Indianapolis Family Photographer | Photographer Friday | Back Up Files

Last weekend I had the fortunate (and extremely coincidental) chance of meeting Kasey (who also happens to be from Michigan) for a shoot here in Indy. This family has recently relocated from the mitten state to the much-sunnier Indianapolis area and I was lucky enough to have gotten the opportunity to meet them.

This is only a sneak peek into their blog teaser (coming next week) and you may recognize these if you follow along on Facebook and Instagram, but since I’m in the process of uploading their gallery AND backing up all of my files, things are running slow on my computer and I can only multi-task so much.

Indianapolis Family Photographer casey and her camera

Speaking of backing up files – and it being For Photographers Fridays – let’s talk about this for a second. I’m sure you’ve all heard horror stories about losing files in a hard drive or computer crash, right? These days, there isn’t much of an excuse for this – there are just too many easy-to-use options out there to protect your files. Here are just a few:

1. Save them to your hard drive.

Indianapolis Family Photographer casey and her camera

2. Save them to an external hard drive.

Indianapolis Family Photographer casey and her camera

3. Save them to a USB drive or CD.

Indianapolis Family Photographer casey and her camera

4. Save them to cloud storage.

Indianapolis Family Photographer casey and her camera

Remember… one backup is NOT ENOUGH!! With everything going ‘paperless’ having your files backed up ONLY ONCE is a disaster waiting to happen. Before I launched this business, I saved all of my personal files (work, school, photos, music… you name it) to my hard drive.

I’ll give you one guess what happened.

I spent HUNDREDS of dollars – which isn’t that much, really, but drained me as a college student – trying to recover the files and I was only rewarded with a small smattering of memories throughout the years. All of my text files were gone, my image files were distorted and compressed, and my music files were unrecoverable.

So I began saving everything to an external hard drive. I figured it’d be safer, it’d get less wear and tear, annnddd it would free up space on my computer allowing my computer to run quickly. Then came the day when I had my external hard drive perched precariously on a pillow while I was quickly backing up a file. I subconsciously scolded myself for it’s location, but left it there, reassured that this would take no longer than a minute and nothing would happen in that time.

Then the cat jumped. And the drive took a fall, ripping it’s cord out of the computer on its way.

The planets were aligned and the photo Gods were looking out for me, because I came out unscathed with all files intact, but that was the last day I ever left my files in only one location.

Indianapolis Family Photographer casey and her camera

Currently, I save all files (not just my photo files) to external hard drives. I buy the 2TB portable ones (you can get a steal of a deal on them around Thanksgiving and Christmas time) and they last me 1-3 years depending on the level of work I’m doing in each calendar year.

Immediately after arriving home from a session I download the images off of my cards and back them up onto the first hard drive that stays plugged into my computer 90% of the time. This is the drive I work off of. There are no files on my computer – only programs and applications.

The images stay on the CF or SD cards until I am finished editing the session and the gallery is mailed out. Then all files (RAW and edited JPG) are backed up to a secondary external hard drive that stays locked up in a fireproof safe (I kid you not). Only once this is done are the files wiped from the CF and SD cards. The files are now in THREE places:

  1. External hard drive #1
  2. External hard drive #2
  3. Cloud storage (online gallery)

At all times my files are stored in at least two places, and once the process is complete, they’re solidly stored in three places. When I am ready to send out a client gallery, I also send out a ‘Product Instructions’ sheet to clients encouraging them to also back up their files as I cannot guarantee them again despite all that I do to back up files. It is the clients responsibility to ensure they have a backup beyond their 10-year Cloud Storage through their PASS gallery.

So whether you’re a photographer, a client, a hobbyist, or just a parent…. do yourself a favor and protect your memories not once, but twice. You will thank yourself in the end.


Indianapolis Family Photographer casey and her camera

casey and her camera is an Indianapolis Family Photographer specializing in couple, lifestyle, senior, wedding and family photography for Indianapolis, Indiana and the surrounding areas.

no comments
Add a comment...

Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *