BECAUSE IT CAN HAPPEN TO ANYONE!
I have been taking digital photographs for 8 years now. You think that I would have the whole backing up your images thing figured out. And before all of you fabulous clients start heavily breathing and stressing about whether your child’s newborn images are really safe in my hands let me assure you they are.
This is my processes:
-After a session I immediately go to my office and download your session images onto my computer .
-Next I open those images into Lightroom (software that I use to process images).
-From here Lightroom immediately backs up your images onto my external hard drive.
-At this time I make some really tough choices. My goal is to pick the very best 35-45 images from your session. The rest are deleted. No since in keeping second best.
-Now that I have the cream of the crop I export them to a folder of their own in My pictures where I where make some final edits using Photoshop CS4.
-Once your images are ready for print I burn them on a CD.
-Now your images have been saved in four locations.
-This is the last step. I verify that all of the images are on the CD. Then I go into Lightroom and delete the images from your session. I still have them on my back up drive and on my computers hard drive in my pictures. And you have them on your CD.
-That is how things stay until the end of the year. I erase all my clients images from my computers hard drive. At this point I retire my external hard drive (It will be archived with the year and a list of client sessions in case I ever need to go back and access pictures from your session). I will keep the images on the external drive for several years. That way in case you lose your images I have a back up for you!
SO WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOUR WORST NIGHTMARES COME TRUE?????
What happens when you thought you had downloaded all of your images from your memory sticks and you format your card and start shooting over it only to realize at some point down the road that the pictures you thought were on the computer are not!?!?
This happened to me just last month! I downloaded my pictures from my memory stick (I thought), formatted it and went off to my son’s soccer game and shot pictures of his game. Then I came home and wondered where are the pictures of my daughter in her Halloween costume? Well I had some on the computer but not everything I knew I had shot. Then it dawned on me. Something horrible must have happened and my download had been interrupted. I only had half of my pictures.
OK, I TOTALLY FREAKED!
After a few hours of tears and feeling totally worthless (after all I am a professional photographer, I have years of digital experience, I SHOULD not be having these issues) I tried to do something about it.
It can happen to the best of us right?
First I called a local camera shop. After describing my problems the man on the phone told me that if I had formatted my card all was lost and that there was nothing I could do. I was absolutely deflated! I am pretty persistent thankfully and decided to turn to my trusty friend the Internet.
After a very insignificant time of searching I found the answer to my prayers. A simple program called Art Plus Digital Photo Recovery 5. It cost $25. Not the hundreds people on line were telling me. It was a simple download. It read my card and retrieved 111 photos that I thought I had lost forever! I am so happy I want to share. The only key is time. Catching the problem as soon as possible is major. The more you shot over the card the more you will lose permanently. I had shot 136 images over my formatted card. I lost several pictures permanently because I had eaten up so much space. I was lucky to get those 111.
Now I have added a step to my work flow. Not just with my personal pictures but with your sessions as well. So accidents won’t happen. After that initial download off of the memory stick I check right then and there to make sure all the images are on the computer. I don’t take anything for granted anymore.
I hope this will save somebodies day someday! It is my gift to you…SANITY…in moments of despair!