At my most recent wedding consultation, my bride and groom told me about their brother-in-law’s horror story: All of their wedding photos had been lost when their photographer’s hard drive crashed! I’ve heard of this happening before and it makes me so sad and frustrated for anyone it happens to. I get asked pretty often about how I go about backing up sessions and weddings so I thought I’d share my method. I believe you can’t overdo backups. As a photographer it’s a huge part of my job to protect and save images. So here is what I do!
1. I copy all photo files onto my computer’s internal hard drive as well as a second external hard drive that is always connected to my computer. I have a third “time machine” hard drive that backs up everything on my main hard drive 24/7 so the files I’ve just transferred over also get backed up there. So far, three hard drives contain the files.
2. I have an online service that backs up my entire computer running 24/7. This ensures a fourth backup of all files!
3. For weddings, I take an extra precaution: I have another external hard drive that I copy all the original photos onto and then unplug and store this hard drive. I keep the files on this drive until I’m completely done with a wedding. I also burn a copy of the final, edited photos to DVD and keep these in a safe place. I don’t delete wedding files, ever! I keep them in my archives… just in case the archives are corrupted and someday a bride and groom lose their photos at home, I still have the images on DVD.