Always back up!

10074152 s image It is to this day that I feel regret and shame for loosing every single photo I took in 2005. This tragic event occurred due to a malfunction in an internal hard drive. I took the thing to five or six recovery specialists but it was not use, it was toasted. What made it all worse were the stacks of DVDs and two external units I had bought a few months previous to the event, with the purpose of backing up my work. I always kept postponing it and finding something else better to do. So, I learned this lesson the hard way. You don’t have to (and if it happens at least I hope it won’t be as lame as my story), because there are multiple ways of taking care of your work. Human error does occur from time to time and it’s really up to each of us to limit that from happening, but technologically, you now stand better chances than ever.

Back up from the very beginning

That means backing up while shooting or immediately after you’re done. Best way to do so is by having a laptop at the shoot with a fast, external storage device. This will keep you going if you’re shooting on location , or away from home. It’s also very important not to rely on a single memory card. Buy as many as you can, because even a top brand memory card isn’t fail safe. If you’re shooting for more than one day, use a different card for each day.

After downloading the photos

Good software is important for managing your files. Programs such as Apple Aperture and Adobe Lightroom offer great back up capabilities. It’s recommended that you have a quality internal hard drive in addition to the external one you use when the soot is done. This main drive will probably be the one you’ll be using when editing, so make sure it’s fast.

For maximum safety and virtually no chance of insomnia , I recommend a second external unit. It doesn’t have to be very fast, as its purpose is to store , not to be worked with. If you consider this option, it would also help to store this device in an alternative location, safe from burglaries or natural disasters.

I also use other storage options like Bluray and good, old fashioned DVDs. I make some every once in a while, after I’m done with a project or a client and store them in a holder.

There are also services like the Cloud you can use, but you should keep in mind things like upload and download speeds. DO NOT rely solely on services like the Cloud. There is no point in having your work saved somewhere else if it isn’t in your system as well.

Recommended Storage:

Seagate Backup Plus 1 TB USB 3.0 Portable External Hard Drive
WD My Passport 1TB Portable External Hard Drive Storage USB 3.0
Toshiba 320GB Toshiba Canvio Basics 3.0 Portable Hard Drive
Seagate Backup Plus 3 TB USB 3.0 Desktop External Hard Drive
Seagate Backup Plus 4 TB USB 3.0 Desktop External Hard Drive

Image credit: siirol / 123RF Stock Photo