As professionals are we LEGALLY supposed to keep copies of client photos?

1 month 3 weeks ago #762441 by J Photo Man
Hard drives are pilling up and I have files that are OLD, like easily 10 years.  So as the question states, are we legally supposed to keep copies for so long?  

Does that include checking older drives against possible failure due to age? 

I know we SHOULD keep photos for a bit as good practice, the question is asking LEGALLY. 

Many thanks for entertaining my question.  


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1 month 3 weeks ago #762458 by Hassner
No idea of American laws. 
I still have all my negatives from 1986. 

Camera maximum image are getting too large for most of the customer needs. 


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1 month 3 weeks ago #762496 by CharleyL
When I owned a photo re-touching studio in 2000-2004 I made CDs of every job as they were completed. Each contains the before and after photos, and any other important data like photo sources when for composites. The customer's name and address, and the billing amount was also put on the CD.  I still have every one of them, and have gone back a few times when customers came back for additional work, or just additional prints.

One guy who had a photo of himself manning a 50 cal in the side of a Huey gunship in Vietnam told me that the original photo had been damaged while in his duffel bag on his final trip home. I fixed it and printed several copies for him. He came back several times over the next 2 years for more prints to give to his family when they asked for them. 

I never knew about a law requiring this, but 7 years is the usual legal limit on most things. I just did it as a way to keep track of my customer's work and the records associated with them.  

Charley


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1 month 3 weeks ago #762568 by Sean Lamber
The plus side, the longer you have the photos and they want new prints, that's a cash printing press there!  Work is done already, all you need to do is process the order and ship the print to the client.  


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1 month 3 weeks ago #762569 by Sean Lamber
The plus side, the longer you have the photos and they want new prints, that's a cash printing press there!  Work is done already, all you need to do is process the order and ship the print to the client.  


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1 month 3 weeks ago #762639 by Peter P
Yep, and it looks good for you in the eyes of the client 


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1 month 2 weeks ago #762712 by Foggy
I don't know about "Legally", but as good practice, I would do what I can to keep files safe for at least a good 10 years.  


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1 month 2 weeks ago #762782 by Patrick G
I have files going back 14 years ago, I have no clue how long they are legally supposed to be kept.  But they don't cost anything to keep, so I just keep them. Last October an old client asked for a photo that was from 6 years ago and was happy that I still had it.  Turned into 3 canvas print order and they scheduled me for their daughters graduation coming up in June.  

I can speculate if they would have booked with me or not, but having the photos from long ago certainly scored some points.  


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1 month 2 weeks ago #762874 by Roman Omell
I don't fuss with old stuff, and never had issues with any of my drives failing.   Guess I'm a lucky one.  


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1 month 2 weeks ago #762877 by CharleyL
Yes, you are a lucky one. I'm all solid state drives now, and glad to be rid of those spiny drives. Back-ups for back-ups.
I still have everything backed up, but have been much safer since switching.

Charley


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