We go to great lengths to store our photo session images on multiple Hard Disks and on the cloud. By following a strict workflow the hard work in creating those session photos will not be lost, unless a catastrophe happens out of our control.
But what about your own personal digital images, stored on your devices? How do you save your digital photos from your devices?
So many people lose priceless memories by not ever backing up their phones, or if they do they only have one copy of their photos on a hard disk. This is not enough to save your digital photos!
Before digital photography working in the IT industry, I learnt the hard way (as most of us do) by losing data from my computer that wasn’t backed up. Since then I have always backed up my data. Now with digital photography nearly everyone is having to learn how to save photos on their phone. I am not intending to go over the details of your device connection to your computer, this is general advice on how to keep your photos safer by using a backup procedure, that does not rely on just one copy of your photos.
Buy 2 external hard disks. You have seen these in computer stores, department stores and online. Get the 2.5” variety and purchase either Western Digital or Seagate Hard Disks. I have had other brands, but they have failed. Seagate and Western Digital 2.5” Hard Disks are still working even after 10 years. Don’t rely on the Hard Disks working for 10 years, replace the drives every 3 to 4 years. Keep the old disks as an extra backup precaution.
Now you have the disks refer to your digital device on how to connect it to your computer and review the contents on the device. Apple and Samsung have their own software. DO NOT rely on their auto saving system, once that software has problems you might lose your photos. It is far better to have your photos in their separate files in their own folder of your choosing. Save the separate files onto your hard disk, in Year and Month folders. This will be easier for you to navigate and find your specific photos.
There are apps that can help with the automatic cataloguing by date, such as Adobe Lightroom, Luminar and Exposure 5. There are many more, but these are some of the best out there. They cost money, but it’s all about the value you place on your photos. Do you need these apps, no, but they will make it easier to navigate through your photos. An app that allows the use of Keywords will be most valuable as they can be found and displayed outside of the Year and Month folder. All of the apps also let you eidt your photos
Once the photos are on the external hard disk. Copy the contents onto the second hard disk using your computer app ie:Finder or File Explorer. Once that is done use one of the disks for everyday and update it on a regular basis and use the other as a backup. Every week update the backup hard disk or more frequently if you have taken precious files that you want to keep. Do not store them together. It is best to store them apart, preferably in another building, that will not be affected by the same fire, earthquake or any other disaster.
If you have a Dropbox account or another Cloud Service. Make a copy of the photos to that service. Keeping the photos in the same folder structure, by Year and Month. This will add further security of your precious memories.
You now have all your photos safely backed up.
This is the basic backup & archival system but one that is easily achieved and will provide protection of your memories. We take this process even further by having continual mirrored drives during processing and backing up on a local hard drive by an hourly process. Every night these are backed up again to offsite storage facility. Therefore there are 3 copies locally and one offsite storage which is also backed up by the facility on an hourly basis.