When it comes to your wedding pictures the last thing anyone wants is for them to be lost. But the process for never losing your wedding pictures starts before the wedding.
Having Redundancy, or in other words backups, is perhaps what sets apart a professional from an amateur. For a professional it’s not an afterthought, it’s a way of life. The mantra is to have at least 3 copies of the data at all times, with one of them being offsite (Stored in a different location to where you are).
On top of having backups, organizing and naming all this data is also a high priority. This helps keep track of what can be multiple weddings on a computer at once and also for future reference.
I’m going to take you through my workflow (process) for keeping your images safe whatever may happen.
Before the Wedding
- Use dual memory card cameras
- Use more than 1 camera
- Check & format memory cards
- Batteries fully charged
- Have spares ready to go on me
It’s not just data that can get lost. Having extra equipment and accessories also helps make sure everything that can be captured will be.
During The Wedding
- Refresh batteries during dinner
- Check memory cards & change if they’re getting full
After The Wedding
- Keep one set of memory cards in a trouser pocket for drive home – this is a temporary offsite copy (If cameras get stolen, e.g whilst at petrol station)
- Keep the other set of memory cards in the cameras, in the car boot.
On the way home, unlikely as it may seem, could be a time when your photos could be lost. What happens if I’m in an accident, got my car stolen etc. Having a copy of your photos in my pocket can make the difference.
- Keep the set in my trousers in the car – This is now the temporary offsite copy.
- The other set is then set to backup onto the computer overnight.
- Use of a dual high speed memory card reader so can copy 2 cards at once.
- Normally between 300-500GB of data to copy from at least 2 cards.
- PhotoMechanic is a powerful software for “ingesting” (copying) data from memory cards.
- A job profile is created on Photomechanic. This will then be the basis for renaming and organizing files.
- Copied to 2 locations on computer – One is the “Edit” Drive, the other is “Raw” Drive. The “Raw” Drive is NEVER touched.
- Files are renamed with job location, couples names, cameras & lens info and date.
- After copying, nothing is deleted from the memory cards. They are then kept aside until data is backed up offsite
- “Backblaze” is a cloud storage system.
- Files are automatically backed up online but does take time.
Before I go to bed I want to make sure that you photos are safe. This stage is automated once the cards are put in the card reader and the computer can be left to do its work.
This process will result in having at least 3 copies of the data, with one copy being offsite, one copy on the computer that will never be touched and the other copy that is to be edited. The files are also all organized and renamed.
- “Edit” drive is automatically and continually backed up, using windows backup, to a separate hard drive that’s sole purpose is to be a backup. It is never used for anything else.
- The “Edit” Drive is also automatically and continuously backed up to Backblaze.
This process means that as the edit takes place there are 2 copies on the computer and 1 offsite copy.
- Files are exported as JPEGs in various dimensions for delivery for web, client etc
- The whole wedding editing session folder is then copied onto another hard drive called “Delivery” and also “Raw”
- The “Delivery” Hard drive is automatically backed up to “Backblaze”
- The “Raw” Hard drive is automatically backed up to “Backblaze”
This results in 2 copies on the PC and 2 offsite copies on “Backblaze”
What to do once you get your wedding photos
One you have receive notification that your photos are ready you will then have the ability to view them online. I highly recommend that one of the things you do is to download all your photos on to every computer you have and also into any cloud storage you have.
This will mean you will never lose your photos.
All this seems like real hassle, I know! Its very much worth spending the time to do though. The last thing I want to do after your big day is to tell you your photos are gone. That to me would be the worst possible thing.
That’s why I have developed this workflow of backing up everything. I really recommend you take it seriously aswell. So at least for one thing, you can be assured that your photos will never be lost.