When I first started photography, to deliver a client’s session, you would burn it to a disk or upload it to a USB. With the digital age - a lot of photographers now deliver galleries via online portals, giving the client instant satisfaction and avoiding lost postage. There are a lot of benefits to digitally downloading your gallery but there is one big downfall of the digital age: not backing up your photos.
It sounds like it doesn’t really matter right? You have some photos on your Facebook + some on your phone, it’s unlikely your computer will crash. But out of 200 something clients last year, FOURTY have emailed us about re-downloading their galleries after their computer crashed or hard drive went corrupt. SO, in order to protect you from losing the hundreds to thousands of dollars you may have spent on your photos, here are six ways to backup your photos.
(Note: Most photographers do not keep your edited photos for longer than a year and online galleries expire after so long. It is CRUCIAL that you download them all, and properly back them up. Do not rely on your photographer to save them all for years to come. Many have it in their contracts that they are no longer responsible for them after delivery.)
1. Download Them All in High - Resolution.
This sounds too easy to be step one, but it is. Screenshotting your photos only hurts you. I know it takes a minute to properly download them but the quality of screenshotting your photos is so terrible when posting/sharing online. I notice a lot of clients only download their favorites and try to download the rest a year later, make sure to download them all as soon as possible. You cannot print a screenshotted photo either so make sure to download them.
2. Download Them to a Few Computers.
If you have a laptop and so does your spouse, I would download them to both just for safekeeping. I personally only have one laptop so this step doesn’t work for me, but if you have a laptop + a desktop.. download to both. The more the merrier.
3. Transfer the Downloaded Photos to a USB Stick.
USB sticks are tiny, easily accessible and easy to transport. This might not be the best option for full wedding galleries but it is an option for some extra protection. You can copy the photos to multiple USB sticks and give them to family members, friends, put them on your keys, etc.
4. BUY AN EXTERNAL HARD DRIVE.
The phrase “External Hard Drive” sounds intense, but it’s not that scary. It’s actually a necessity. We currently own 15+ external hard drives just for alllll of our photoshoots & weddings, but I have a personal one as well. On my personal I keep all of my former schoolwork, all of my Facebook photos, backups to my old iPhones, etc. External hard drives are a great place to store all of your photo sessions. I am a bit of a paranoid person so I have a duplicate of every hard drive I own, so if you’re like me, I would buy two.
(Note: Hard drives depend on computers, there are some more suited for Macs + some more suited for PCs. Ask your local Best Buy which one is best for your computer. For my macbook, I use LaCie hard drives).
5. Online Backups.
iCloud or BackBlaze are really great online backups. This way, everything is stored in a cloud and you don’t have to worry about a tangible item breaking.
This is a blog post for a different day (you can read it here). Don’t let your photos just live on a screen, print your photos. Hang them up, put them in places, make a scrapbook. We currently host a print shop that you can order prints & albums through, but our clients also own rights to print where they please.
You don’t need to do all of these steps, but I would recommend doing at least three of them. You invested in these photos, these photos are important memories to you, please don’t lose them.