On Christmas day, one of my 2014 couples tragically lost their house to a fire (luckily, the couple and their son are safe and sound). I received an email from the bride soon after, asking if I still had a copy of her images because she had lost them in the wreckage.
The email broke my heart. I did have the images, but it killed me to think there was a small moment in time where she worried that she had possibly lost images from one of the most important days of her life. Thus, I thought it would be pertinent to provide a few ideas to help keep your images (and other important files!) safe should you face such a horrific incident.
A few pointers:
- No matter which strategy you choose, you should always have multiple copies of your wedding day images to ensure that there is always one safe copy. One of these copies should be either in a fire-proof safe, in the cloud, or at another location so that if something were to happen to your house your wedding photos would be safe.
- Check up on your backups often. Hard drives and flash drives don’t last forever and should be replaced every now and then.
Before I continue, let me share my personal backup strategy when it comes to the photos I take for clients:
- When I arrive home from a session or a wedding, I immediately upload the images to my computer from the CF cards.
- I refrain from deleting the images on the card until right before the next time I need them, thus providing a temporary copy.
- Once all the files are on my computer, I upload them all onto an external harddrive, creating a third copy of all the files.
- Simultaneously, CrashPlan, a program that creates a backup of my photos in the cloud, starts to upload the new files. Once the upload is complete, I have a 4th copy of the files that is safe and sound should any disaster befall my office.
That’s a lot of copies, right? It may seem like overkill, but I’d rather be safe than sorry! You probably don’t need to be quite as careful as I am, but the more careful you are, the more secure you can feel with the knowledge that your images are safe and sound. My personal suggestion is to look into keeping your files in the cloud if you’re not doing so already. The cloud is an excellent and exceptionally easy way to keep your files backed up, off site, and secure. If you only want one backup of your wedding day images, I strongly suggest having that backup live in the cloud.
There are many awesome cloud storage systems out there, but let me suggest the two that I use frequently:
Dropbox – Dropbox is one of the easiest backup solutions, especially if you don’t have a lot of large files that need to be kept safe. Files are easy accessible and downloadable in case something should happen to them, and Dropbox even includes a few GB of space for free. I choose to pay a little extra for 1TB of space. Check Dropbox out here.
Crashplan – Crashplan is a little different. Its plans come with unlimited amount of space. However, the files are not as easily accessible on a day to day basis like they are with Dropbox. Still, if you were to ever lose your images you’d be able to retrieve them- it just might take a few days to do so. This option is best if you, like me, have huge files and/or lots of files that need to be kept safe and secure.
Are you currently using a backup strategy? If not, take the time to look into some of these options and find a way to back up your images- I’d hate for you to lose them!