as they are portable!