It never fails that at least once a month I get a panicked email from one of my clients. Their computer has died and they have lost all of their images. I can feel their anxiety and I get it. Losing the precious images I have of my children is a big fear of mine.
In this digital age, I cannot stress enough how important it is to back up your images. More and more photographers are moving to allowing you to purchase your digital images and you have to store them responsibly. The images that are on you phone and tablets should also be backed up routinely.
Multiple places are key when you’re dealing with electronics that at any moment could fail or be stolen. Don’t get comfortable thinking you have them safe and sound on a laptop that could be left at a TSA check point and never returned. Or on a hard drive that could be misplaced or accidentally thrown away because it’s so small.
Better to keep your most cherished eggs in separate baskets.
The first thing I tell my clients to do when I deliver a gallery is to download their images to their hard drive, not their phone! It’s perfectly fine to put your images on your phone if you’d like to share them that way, but you need to have the large files saved on your hard drive for storage and printing.
The next step I ask them to do is to back up their full resolution files to a digital cloud service of some kind. Keeping your images safe is much easier nowadays thanks to online storage services. You can choose from the many different websites that offer both a paid or free accounts depending on your space needed. Personally, I pay a monthly fee and upload my professional sessions of my family to it along with all of my phone and tablet images. I have set my phone to auto and back up to it daily. I know that these images are irreplaceable, and I guard them that way.
My top three choices for cloud storage are:
My number one go-to option. For $9.99 a month, I can easily back up and organize all my files. I like the added bonus it gives me while allowing for different types of file storage. It easily stores all of our important documents, videos and RAW images in a clean, user friendly space. The accompanying app is ideal for mobile use and keeps everything at my fingertips.
Google has made a very similar Dropbox like platform but expanded it with several business options. It has file sharing, with multiple users able to modify their shared files. This is perfect for someone who utilizes it for both business and personal use.
For Mac users, I don’t think it gets any easier than iCloud. It seamlessly integrates with your devices and makes back up and retrieval simple. You can download the app and get started right away.
For a final, little bit of “extra” precaution, I encourage people to download their images to a USB and put them in your fireproof safe. Little extra? Possibly. But in case of lost passwords, emails that are disconnected, or worst case, a fire, this little “extra” step takes about 15-20 minutes a month to do. Better safe that sorry.