I get this question all the time: how do you backup your files? There are several different backup ways I do it, but what I found more interesting about this question is how do you backup your files when you are abroad or somewhere in the middle of nowhere shooting with your camera the best wildlife ever.
Backing up photos, it’s an obvious concern for the people, and usually, the starting point for concern is when we accidentally delete photos or the hard drive had a failure.
Once you start taking photos with more cameras you are loading and loading the mass of photos “somewhere”. It’s all good until “somewhere” doesn’t fail…
Unlike prints and negatives, digital images can be lost. FOREVER!
I have written a couple of backup strategies you should use and remember that all we are doing is creating copies of our data.
Save to recordable media
CDs, DVDs, USB, SD cards, Photostick, MemorySafeX…
The old school method, which is still in handy, is to backup your files on recordable media such as CDs, DVDs.
But who is still using CDs?
Even the new computers don’t have anymore CD drives. USB and SD cards are a new age recordable media, instead of CDs and DVDs. But still, if you save all the photos on different kinds of USBs and SD cards, you will have a big collection, and as you already know, small objects can vanish very fast.
TOP TIP: Use something like the PhotoStick or MemorySafe X to backup and protect your photos and videos. They come in different sizes and it only takes a few seconds to setup (no tech skills required). The result? Your photos and video backed up and duplicates removed. PhotoStick has 2 models (1 for mobile and 1 for computers, while memorysafe x does it all!)
Save to external drive
One of the external drives is also USB, which is a cheap but short-term solution. Better is to use other external hard drives. External hard drives are also the most common method of backing up your files.
I love external hard drives as a backup strategy for my photos, but I make sure, if I, in any way, lose them, that there is a code on them. Apple security for external backups is encrypting with a software called Time machine. Windows users who want a simple and effective backup strategy use BitLocker.
Those two software not only backup my photos but also restore them if, at any given moment, I accidentally delete them. They are actual recovery software which are restoring individual files and folders. They do run automatically in the background.
If you do want to go the extra mile with a backup strategy, then get yourself a RAID. RAID stands for Redundant Array of Independent Drives. It’s a multi-drive solution where all your data is being copied to not only one, but several hard disks at the same time.
Store photos across multiple libraries
If you have your phone sync with your computer means you are already backing up your photos in one way. If not, you can download some cool apps that will do this automatically.
On the Mac App Store, download the app called Apple’s Aperture or iPhoto. With these two apps, you not only share the same library format, but the app also allows users to access multiple libraries, even those spread across different storage media.
The concept here is to move older, unused duplicated images to a separate library stored on an external drive.
Archive photos in the cloud
The new fashionable concept from photographers is to use the cloud: set it and forget it. It is a free space and cheap storage.
I am sure if you know already one of them: Dropbox, Google Drive, Microsoft One Drive, MediaFire, Bitcasa. The last two are mobile apps.
One of the coolest but paid way is to use Adobe software for photographers called Lightroom. It is not only, editing software but every time you finish with editing photos, it asks if you want to backup the uploaded work. The latest version of the Lightroom has the option to backup your photos in the cloud. Meaning, you can access your photos, not only from your computer but also from the mobile. And if your hard drive fails, you still got the Lightroom, which you can set up a new.
Similar to Lightroom mobile shutterbugs like to save their photo collection (which is for sure big if it’s the mobile camera all the time in their pockets) with PictureLife, Adobe Creative Cloud, This Life. I am just saying it’s good to have an additional layer of security also for your phone because nothing is forever.
Save your photos by printing them out
Nowadays, it is so easy and also cheap to print out and make a decent hard copy of your photos.
“Just saying it is still cool to have an actual photo album in your hands.”
Backup on the location without a laptop
Imagine you are in the middle of nowhere, and you’ve got great footage of the whole day. You’ve got only a camera with you, and sadly you ran out of card space. Yes, your other two cards are also full. No laptop with you, so what are your options?
One option is you start shooting in low format (instead od RAW you shoot in JPEG). But why would you do that if there is another way?
You need a system where you can dump that card, organize it, back it up and get back to shooting right away.
Sadly for all the backup strategies, you need a laptop, but you don’t have one. This is why it is great to get yourself a GNARBOX.
On Gnarbox is a bunch of ports. You can plug in USB card readers, hard drives, micro SDs, compact flash… Everything is in the Gnarbox. And the best thing of all is that it is waterproof.
With Gnarbox, you can store your workflow on the go.
The 3-2-1 strategy of backing up the photos
3= Have 3 copies of your data.
2= Keep them in two different and separated places.
1= At least one must be offsite
With this strategy, I am sure you will never be unhappily sad for losing all your memories or work.