Please just read this!When all this is too much … make sure you scroll at least to the bottom of this article to read the 6 essential wedding photography backup tips. We want to make sure you have lifetime memories of your wedding.
Your digital wedding images
Digital images are very important for most of our wedding clients as they are much easier to share with your friends and family via email or via social media. We shoot international and destination weddings and lots of our Melbourne wedding clients have guests from overseas. We want to keep things simple.
For that reason we always provide you with the high resolution images on a USB stick or as a download. And to keep it even simpler for you we also provide the same images in a lower resolution for use on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest & co. in optimal quality and sizing.
The times where you had to go to your photographer to get a second copy of the negative are a thing of the past (and even when you photograph with film you will scan these images for easier handling. You don’t need to rely on your wedding photographer to be able to get a second copy of your image or a professional print or album.
In this article we want to give you some tips what to do with your digital images and how to preserve your wedding memories for the future. Of course this advice is not only applicable to your wedding images – all your personal images should receive this special treatment.
We wanted to cover all different aspects to make sure your wedding memories are safe … so it is a bit of an longer article.But don’t worry in case this post is too long for you … just scroll to the end and read our six simple tips to follow.
Your first wedding photo backup is easy – How to back up your photos!
You just received your wedding images. Exciting times. Of course you want to have a look at the files straight away.
The easiest and fastest way to do this is by copying the contents of your USB stick to your computer. You have a backup straight away (one set of your images is on your computer and the backup is the set on your USB stick). Well done … just by copying the files to your computer you created a backup.
This is good for now … but not really future proof and safe. Your wedding photos deserve more. So make sure you read on …
Sort your wedding images and others
Don’t only think about your wedding photos. Why not take a backup of all of your personal memories when you are already at it.
Have you ever found some lost images in one of your folders on your computer. Be honest … how many of your personal images are stored somewhere on your harddrive … you don’t even know where anymore. They are nearly forgotten …unsorted … and some might be already lost forever. Several devices such as phones & tablets take photographs … Lots of candid shots you want to preserve.
Consolidate your images
Don’t spread your images across different computers or mobile devices. You might have some images on your old mobile phone, some on your new flashy iPhone 6s, a few live on your iPad or tablet,a few more are on your laptop and then there are these 2 external drives with more images. Others might be only available online in your email account, on facebook or some cloud storage.
Easy Tip: Consolidate! Find all your images … store them in one place … and then back them up.
It is much easier to backup one folder with images than 10 different folders on different devices.
Digital images are still “fairly” new (meaning only 20 years) so there are not that many places to look for:
Where to look for your images?
- mobile devices – phones, tablets
- memory cards & USB sticks
- cameras with built in storage
- external hard drives
- floppy disks and other storage media
- social media
- email accounts – some attachments might contain some pictures
- cloud storage
You can even go one step further and try to archive your printed images and negatives. There are several scan solutions and scan services out there.
Structure your images
When you photograph regularly you will over time collect more and more images. So make sure they are easy accessible. Structure your storage system.
There are different ways of doing this and everyone prefers a different method. We prefer to structure our folders by time and give them a little title which we can recognise. Mentioning the date at the beginning keeps it simple to sort.
— Pictures 2016
- 2016 01 Italy Destination Wedding
- 2016 02 Wedding Photography Melbourne James & Cathy
- 2016 02 Dinner with James – The best wedding venue in Melbourne
- 2016 03 Engagement Shoot Max & May
— Pictures 2017
- 2017 01 Wedding Sydney
- 2017 02 Creative Photojournalism – Wedding Shoot
- 2017 03 Portrait Session Melbourne – Mimi
- 2017 03 Beach Wedding Melbourne – Romeo & Julia
Use your own system as long as you know where your images are stored. Keep it simple.
You can also think about renaming all your images to a certain structure … but don’t overdo it … don’t forget to enjoy your images.
Just folders or a program
There are several programs such as Adobe Lightroom available to store your images. They offer lots of other functionality such as colour coding, rating and key wording your images. Don’t forget: A folder keeps things simple and easy accessible. It’s personal preference how to structure your images and if you want to use a program or not.
We keep our images in folders on our harddrive and use a program to keep a yearly catalogue with all the images. Storing the images within a database is our opinion not advisable for private usage.
The basic backup for your wedding photographs
You know that hard drives, USB sticks, memory cards and all other storage media are not perfect. They can fail. And they usually do this when you expect it the least. Make sure you be safe and have a bullet proof back up strategy in place.
When you have all your images on your computer, external hard drive take one full copy on a separate hard drive or usb stick (depending on the number of images). This gives you a basic protection for a drive failure.
Don’t feel safe yet. Imagine the worst case scenario. Your house burns down or gets broken in. Both your copies of your photographs will be gone. The solution for this problem is easy. You need to store your photographs outside of your home – an offsite backup. It might sound over the top but when you want to be safe this is the way to go.
