Our relationships and our memories are all we really have at the end of the day. How secure are your memories, really?
The power of a photograph to evoke our memories, things that we thought might be lost, are priceless. These moments from your wedding, your family portraits, cannot be replaced or recreated.
I have always taken this very seriously, this is why I have over 7 years of wedding photos archived (every wedding) on my hard drives. This is why when one of my brides contacted me last year to tell me in a panic that she had lost her disc with all her wedding photos (taken 6 years ago) on it that I still have them all and not to worry as I could send her a link to download them.
You see; I truly believe you should have your photos, your digital photos, even though I believe your wedding album is the single best thing you can get from your wedding photography. I truly believe these are some of the most meaningful photos you’ll ever have made and it’s important to archive them for generations to come.
So what steps do I take to ensure your photos will always be with me?
Great question 🙂
I have a 4 step backup/archive system!
1: Have 4 copies (one main & 3 backups) of all your photos.
2: Have one complete backup copy on-site in my office in a fireproof safe.
3: Have one complete backup copy off-site in a safety deposit box.
4: Backup everything into the cloud (online) using a service like Crashplan, Dropbox or Copy.com.
Now very little about any of this is sexy (not like it’s a new Shakira music video) and the only reason I share it is because a couple recently asked and I think it’s important for you to know that your photos are safe.
Capture your photos for you. Return to office and use ViceVersa Pro to CRC copy to working RAID drive and backup to local drive and to external hard drive in firesafe onesite. Keep data on camera memory cards until finals are delivered to client.
Start cloud backup.
Pull externals from firesafe and swap with externals in safety deposit box. Return to office and backup new data to safety deposit box drives and place in firesafe. Start cycle over again.
I archive aprox. 1 year old photos onto my archive drives that are in the same cycle and places/number of copies that my working drives are. This allows me to keep extra space on my working drives. I can always go back and get these photos at any time.
Why This Matters
I can’t tell you how many professionals and photographers I know that I’ve had to help recover data or photos, all simply because of lax backup standards. If you put a rock solid system in place and treat it like it’s your job (scary thought, right?), you’ll never have to use recovery software again 😉
It’s important to use a program like ViceVersa Pro that is capable of doing a CRC check of the data when it’s copying it so you know it’s not only copying a portion of the data and are then surprised that your photos don’t open (not surprised in a good way) later on down the road.
It’s also a good idea to double check the bytes sizes of your source data & target data folders when uploading to the cloud etc. as any program can mess up and it only takes one mistake!
The Low Down
Even with all this in place, it’s still a great idea for you, the client, to backup your photos on your end. USB sticks are cheap and great for this.
The hard part is not misplacing your backup, so if you have a safe etc. it’s a good place for it.
But just know that I take every bit of my job as your photographer very seriously and have systems in place to keep on top of all the important stuff.