cars parked in lot
Chantel Brink
Chantel Brink
March 1, 2024 ·  4 min read

12 Photos You Should Always Keep on Your Phone

Your photos on your smartphone can function as a multifaceted tool, acting as your digital filing cabinet, GPS, legal backup, and more, as highlighted by travel and tech expert Maurice Freedman. The convenience of having these resources readily accessible cannot be overstated. However, it is crucial to ensure the security of your photos.

Freedman advises, “Remember that anything you capture doesn’t solely reside on your phone—often, these photos are concurrently shared across all your devices and stored in the cloud. Strong passwords play a vital role in maintaining privacy and security.” To optimize the utility of your smartphone, here are the types of photos you should keep for reference, emergencies, and peace of mind.

To optimize the utility of your smartphone:

Mannheim - Baden Württemberg / Germany 09.23.2019: Close Up of iPone XS 11 Display with Photo Force Touch Quick Menu
Credit: Shutterstock

Organize them into a dedicated photo album on your phone to avoid sifting through numerous family snapshots when you need quick access.

Read: 9 Plumbing Tips And Tricks To Help You Be Handier Around The House

Credit Cards and Customer Service Number

Close up woman paying online by credit card, using smartphone, entering information, young female holding phone, browsing banking service, checking balance, shopping, ordering in internet
Credit: Shutterstock

Streamline the process of canceling lost credit cards by keeping photos of all your cards and noting the customer service number. This proves especially helpful when faced with the challenge of remembering multiple cards in the event of a lost wallet, as suggested by Karl Erickson.

Renting a Car

auto business, car sale, deal, gesture and people concept - close up of dealer giving key to new owner and shaking hands in auto show or salon
Credit: Shutterstock

“I make it a practice to photograph rental cars both before and after usage,” notes Freedman. This precaution ensures that, in the event of damage-related charges, I possess images with time and location stamps. Notably, bumpers, especially the corners, are susceptible to scratches or damage, incurring significant repair costs.

Medications and Prescriptions

Beautiful female model pharmacist looking at medicine
Credit: Shutterstock

Keeping photos of your medication prescriptions is crucial, especially in situations where you lose your medications or run out while away from home. This practice becomes exceptionally helpful if you happen to forget the prescription bottle when visiting the pharmacy. By having a photo of your prescriptions, you simplify the process of obtaining replacements. Simply show the pharmacy the photo, allowing them to look up the records and potentially save you an additional trip.

Locating Your Parked Car

parkinglot cars
Credit: Shutterstock

Freedman humorously refers to this as his “old man trick.” He advocates taking a photo of the parked car’s location, especially for rental cars, preferably with the car visible in the picture. This eliminates the frustration of wandering in vast parking lots, unsure of the vehicle’s make and model.

Read: 10 Things You Probably Don’t Know About Hotel Rooms (But Should)

Printer and Computer Information

back of a tv showing where the serial number is located and any cautionary statements mandated by the government.
Credit: Shutterstock

Snap pictures of your printer and computer model numbers, as well as serial numbers. This aids in reporting lost or stolen devices, facilitates technical support, and prevents the hassle of searching for microscopic serial numbers in critical situations.

Read: 10 Questions You Don’t Have To Answer When Police Pull You Over

License Plate and VIN Number

ESSEN, GERMANY - APRIL 10, 2019: Audi 100 Avant GLS C2 1978 classic German old retro vintage 1970s car. Factory VIN plate under the bonnet.
Credit: Shutterstock

Memorizing your license plate number can be challenging. To streamline payment at parking stations and swiftly inform the police in case of a missing vehicle, keep a photo of your license plate and VIN.

Driver’s License

Warrington cheshire UK - may 29 2023: DVLA letter, Dvsa motorcycle CBT certificate with provisional and full British licence.
Credit: Shutterstock

In the unfortunate event of a lost wallet, having a photo of your driver’s license serves as a temporary backup. However, be cautious about using it as a substitute during a traffic stop, as police officers typically require a physical license.

Auto Insurance Card

Car insurance form, credit card and key on table
Credit: Shutterstock

Ensure you have an up-to-date photo of your auto insurance card on your phone, especially when away from home. This ensures preparedness for unforeseen accidents, sparing you the hassle of rummaging through the glove compartment during emergencies.


CAMBRIDGE, UK - JULY 14, 2016: United Kingdom or British EU Passport with International Driving Permit, Driving Licence, and Car Key - illustrative editorial
Credit: Shutterstock

For international travel, Karl Erickson advises travelers to photocopy and photograph their passports. This facilitates easier visits to the embassy to prove U.S. citizenship if the original passport is lost. This is one of the least kept photos on your phone and one that you should never forget when traveling.

Medical and Dental Insurance Cards

A stethoscope by a Credit cards payment
Credit: Shutterstock

Photograph your medical and dental insurance cards to avoid complications in emergencies. Knowing where these photos are stored on your smartphone adds peace of mind.

Read: 24 Surprising Features On Things We Never Knew About

Individual Photos of Family Members

Children first day of school and mother taking photos with a phone of her cute kids. Closeup of screen picture of brother and sister embracing while posing for their mom outside in the morning
Credit: Shutterstock

Keeping recent photos of family members on your phone is invaluable in crowded situations. In emergencies, these photos aid in seeking help from security guards or people around you. Police often request three current photos in missing person searches.

Bank Account and Routing Numbers

The glass wall of the building with the inscription Bank
Credit: Shutterstock

Protect yourself against identity theft and bank fraud by having screenshots of your account and routing numbers. This ensures a swift freeze of accounts in case of suspicious activity and facilitates easy access for pay-by-phone transactions.

Keep Reading: Airport Worker Shares Travel Hack That Will Help Stop Your Luggage from Getting Lost


  1. 15 Photos You Should Always Have Saved On Your Phone While Traveling.” Travel Awaits. Robin O’neal Smith. February 26, 2023
  2. 14 Photos You Should Carry with You at All Times—but Don’t.” Reader’s Digest. Joe McKinley. November 19, 2023