Sunday, December 5, 2010

A little bit of backup

Backup is essential.  It’s good for a scuffle, singing in a musical, lots of sports and… photography!  I’m guessing most professional photographers already have a workflow in place that includes backup, but this is something everyone should have.  Think of how you’d feel if you lost all the digital photos of your kid when she was a baby?  Or all those photos of your dog’s tail

The degree to which you take it depends on you.

I’m OCD about backing up my photography.

Step 1:

Obviously, capturing photos on your memory cards, but I take it one step further.  I leave all photos on the memory card until I’m done with the whole backup process.  The ultimate goal is to have all photos in at least 2 places at once.


Step 2:

Upload to computer.  Organize into folders.  Okay, if we lose the memory cards, we’ll be fine.  But what if your computer crashes?


Step 3:

Copy files to external hard drive.  Now, the photos are on the computer, memory cards and external hard drive.  Sounds like a decent backup, right?  Until your house burns down….


Step 4:

Upload to online database.  Whether you throw your photos in a Flickr album, or use a full online backup service like Mozy, now your photo files are safe from anything I can currently think of.


I’d like to add that, as a normal person who has no sponsors and receives no incentive for recommending anything, that I love Mozy Home Backup.  It will backup an unlimited amount of data from any one computer for $4.95 a month.  I have over 100 gb on my Mozy and all I’d have to do is login and re download it if I lost everything.  I’ve done it once when I got a new laptop, works awesome.  5 bucks.  Awesome.  5.

I think you get it…

Another thing I am painfully drudging through is backing up all my film digitally.  Backing up 5 years worth of negatives with a film scanner is extremely time consuming, so I’m trying to tackle it in pieces.  The idea is the same, scan film, then onto steps 2, 3 and 4.

Another word of advice, don’t toss your negatives!  I did this, I treated prints like gold.  Then after 2 minutes of using the darkroom I realized with negatives, there is the possibility for infinite number of prints.  Imagine how much of my work I could show from when I was 16 from the negatives.  Before it was cut up and stuck into scrapbooks (because I didn’t think like an artist just yet).  I could really go for some 16 year old B&W portrait reprints on silver gelatin right about now.  Darnit, youth.  Just sayin’.

Shasta Betty


  1. It is so good to hear someone that has a backup plan! So often I read about the horror stories of people losing all of their photos and then looking at getting Mozy. The new Mozy 2 for Windows supports a local backup option as well, which makes it great to maintain a local backup to your external hard drive as well as the online backup. Restore is much faster because you can simply copy the files from your external hard drive in the event your main drive dies.

  2. Thanks for the tip, I will look into that. I've thought it would be nice to have an automated program for transferring files, I pretty much depend on myself to make the transfer. However, I do leave my external drive disconnected to reduce any chance of mishaps, so that program may or may not work for me. I will definately look into it.