Have you ever lost important files on your computer? I switched from film to digital in 2003, so I have accumulated a large collection of images since then. I also have experience losing files from hard drive failure so I have a routine in place now to prevent that. As a professional horse photographer I know that I can’t recreate the photo shoot that I just finished either.
Proper data backup of my horse photos!
When I’m not photographing horses, or working at the art gallery, or editing my images, or blogging or tweeting or sleeping, I am running my other company. Like most artists, I wear several hats. But unlike many artists I use mostly my left brain for my other company. I own a Computer Repair business in Prescott Arizona called The PC M.D. I’ve been troubleshooting and repairing windows computers for almost 20 years now. I have seen a lot of hard drive failure over that time. I always tell my clients “it’s not a matter of if, just a matter of when”. In my experience one of the most devastating losses anyone can experience on their computer would be picture files. I’m not just talking about myself losing images of horses – but what about a new born baby, or that last vacation with a loved one that just passed. I see the fear on my clients faces when I tell them that their hard drive has failed. I feel the pain in my heart when they tell me that they don’t have a backup process at all. There are plenty of forensic data recovery services on the web that do a great job but I’d rather be proactive instead of reactive.
So what’s my data backup method?
When I arrive home from a local photo shoot, I copy all the files from my media cards onto my computer. Then before formatting the cards, I make another copy on an external hard drive. Then as a third backup- I use an online service called Carbonite. That means I backup those files securely to the cloud. So I have two copies in my office and one copy in the cloud. The Carbonite service runs on my computer continuously and monitors my files for anything new or for changes that I make to existing files. This service has saved my butt and the butt of many of my clients! If I’m out on location traveling for a few days then I usually don’t format my media cards until I arrive home and have backed up using at least two of the three methods. That means I have to bring a lot of cards with me, but it sure beats taking a chance on something happening.
And don’t forget- even those media cards can get corrupted. So keep them clean, stored safely and replace them frequently.
If this brought up questions for you, please feel free to leave a comment.
Jody Miller is a professional photographer specializing in Horse Photography, Equine Photography, and Equestrian photography. Her work can be viewed online here in her gallery section, and she is also featured at Arts Prescott Gallery, in Arizona.