Moving photos manually - How to?

Auto backup of photos is taking an excruciatingly long time. Interruptions to the my cloud service along with a huge photo roll are contributing to the incredible slowness.
How can I move photos and videos to the WD drive without waiting on the slooooow wifi transfer of the auto backup feature?
Is there any way to see the actual progress of the process?
Is there a way to view folder contents to determine if files are being added? I have looked for a folder summary on the My Cloud interface - but I have not seen a place to view folder contents. I am connecting to the WD through the finder (smb://) to check on numbers of files - but that is slow too and seems to f* with the process.
Yes - I have the phone set to not turn off
Yes - I understand that deleting/re-installing the iOS app will duplicate files and screw up the process
Yes - I have been letting it run for hours and hours
Yes - I have restarted the iOS app multiple times to get it freshed up to run

So - How can I move the large numbers of photos from the phone to the WD drive without suffering the pain of the app auto backing up over wifi?

You probably need to look at this post.