BACKING UP YOUR IMAGES
On many occasions I get asked how I back up a client’s wedding images after the event itself. Understandably it is a huge worry and a lot of trust is needed to ensure your wedding photographer has a fool proof method of making sure they will not get lost or corrupt.
I personally feel this is the difference between an amateur/hobbyist and a professional. A professional will always have a air tight fool proof system of ensuring a clients set of images are never ever lost or damaged. There are many ways of doing this, however below I’ve outlined my method to help you feel reassured and so you know exactly what happens when I get home!
WHY BACK UP YOUR IMAGES?
I guess the answer is pretty simple! It’s my job, my livelihood so if I mess anything up in such a catastrophic way not only does it impact a couple (which I’d never be able to forget) but it would ultimately ruin my business that I’ve worked very hard to build.
BACK UP BACK UP BACK UP
I am fortunate enough that both my primary camera’s enable me to record the images I take on to two memory cards at the same time. Okay, so what does this mean? This means if one card was to fail half way through the day (believe me, it’s scary but it happens) I would still have all the images recorded on the other card inside my camera. Although this can make my camera a fraction slower (if you see me waiting for my camera to stop saying ‘busy’, don’t panic, it’s recording the images to both cards) this means that I instantly have a backup of the photographs I’ve taken.
Not only this but I also ensure both memory cards are the same size and speed, meaning the same amount of images will record to each without issue or need for changing or moving memory cards about. I’ve heard stories of photographers putting used memory cards in their pocket and losing them. I purposely never take my cards out of my camera during a wedding day because of that reason – I don’t trust my pockets! I also don’t want to risk opening up the memory card part of my camera as this can heighten the risk of a card failing.
WHAT I DO WHEN I GET HOME
Although I would much rather go to straight to bed, my first move is to start up my laptop. I will then take out one of the memory cards from each camera and load them in a relevant folder onto my laptop without doing anything else (although my laptop would handle me doing other things at the same time, I have weird habits/superstitions and worry about breaking them – you’ll discover I’m a little odd like that as you work with me, hehe). Once I have backed them up on my laptop I will then transfer the same cards to my desktop computer. Once they are on my desktop computer I will then transfer them to my RAID server which is composed of 2 hard drives, these hard drives mirror each other (again, so if one failed, nothing would be lost).
WHAT IF THERE’S A FIRE?
This is the one thing I always worry about, although backing up and having folders on multiple computers is often a safe and sound way of storing images. What would happen if any of my computers were stolen or damaged? Well, the last step of backing up my images is to load them onto my cloud server.
This means they are stored away from my home in a secure storage base and means I can access them anytime and anywhere and even if something horrendous was to happen, all the images would still be safe.
LAST BUT NOT LEAST
And last but not least.. until the images have been edited and delivered to the customer, I will keep the original images on one set of the chips in my memory card case! Call me excessive, but if there’s a weakness in my back up system then I wouldn’t be able to sleep at night!