So, let me tell you a quick horror story:
When I was 16 and just beginning as a photographer, I was using a fairly old Dell laptop computer to run my entire business. I had a full week of shoots in the busiest fall season when my laptop hard dive completely crashed. The computer wouldn’t even turn on. A family friend of ours had government-grade recovery software, and he couldn’t even recover the images on the computer. I had to refund multiple clients and tell them that I had no way to return their images to them. It was a nightmare.
Luckily, I didn’t photograph weddings back then, but the term “back-up” was foreign to me. I had no idea how important it is to back up my images, and how vital it is to the success of my business and the quality of my client experience. Now, I back up my images in FOUR places to ensure that something like this NEVER happens again.
If you are a wedding photographer, you should be backing up all of your images and RAW files to multiple locations. This way, in the case of a hard drive malfunction, flood or unexpected damage – you can still recover all of your images for your clients. Here are the four ways that I back up my images:
After a wedding day, none of my images are deleted off of their original memory cards until they have been edited and delivered to my clients. This way, if something were to happen to my computer AND hard drive, the images are still safe on their original memory cards! I own enough CF cards to make this possible, even if I have a double header or a shoot the next day.
2. External Hard Drive
This is the most common type of back-up and it’s the most trusted! I keep all of the RAW files from my wedding days on an external hard drive. THIS is the one that I use! I also have an portable external hard drive that I take with me when I travel (it’s THIS one!)
3. Cloud Backup
In addition to having an external hard drive, I use a program called Carbonite to regularly back up my laptop hard drive to an online cloud. This also allows me to access my files from any computer at any time, if needed!
4. Online Galleries
Once my JPEG images are edited and ready to be delivered to my clients, I upload them to my online gallery service called CloudSpot. Not only does this allow me to deliver beautiful, user-friendly galleries to my client, but it allows me to have the edited JPEGs backed up online for YEARS after they are delivered (as long as I am paying for the service)! This is a HUGE lifesaver when it comes to back-up, and it allows me to have easy access to my images from anywhere with my mobile app!
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