We live in a digital world these days. It seems like everything can be found in digital form like images, recipes, music, and even diplomas. This has made the world of sharing and gaining access to such items much easier, but it does have it dangers. Digital files can be lost, deleted, or stolen. Backing up your images, or anything of importance, is a very important thing to do.
Backing Up Your Images
Over the past few years, I have become pretty paranoid about protecting my digital files. It’s probably due to the fact that I shoot weddings, and weddings are an extremely important memory. I do several things to make sure my images are backed up, and I’ll try to explain my process. Not all of these will apply to everyone, but there are some things I think every person should do.
Making Copies While You Shoot
One method I use is to create multiple copies of each image while I’m out in the field shooting. Most cameras have an option to create two versions of an image when it is taken. My camera has two memory card slots, so I just have the backups saved to the second card. You can also choose the format of the backup, so if you are really paranoid, you could save a RAW file or you could just use a smaller Jpeg. A few days ago I bought an item that’s going to give me another option. I bought the Colorspace UDMA 3, and it’s basically a portable hard drive with a screen and memory card slots. I won’t use this on every shoot, but I do plan on bringing it to weddings and backing up the cards at points throughout the night. Both of these methods really would only apply to professional photographers. I doubt many casual shooters would go to this extreme.
Right now I have 4 hard drives sitting around my computer. I use each one for a different purpose/ type of shooting. Having things on a hard drive is a good idea, but hard drives do fail. The simplest thing would be to put it on a computer and the hard drive so if one failed, you’d still have the other. I bought a special hard drive that has built in protection. It’s a Drobo drive, and it has multiple hard drives in it. Some how the program that’s built in spreads my files out over the different drives. If a drive goes down, I can still gather the files from the other drives. All this is good unless something happens like a fire or a robbery. That’s why I also suggest the next method.
Online Backup Storage
Most people already know about the many options of online storage these days. The most popular are Dropbox, the Cloud, and Google Drive. The way this works is you just upload the files, and then they are saved virtually. You can access that from multiple places, and they should be safe. The good news is these are free, to a point. For most people, the free storage provided should be sufficient for most things. If you find you are going over, it doesn’t cost that much to get more storage.
Losing photos or other digital items is heart breaking because in most cases once they’re gone, they’re gone. If you are keeping anything of value in a digital format, I highly suggest you look into Backing Up Your Images or other files in at least one of these ways or maybe more. It’s better to be safe than sorry.