Preserving Memories: Storing Your Digital Images and Printing Your History
We are living in a digital world where all our documents are at our finger tips. But have you ever had your phone break, computer break, virus, etc. and lose all your files and ahhhhh YOUR PICTURES!!!! Technology is not infallible!!! Flash drives (USB’s) and external hard drives break all the time from something as small as you placing it on you desk. They are sensitive!!! While we place all our faith in most of these options you need to have other sources of back up. Most of you are familiar with Apple Cloud, Dropbox, or other online backup options like Backblaze but you HAVE to use them CONTINUOUSLY! Another good option for backup is a bank. But, lets face it…who wants to head back and forth to the bank that often!!! I AIN’T GOT TIME FOR THAT!
Yes, we live in Louisiana, yes we can flood, yes we get hurricanes. That’s part of the beast of life…natural disasters happen everywhere. BUT, can your pictures can be saved? It’s not always a guarantee but a lot of times they can. There are steps you need to take pretty fast after a flood in order to do so. Matter of fact I know a group of photographers who are currently working to help preserve memories for folks who have been affected by this crazy flood that just wrecked havoc in Baton Rouge’s surrounding areas. So what about flash drives and external hard drives, can they withstand a flood? Not likely! You may be able to send it off to a recovery place and send up prayers, hopes and dreams and around $3000 plus depending on how much data recovery is needed. And that’s a big “IF”. Did I say they were sensitive???!!!!
What about a fire? Well you’re likely to be out of luck here too even with a fireproof safe if it’s bad enough to burn the whole house down. It may be in tact but the heat alone could render it useless. There are true fireproof safes out there but to get it rated for a fire and then waterproof properly to withstand a house fire could get extremely costly. “Luck” might save you; but the odds are lousy enough that this option doesn’t qualify as a good plan.
The “ancient” world of printing….well it’s outdated because it’s still around!!! Look around everywhere you go, restaurants, hotels, shops, or your friends house, I bet you will see pictures older than father time. Like I said electronics weren’t meant to last forever….will your flash drives that you have stored in a junk drawer be around in 100 years and still work? Maybe…and that’s a big maybe. You are writing your family history with pictures but you need to have something physical to pass along. With the recent passing of both my parents in the last 6 years I’ve been forced to sift through family photos way before even my parents were a twinkle in anyones eye…all the way through my entire childhood. It’s our history…my dads history…my moms history…and generations before them. That being said there are duplicates of a lot of these REALLY OLD portraits. What did I do with them? Divided them with my brother! Now there are copies in two different households…unless there’s an apocalypse…our history will be preserved.
We can think that technology will advance enough that it may mimic current Sci Fi movies…but then again Back to the Future II wasn’t exactly correct…where’s my overboard???!!! 2015 has come and gone McFly!
So what’s a good plan? Printing, external hard drive’s AND offsite storage (i.e. the cloud). How are you going to write your family history? How are you going to preserve it? It’s up to you to protect YOUR history…The GOOD, the BAD and the UGLY…I might have been tempted to burn some pictures of JR HIGH!
So what does that mean for your pictures you get from your photographer via, flash drive, CD, or online link? Yep, you have to back those up too. You can’t rely on your photographer to keep your images forever. Guess why? We’re subject to the same issues as you!!! So ask yourself this….HOW IS MY PHOTOGRAPHER PROTECTING MY IMAGES BEFORE THEY’RE DELIVERED TO ME? It’s your right to ask….it’s why you choose carefully who you hire! Because protecting THAT many images isn’t cheap…yep you guessed it…you get what you pay for. PSA: You’ve been warned.
What I do to protect your images:
- My camera writes with 2 different memory cards so if one fails I have the other (cause yea this can happen and it does).
- Immediately after your session I upload them to my computer. As soon as I do this it’s already heading to the magical cloud.
- After I’m done editing I dump all the discards and prepare for the viewing appointment
- Once the order has been placed and delivered I dump all unnecessary and unordered files and move them to an external (SSD) drive. Oh, and yea, all my hard drives just like my computer are continuously being backed up in that super awesome magical cloud. Double copies not in the same place for the win!!!