First: Image credits, round of applause and eternal gratitude to Korri Leigh Photography for these photos of my family from Spring 2023.
Second: is a quick talk about backing up your digital photos… enjoy these photos of us romping around the Arnold Arboretum in Jamaica Plain with gorgeous spring blooms while I share some points.
Summer 2023 I received an overwhelming amount of clients from previous years reaching out for fresh copies of their digital files. I feel like a hero when I can dig back into shelves of hard drives or into cloud storage (or sleeves of DVD binders for the oldest images) and find their images. I hold my breath until I actually see their images load on my computer.
Moving forward I will continue maintaining archives as I have been. If it’s less than a year from our session or the event I will send you a new link to download your files, no charge.
It’s it’s been over a year and I can be your hero then I will charge $50 for a single image (if it was just one headshot image and that is all you need) or $250 for a full session or event. If I look for your images but cannot find them I will not charge you for my time to look***
***this policy is subject to change at any time
1. Download your images ASAP
The link I send is great for viewing images in the short term and a place to direct family and friends to order prints, but it’s not your long term storage solution. I don’t often have galleries set to expire (unless I do and I’ll mention it) so the link will be there for an undetermined amount of time. But that’s no reason to let it sit there without action. I could switch gallery platforms, their site could not work on some random day, you could misplace the link, etc….
I want you to have access to your images separate from me and separate from the online gallery. Download these files as soon as you can.
2. Confirm that you have all the folders and images
Once downloaded, double check your downloads and image counts. I’m going to deliver a lot of images and sometimes downloads are incomplete and I don’t want anything to fall through the cracks.
3. Follow the 3-2-1 Backup Method
And this is where it’s a choose your own adventure for a backup strategy
You’re probably doing some of this already but I want you to have a solid plan.
- 3 Copies of Data: Maintain three copies of data
- 2 Different Media: Use two different media types for storage
- 1 Copy Offsite: Keep one copy offsite to prevent the possibility of data loss due to a site-specific failure.
You’ll even see 4-3-2 Rules. It’s just MORE redundancy and that’s great!
Go Nuts! Go overboard on storage and backing things up. For your most important events (weddings and such) have involved family members retain a copy of the files for your family archives.
In 2005 when I started as a photographer for a whitewater rafting company we were burning CDs to store image archives and most people bought 5x7s and 8x10s of their rafting photos.
TIMES. HAVE. CHANGED.
I’ve gone through periods where I was delivering CDs, DVDs, harddrives, USB drives and now it’s almost exclusively by download.
I manage my own personal images and try to keep up with professional images I’ve shot since 2005. It’s hard and I’ll admit that over the years I have some gaps where my digital strategy has failed. Nothing catastrophic but it’s been a wakeup call that the system that once worked did fail. Going forward I need to do more, do better and that effort is an ongoing process.
4. Be prepared for your storage to fail
Yup. Just like film and negatives that can be damaged, overexposed, ruined by the developer, lost in a move – digital storage can fail too. You can overwrite files, corrupt a hard drive, lose a password to your cloud storage, etc…
A redundant strategy should mitigate these issues.
5. Print your photos
When you first receive photos from an event or portrait session it can feel like quantity matters. You look in awe over the amount of images you received. Over time your favorites stand out. It’s a several dozen from a wedding, a handful or two from a portrait session, etc… Print those! Print them in an album, for your living room, in your kids’ rooms.
This was the goal of hiring a professional in the first place, right? To be reminded of these amazing days as you’re passing through your home on a daily basis.
6. Reach out
If I can be helpful in any way, let me know.
Technology changes and I’ll continue refining my own backup strategies, updating storage methods and I will bring your images along with me as best as I can, for as long as I can.
If it’s less than a year from our session or the event I will send you a new link to download your files, no charge.
It’s it’s been over a year and I can be your hero then I will charge $50 for a single image (if it was just one headshot image and that is all you need) or $250 for a full session or event. If I look for your images but cannot find them I will not charge you for my time to look.