Philadelphia Professional Photographer – Data Backup

March 11, 2012

Backing up your wedding & event photographs

Today was just any other ordinary day in my book, except it is one of my only Saturdays off all year! So I thought how exciting, I planned on going to the Annapolis Food & Wine Festival to do some event photography. However, little did I know another one of my hard drives was going to fail! In the last month I have had one external hard drive fail, then three days ago another external that replaced it failed, and lastly this morning one of my DROBO’s hard drives failed. Luckily, I have been through this rodeo a time or two!

My Senior year of photography school, I was in the digital lab finalizing images for my senior thesis, when I tripped over my external hard drive cable…Yes you may know exactly what happened next. Tears, not just sobbing, weeping, hyperventilating…everything imaginable came out! I had tripped on my ONLY copy of my senior thesis images. Now if my mentor Barbara is reading this, she was there with me, along with my dynamic duo gal’ pal’ Karen… I am sure they can remember the sounds coming off the 14th floor of the Terra building at University of the Arts! Within the last two weeks of my senior year I had to re-photograph EVERYTHING! haha It’s funny for me to look back on now, but man did I learn a huge lesson! Thank goodness that I learned it over 5 years ago…. and Yes I lost all my favorite images of my nieces and nephews growing up, fun silly trips etc…. If you’d like to further your backup potential, you could start using the cloud for your photos you never want to lose! If you’re unsure where to start you could employ the help of companies that offer cloud back up services just like hostiserver does.

So, are you getting my drift yet?

If not let me enlighten you on how I backup and how I integrate protecting all my personal and professional images from the dreaded “Failed Disk Error”! After any event or vacation I come home immediately and download all the images from my compact flash cards. Next while the images are downloading to my main computer, I begin the transfer to my hard drive which is a DROBO (“This safe, expandable storage solution protects your data against a hard drive crash”). Once all the images are safe on my main computer and the DROBO I finally upload to my backup hard drive, a 3tb Western Digital My Book. While all this is happening my main computer is automatically updating to my BackBlaze online file backup which is similar to the “Cloud” and keeps all my data, images, anything that is attached to my computer safe and sound in computer cloud land!

So if you are scratching your head, wondering how does she keep this straight, trust me…when you lose your first hard drive it becomes second nature. It is almost like I am on a war path, to save my images from disappearing!

The point of all my ramblings or blubbering, is that I want to emphasize the importance of backing up your images. Not just once a years, or once a month.

  1. I would recommend backing up all your files at least once a week.
  2. Be sure to double, triple, quadruple check that each important file is saved.
  3. Backup your files in at least 2 places accessible to your home, and one that is not located in your home (in case of fire)

I know this may seem silly, but when the inevitable happens with any drive you will be so happy that you were smart and planned ahead for the inevitable failure! It does not matter what type of hard drive you are using, they all fail. It is just how you decided to prepare for the situation that changes your outcome. So PLEASE! Decide today to go home, into your office, onto your iphone, or laptop and at least save your favorite images to a DVD. That is a start!

Last two cents!

To my wedding couples and clients. When receiving your digital images on USB’s remember, this is only one copy. USB’s break, and also age and/or corrupt. Be sure you are also protecting your precious images or portraits from this. Make an additional copy and put it in a bank security box, upload them to your own online storage, it is easy and much cheaper then having to recreate your day!

Don’t get down the road three or four years and wish you had saved your walk down the aisle, or your grandmother’s last visit…

Believe me, you will thank me.

If I hadn’t backed my images up in FOUR locations I wouldn’t have all my images from my art exhibits after my dreaded hard drive failure! My Senior thesis show 2008 and my junior exhibition 2007 can be seen below (top image: 2008 senior BFA thesis) (lower image: 2007 junior exhibit)! I was still able to get dressed up even though I had lost a chunk of my heart & first digital photography portfolio weeks prior (Photographs thanks to my Mommers!!)

Philadelphia Art Photography Exhibition

Below are precious memories I will never be able to recreate…just another reminder to always print your images, because digital is not forever

Philadelphia Art Photography ExhibitionPhiladelphia Art Photography Exhibition

Thanks to my biggest fan, best friend, and most amazing adviser/council/secretary/marketing guru/bff..My mommers for always standing by my side helping to hold my head up high when the travesty of hard drive failures occur! So please stop reading and go protect & back up your photographs! When you do write me a note and I will help keep you reminded!