Take a copy of your images to your parents, a friend or your workplace. External hard drives are small and cheap so it should be no problem to achieve this. In case you have fast internet you also can opt for cloud storage to achieve offsite storage – you don’t even need to leave the house and you can always update it.
In case you have fast internet you can also think about offsite cloud storage. You upload your images to an Internet Storage Service. They keep your files and make sure you don’t loose them.
Cheap for smaller storage needs – easy to use from anywhere in the world and also great to share files with your family and friends.
A disadvantage is that you rely on a third party … but when you go with a reputable company they should be experts (but we would always have a third copy on an external drive). There are several companies offering cloud storage for your photos such as Microsoft, Apple, Google or Dropbox. We use Dropbox to save important files (3rd backup) and like the integration with all different devices.
You can sign up here for a free 2GB Dropbox account to try it out: www.dropbox.com
Some services also allow direct upload from your smartphone. As soon a photo gets taken its uploaded to the cloud service – great for your smart phone pictures but not suitable for the professional SLR.
Storage gets cheaper and cheaper – update your backups
External hard drives and USB sticks are fairly cheap. It’s a small cost to protect your wedding photographs with several backups. Just make sure you keep a nice and simple structure that you know where your photos are stored.
This is extremely important when you want to add photos and your backups need updating. You want all of your photos safe. A few more hard drives make this much simpler and you just rotate hard drives with the newest backups.
Future proof your backup – wedding photographs for a lifetime
Update the media
Do you still remember floppy disks, zip drives and tape storage. It’s not that long ago and we used completely different types of storage media. It’s safe to say that we will no longer use USB sticks ands hard drives in the future. Technology advances and new means of storage will be developed.
Make sure you swap to a widely accepted storage technology when you see a storage medium disappearing.
Realised that there is no new Mac computer anymore with a DVD drive … I’m pretty sure there are lots of people out there who have DVD backups of their images. Looks like it’s time to swap and copy the files to a new media type.
You always have a few years left but with time it gets harder and harder.
Update your files formats
Most of your images will be in jpg. It’s a widely used standard so you should be safe that this file format can be read by computers even in 10 years. But you never know what happens. But you might need to convert them to a different format when you see that it gets phased out.
I just rescued a few old family videos on Super8 (old film format) and stored them on MP4 and digital movie files. It was a time consuming exercise to find somebody who still had a old projector. Same for all the old slides my dad had in his cupboards. It’s fun to look at these old images and preserve them for the future.
It’s again something you don’t need to do straight away … but one day it will be necessary.
Check your photography backups
You followed all the tips and have a organised backup and maybe even some offsite storage of your wedding photographs. It’s good practice to make sure your backups are actually working. Try to download the images or access them from your backup drive.
Nothing worse after a hard drive failure to find out the backup in not accessible or corrupted.
Print your Melbourne wedding photographs
It might not be a full backup but to print images gives you a beautiful “extra” backup. Prints are beautiful and have a more personal feel to it. So why not print your digital wedding images? Prints still have an important place in our modern lifestyle – it is much more convenient and faster to look at a beautifully designed wedding album or some prints than than to start up your computer to look for your pictures.
Collages and other wall art to display your wonderful memories are one way of showcasing your images. You can even carry a print with you – always in your wallet (a USB stick would not be that great) what a wonderful tradition. Prints just have a more personal feel.
Prints also have a great side effect – they are also a backup … not in the common sense but imagine all your digital files and digital backups are erased … you still can look at your prints. It is is a wonderful backup strategy … quality prints last a long time (not forever … but you should be safe for at least 50 -100 years when stored appropriate (store them dry, no sunlight, room temperature)
Get a wedding album – lasting memories for you and your families
Another option is to print a beautiful wedding album. There are lots of options in all price ranges and to have a wedding book or album keeps all the images sorted and nicely together.
The print quality is usually superior and one of the best you can get. The wedding albums will last a lifetime and longer.
Thanks for Let us summarise the most important points for digital photo backups – Your Melbourne wedding photos will last forever!
reading scrolling up to here
MUST READ: 6 tips to make sure your digital wedding images are safe forever
1. Take a backup of all your images as soon as you receive your images – A quick solution: just safe them on your computer and keep a USB stick as a backup.
2. Store one backup offsite (friends, work, parents) or/and in the cloud (Dropbox). Cheap … easy and effective
3. Make sure you check your backup regularly – make sure they are still usable
4. The more backups the better – why not have a second external drive
5. Update your backups regularly – and replace your upgrade if necessary … don’t forget all the new images!
6. Did you do already take a backup? No? Do it now! Don’t wait.
We hope this article helps you to create your personal backup strategy not only for your wedding photographs and gives you some helpful ideas and thoughts. Take a backup … Now!