This may not be the most exciting post, but it is one that most brides would consider very important. As a Washington, DC wedding photographer, I might be biased, but photos are one of the most important aspects of your entire wedding day. And with that comes a huge responsibility of ensuring a seamless delivery process from the moment I take an image until the moment you receive the final gallery. Over the years, I’ve developed a backup system that puts even the most Type A bride, like myself, at ease!
A. As I’m photographing a wedding, I’m actually already backing up your photos! My professional equipment has two card slots which means that the RAW files are simultaneously being written to each card as I shoot. In the event of a corrupt card, which is usually random and unexplained, I always have my backup card ready to go. I also always work with a second shooter who is not just a second set of eyes, but a backup to your entire day.
B. Upon getting home from a wedding or session, I immediately upload all the images from both myself and my second shooter to my computer.
C. We own a Time Capsule, which I LOVE! This device is constantly backing up your computer when connected to the WIFI. So after the images have been uploaded to my computer, overnight, they are backed up to my Time Capsule. The images continue to be backed up daily as I begin the editing process over the coming days/weeks.
D. Once your images are completely culled and edited, I export the JPEG files. These files then go three places for safekeeping:
1. SmugMug | an online backup system
2. Pixieset | the online gallery delivery system (it doubles as a backup!)
3. External Hard Drive | Completely separate from my laptop or Time Capsule, these hard drives are stored in a fire safe box and are never erased. Each wedding is held on at least two different drives and RAW files are also stored for one year.
Everything also remains on my computer and Time Capsule for at least one year.
E. Only after this time will I re-format the original cards from part A which held your RAW files. I like to keep these as an extreme backup in case of an emergency.
Even with the best system in place, things still can happen — technology, after all, isn’t perfect. But this method has proven to work really well for me and makes both my clients and myself feel safe with their wedding day photos! It’s a lot of extra work to have so many simultaneous backups going, but that’s a small price to pay compared to losing a client’s memories. Upon receiving your gallery, I highly recommend downloading all the high-resolution images and backing up the images on your own devices as well. Like I said, I’m Type A and you can never be too safe!