Photography is permanent, once captured there is a permanent record of the split second in time that will last forever. Well maybe not. The image has to be captured correctly, and in the digital age, stored correctly. This means backing up, backing up, backing up. Images stored singularly on a hard drive of a computer are destined to be lost, simple as that. If you have never had a hard drive failure, you will, it is only a matter of time. It usually happens at the most difficult or inconvenient time.
We have a Raid system that automatically backs itself up. Because we are a profession studios we have to have other systems in place to ensure we do not lose any clients work. This is done with two external drives, one is kept off sight, the other backs up each night. These are rotated every week. As it stands the most we can lose is one weeks work. That is still not good enough really, especially if that week we lost was a wedding. Can you imagine calling someone to tell them their wedding photos are lost. It would kill your business.
Why the need for off sight? Backups only work if you still have them. A fire, theft, or natural disaster destroys both the original and backup. Very frustrating if it is your photos that are lost. It has happened to friends who were backing up their images and were burgled. Of course they stole both the computer and the backup. Suddenly any image that you might need is gone.
The problem with all of these back ups, especially with modern cameras, is the actual size of the files. Last year we took 1.8Tb, that’s Tera bytes of images. Drives are mounting up. The DAM (Digital Asset Management) books say that 3 backup is minimum with one of those backups being kept off sight and one a non rewritable disc like DVD or Blue ray. The need to go to Blue Ray is evident when you consider that we take about 32Gig of images at a single wedding or about 9 DVD’s. Clearly there has to be ever increasing capacity for the storage of these images.
So if your images are currently just stored on your computers hard drive, time to work out how to back them up and do it today, no time like the present. Why am I writing about this, one of this years backups has just failed. No damage, we have 2 other backups, but to back up a full year, or to October as is the case here will take about 24 hours. Needs to be done know.