While Apple will likely disagree with me and there is nothing new in that (See Applepeels), your iPhone is likely eating your photos. Before you get too upset, things are only slightly better in the Android world. Please do not expect Facebook to rescue your favorite photos either.
Long ago people took photos, got prints from them and sometimes put the best of them in albums. The rest went into shoe boxes or whatever. People also took slides and they also often ended up in boxes on a shelf in a closet. As hard as it might have been, you could thumb through them.
Our problem in the digital world is that we are drowning in photographs. There is lots of sharing of photographs going on but almost no archiving. Sometimes people worry about getting their photos off of their phones onto their computers and even once in a while someone will worry about migrating their photos to another computer.
Even if you do that, how do you put your fingers on that great photo you took ten years ago or thirty years ago? Trust me, the more pictures you take, the harder it is unless you sort your photos as you take them and have a plan for storing the best of them.
The great value in having photos in not in having so many but in having some special ones that evoke wonderful memories.
Three years ago I wrote an article, Photo Finishing Your Memories Old and New. It offered some tips to keep from losing your photos. I stand by my advice to not trust Apple with your photos. They have never been a reliable cloud storage company and their desktop apps have always stored photos in proprietary formats.
The biggest problem with Apple's photo strategy is they assume you want the same photos on all your devices and of course they have to be Apple devices. Your data, that is your photos, needs to be independent of your devices. You need a shoe box where you can put the ones you want to remember and grab something whenever you want to. Web albums that you can edit from the web and can accept photos from any device are a much better idea than having changes that you make on your phone show up on your desktop and laptop.
I have also found Apple's new Photo app very limited as to its utility. I continue to recommend Picasa which is available on Mac or Windows machines. Picasa's one great advantage is that is doesn't cram the photos into a database that will likely get corrupt over time. It is very easy to suck your photos into Picasa and it is free. When you install Picasa on a hard drive, Picasa creates pointers to your photos automatically. If you need more than Picasa, the only game in town is Lightroom.
I use a Mac much of the time, but it is just not the heart of my digital world like it used to be.
Because I take so many photos, I typically sort through each day's photos during the same day. Photos that I like usually get a descriptive name and are exported to a folder in the Google cloud that has the day's date as its name.
From that folder I can share it to Facebook, Pinterest, or upload it to my Flickr account. I also put photos into that folder from multiple programs. Sometimes I make albums directly from Picasa to Picasa web albums.
Another part of my filtering process is that I will normally star a photo in Picasa if I like it and I will make some a favorite in Lightroom. That lets me have access to special photos in a non-date related storage. Think of it of having two different catalog systems that have slightly different ways of letting me find my photos.
While I use Picasa to import photos to my laptop, I also use Lightroom to import the same photos to my desktop. Immediately that gives me two copies of my photos. There is a copy of Picasa running on the desktop and it automatically catalogs the photos that I import with Lightroom. I also move photos that I like from my phone to my computer. I try to do it the same day I take the picture. The program I like best for that is AirDroid.
I have also taken the time to put together collections of photos that I enjoy. Some of those collections I host on the web myself and others I entrust to Google in Picasa web albums which are very easy to share even if the photos are over forty years old like these ones taken in Nova Scotia in the seventies.
The one piece of advice that you need to take seriously is do not expect that you will ever have the time to sort through all your photos. Force yourself to start working on picking out your favorite photos now.
A few years ago I did a Kindle picture book, 100 Pictures, 1000 Words, A Crystal Coast Year. I took 40,000 pictures that year. It was a monumental challenge to decide which 100 pictures from the year I liked the best. Doing great pictures on a Kindle is not particularly easy either (See How to share a place you love- Going Beyond a Blog section). If I had not been sorting them along the way, it would have been an impossible challenge.
Great pictures are worth saving, they need to be someplace better than on your phone or the hard drive of your computer. Take the time to start sorting and archiving. Someday someone will enjoy some of your special photos and be very pleased that you did.