(KPIX 5) – Amid the harsh realities of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it is also inspiring a burst of creativity from photographers, and business is booming for photo storage services.

Jim Hilt, president of Redwood City-based Shutterfly, said the company has seen a surge in photo storage since the pandemic, along with a 50 percent increase in photo gifts, as amateur photographers find inspiration in once-in-a-lifetime scenes.

“People step back and say this is a unique time in my life and as much as I want to be done with it I’m going to make sure that I look back on it and recognize what was meaningful about it,” Hilt said.

Google Photos has also seen a jump so large that it decided to stop backing up pictures from messaging apps in order to save space.

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