Family Photo Tips from the Pros – Backing up your photos

3 different external hard drives

We’re excited to share with you this new series on our site, family photo tips from the pros,  where we share our photography knowledge and experience to help you take better photos of your family. 

First up in the series is not a very glamorous or exciting tip but it is a really important one – backing up your photos! It is so easy in this digital age to suddenly lose your photos – maybe your computer crashes, your camera or your laptop is stolen or suddenly you just can’t find the files on your computer. If we’re totally honest with you, we’ve never lost our clients photos but we have lost our own personal photos. A few years ago after another session of pulling my hair out trying to find some personal photos I took a year before (and was finally getting around to working on them), only to find that the digital files were gone, gone, gone, we realized we had to put a system in place for our personal work too. (Like the cobbler and his shoes, hey?) I may have shed a few tears over the lost photos and we don’t want this happening to you!

shedding some tears

When we were kids our parents made prints of our photos which we still have today. We love going through these photos, giggling at our outfits and sharing our childhood memories with each other. Even though we don’t have the negatives anymore, we can still enjoy the prints. Nowadays with digital photography, we tend not to print our photos as much as we used to (we’re totally guilty of this ourselves!), which makes it even more important that your digital photos are protected.

So, please be sure to back up your photos, don’t just leave the files on  your computer or even worse, just on your camera! After you’ve photographed a big event or moment in your family’s life, download your photos from your camera. Be sure to archive your photos properly too –  Mac users please don’t leave your files in iPhoto, which is horrific at how it labels your photos. Create folders and name them with the date the photos were taken and the event and be sure to relabel your photo files too. For example, have your folder labeled 2013 March 30 Easter and then label your photos Easter2013_01, etc. If you have it all relabeled in a system that makes sense to you, it will be so much easier to search for the photos should you ever not be able to find them on your drive.

Backup your photo files with an external hard drive that you leave somewhere away from your computer. We like to use La Cie drives, and they come in all kinds of sizes and are so much cheaper nowadays. I’m sure you won’t need the giant bank of drives like we do, and this photo is just what we have at the studio! We have the same amount at home too.

giant bank of la cie drives

Best is to have your photos backedup and stored in two separate locations. For example after you’ve backed up your files on an external hard drive, you can back up your photos on a cloud (like Dropbox for example). If you don’t want to use a cloud, you can also have your photos backedup on a secondary hard drive and store that hard drive at a family member’s house. That way should something awful happen like a fire or a flood in your home, at least you will have a backup of your files somewhere else.

Last but not least, don’t forget to back everything up regularly.

Do you have any questions for us or anything we can help you learn to help you with your own family photos? Leave a comment below with your question and we’ll write a post to answer your question!

Have a lovely weekend everyone! We can’t stop smiling at all this gorgeous sunshine and everything blooming. Spring is our favourite season.


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