3 Ways to Backup Your Photography
What Pros and Amateurs Use
As a photographer, your career depends on your camera and computer continuing to work correctly. But, as we know, there are times when files get corrupted, hard drives fail, or a drink makes unfortunate contact with some gear. To avoid losing your files, it’s critical to backup your photography.
There are a number of options to backup your work. (In fact, you’ll want to work towards using all three.)
- External hard drive
- Cloud storage
- Immediate backup
Using an External Hard Drive to Backup Your Photography
To see how much storage you’ll need, you need to consider how much you shoot.
There are a few important pieces to consider with external image backups:
- Will you backup per project, or have everything on one drive?
- How often will you backup your work?
- Will it go offsite with you each evening?
Number of Backup Drives
There are a number of ways to utilize backup drives, and it largely depends on personal preference and the type of photography you do.
- You can choose to have one or two larger external hard drives, or have smaller drives per project.
- When a project is finished, you can either archive that drive, or transfer the files to a different backup method and wipe the drive for the next project.
Choosing Backup Frequency
In an ideal world, we want to backup our work at the end of every day or session. However, life can get busy, we get sidetracked, and we may forget to do a backup occasionally.
- Automated backups give you one less thing to remember each day.
- These backups are easy to set up, and programs like Carbon Copy Cloner or OS X’s Time Machine manage it for you.
- They run on a schedule; as long as the drive is available, the backup will run.
Taking Your Backup Offsite
If you work from home, this may not apply to you since you don’t go home after the work day is done. But, if you work from a studio or coworking space, it’s important to consider.
- End your day with a backup and take that drive with you.
- Offsite backups can help restore any unexpected data loss in your physical backups.
- Cloud storage is also a type of offsite backup.
Using Cloud Storage to Backup Your Photography
- If you have a Gmail account, you can use Good Drive as a free cloud backup for your files.
- Dropbox is a paid option, though it’s affordable.
- Flickr (excellent presentation for your images, integration with Lightroom and Elements), Irista (good social media integration), and Revel are all free with paid upgrades.
- You’ll be able to access your files from anywhere.
Using an Immediate Backup During Your Photography Shoot
Backing up your photography while shooting is another great method to use.
- You’ll have a backup of your raw files while you shoot, rather than doing so after.
- If you’re shooting tethered, using a program like Carbon Copy Cloner can do this automatically.
- If your camera has two memory card slots, you can use that feature to write each file to both memory cards.
Creating multiple backups of your work may sound expensive, and depending on your method it can be. But it’s also expensive to lose your files. It’s important to effectively backup your photography, whether that’s with an external hard drive or with cloud storage. When you have backups, you can avoid a potentially devastating file loss.