The Importance of Back...Back...Backing Up

Wandering into the world of photography without a backup plan is a lot like wandering into...well just about anything blindfolded.  You might think you know the terrain, how to navigate it, and where you're going, but the next thing you know, you've wandered into a forest, caught yourself on some thorn bushes, and lost your pants.  And much like losing your pants in this evil forest, losing your photos can be a frightening ordeal! 

Think of this scenario: 

You spend 10 hours shooting the perfect wedding.  The colors are all perfect, the lighting is spot-on, the bride and groom photograph like the two greatest love birds in the world!  You get home to your computer, pull all of the photos off of your memory cards, and then go to bed.  A wedding is a long day, after all, and you want to get your rest so that you can wake up the next morning and start working your magic! 

The next day comes along and you start to edit the photos.  Two days pass, you're halfway through the photos, and all of a sudden, a freak storm rolls through town and zaps your house, frying your external hard drives, and wiping out 10 hours worth of photos.  You have nothing to deliver to your clients except the crisp shell of metal and magnets, or whatever else goes into a hard drive.  You have that, and jar after jar of tears, because you've spent the last 24 hours crying away the pain. 

Not a very exciting thought, is it?  Of course it isn't!  Nobody wants to be in a situation where they're unable to deliver something to their paying clients, and that's why there are few things more important to a photographer than a good backup solution.  Now, it's important to note that this isn't so much a sales pitch on any particular company (although it should be pointed out that I use BackBlaze , and that the link IS an affiliate link) but rather my attempt at urging you to take care of your work.

You should cherish that digital files that are nothing more than a bunch of 1's and 0's, because there isn't a whole lot of tangibleness about them.  How can you ensure the safety of your goods?  A few ways, actually.

  1. Hard drive redundancy - HDDs are fairly cheap these days, and having a few extras around (like this 1TB Western Digital Drive) can really help you keep track of your photos.  I wouldn't recommend putting all of your eggs in one basket, so avoid falling into the "Bigger is Better" trap and having all of your photos on a single, larger drive.
  2. Cloud Storage - As previously mentioned, cloud backup like BackBlaze  is a great way to make sure your photos are being backed up offsite, far away.  One of the greatest benefits to a company like BackBlaze is that they offer multiple ways to restore your data, in the event of catastrophe.  You can download the files or, for a small fee, BackBlaze will send you your files on a thumb drive or a hard drive!  Backup is done behind the scenes, and all you really need to do is stay connected to the drives and the internet.
  3. On-site (events like weddings and other longer shoots) backup - These tend to be a bit more expensive so they might scare some folks off, but devices like the Digital Foci Photo Safe II PST-251 500 GB Digital Picture Storage can really be a lifesaver when you're shooting the wedding and want to make sure your photos are safe

The best plan of action is probably to utilize a combination of all of these, but I cannot stress the importance of using at least one of the above-mentioned techniques to keep your photos safe.

Nowadays, backup and storage is so easy and relatively cheap, that there really isn't much of an excuse to take chances anymore.  Do your clients a favor, and back, back, back it up. 

Questions?  Feel free to shoot me an email!