Professional photographers can have the most exciting career. However, it also comes with the responsibility of protecting photos. Technology can be a wonderful thing, but it turns into your worst nightmare when it decides to malfunction. It is imperative that photographers back up their photos so they don’t lose the brilliant shots they worked so hard to get. Here are some things you should know when backing up your photos to ensure they stay safe.
1. Know That Not All Backup Methods are Created Equally
As a professional photographer, you probably want to save your files as is. Many websites where you can upload photographs, including social media and photo printing sites, digitally compress your file. Choose an external hard drive and online cloud service where you will be able to save and access the files in the same resolution you shot them in.
2. Get an External Hard Drive
An external hard drive is an absolute must for any professional photographer. There are hard drives to suit everyone too, such as hard drives that are designed for travelling and are physically durable; able to withstand being dropped. If you need something that works quickly, then an SSD external drive is known for its speed, although they can be pricier. A regular external hard drive that connects via USB is always the trusty way to go that doesn’t break the bank and with a capacity higher than that of an SSD.
3. Choose a Reliable Cloud Service
Cloud services are not only an extra area to store your photos, but it comes with a wide range of benefits. Having your images on a cloud service means you can access them anywhere with internet. You can also send a link to them or allow a client access to a folder if the pictures are too big to send via e-mail, making it extra convenient! Google even has the added bonus of automatically adding photos to their servers when you transfer them over from your camera to the computer.
You will need to be very aware of what your cloud service offers though. Most like Dropbox, Apple iCloud, and Amazon Prime Photos offer free versions that allow a few gigabytes of storage. However you will probably need more than that, so look at the pricing plans and see what works best for your needs. Some cloud services will condense your photos too, which isn’t handy when you want the RAW files. There are also some cloud storing services designed for the serious photographer; including Adobe, ACDSee and Mylio that comes with specific photo organising software.
4. Have More Than One Backup Method
Unfortunately, there is no one sure way of preserving photos. An external hard drive can fail, and cloud servers can go down or cease to exist altogether without warning. Always use two forms of backup. Many professionals even suggest three backups: A reliable cloud service and two external hard drives. At the very least, have an online backup and one external hard drive.
5. Copy to Two Cards
Most DSLRs now have slots for two cards to streamline the shooting process, eliminating the need to stop and switch them, but what would happen if that card corrupted somehow? Your backup process should start from the moment you start taking images. Program your DSLR to copy images onto both cards so if something happens to one; you still have the other.
6. Start Your Backup Plan Today
Looking at all your past photos that need to back-upped is enough to put many photographers off from the task, causing them to put it off. Instead of worrying about what needs to be done, start with the most recent set of photos and get used to being in the routine of backing them up as soon as possible. When you do, keep them in properly labelled folders by date and occasion/location, and have a descriptive caption, so you don’t forget the details of the shot. You can work on past sets little by little, and every few months be sure to test your backups.
Have You Got an Eye for the Beauty in Everyday Life?
Think you’re ready to learn photography and all the latest techniques to help you get that amazing shot? TPAC are here to guide you to a fun and exciting career. Our CUA50915 Diploma of Photography and Photo Imaging will not only teach you the basics of photography but will also give you the tools you need to become an independent contractor.
TPAC encourages students to show their own unique style through their work and will help support you throughout your course as well as guide you through the first steps of your career after graduation.