You’ve spent months and months planning the big day and now that its all over you’re starting to realise just how important those wedding photos you paid for are. In fact, those photos will become more and more important with each year that passes and your memories begin to fade away.
Those first few months after marriage you’ll catch yourself browsing through your USB and online gallery countless times. As the months pass you may view them less and then put the USB in a drawer somewhere where it gets forgotten as you get back to reality and your busy lives.
This isn’t the end!
Now you need to make sure those precious memories on that tiny USB are kept safe and I’m here to tell you how.
As your wedding photographer I am responsible for backing up your photos for one year after your wedding day. After that the responsibility lies with you! So do you know how to make sure you are future proofing your images?
Read on for my four tips to safe you from back-up hell…
1 – The USB:
All of my past couples would have received their wedding photos in high resolution on a USB (or on a CD back in the early days!).
USB’s are great, but they aren’t without their faults. They are not guaranteed to last forever, and like all technology can be known to corrupt taking your images with them. Even if they don’t meet a untimely end, chances are you’ve lost it soon after receiving it!
The USB can be an initial back up for you, and its really handy for keeping on your person too, but don’t rely solely on this to keep those images safe.
2 – External Hard-drives
Getting yourself an External Hard drive is one of the easiest ways to keep your images backed up and safe. They are also relatively inexpensive and portable which make them perfect for you to use not only for your wedding but personal photos too. Of course you’re going to need a computer or a laptop to plug it into and once plugged in its so simple. Backing up is simply a case of dragging and dropping the files from where they live on your computer (or USB) and dropping them into a folder on the external hard drive. Congratulations you’ve made your first back up!
I use external hard drives to back up all of my client images, I buy a new one each wedding season and they are kept in my office. But this still doesn’t eradicate the problem… if someone were to break in and steal them or my office was burnt to the ground in a fire those files are lost and unretrievable. (Unless you have a friendly burglar)
So ideally you’ll want two external hard drives, one to keep at home and one to keep elsewhere. This could be a drawer at work, over your parents house, in a fire proof safe at home or even a safe deposit box. It seems extreme, but until you lose your photos you really wont realise how precious they really are. Being overly cautious with your back ups will mean you are prepared for any outcome.
I use Seagate Back Up Plus Slim Hard drives and usually buy a 2TB one each season. (Not going to lie, I like all the different colours!) You wont need a 2TB one just for your wedding photos, but its a great size if you have lots of personal pictures you want to keep safe too.
3 – The Cloud
Now you have three physical back-ups (your USB, and 2 external hard drives) the next step is to put a copy in the cloud as well. Thinking back to the house fire or burglary I mentioned earlier, if your photos are in the cloud it wont matter if your computer and hard drives are stolen or ruined, those photos are safely floating up there in the cloud for you to access from absolutely anywhere!
And thats another benefit, accessing photos from your phone, iPad or when you’re at someone else’s house or work etc is also really helpful. If you want to quickly show someone the dress your mum wore on your wedding day or the flowers your florist provided you don’t have to go home, plug in the USB, search through take a photo on your phone and then send it over. You can just pull up your photos from their cloud storage and show them there and then. Its efficient!
There are lots of great cloud storage providers, some you’ve likely heard of and they all have different options but I’ve listed a few of my favourites below;
I also offer an option to extend your online gallery with myself past the one year when it would usually expire. You can see more information about that here.
4 – Print Your Photos
Even when you have multiple back-ups nothing will ever beat printing out your photos. If you haven’t yet ordered a wedding album or made prints from your wedding day make it a project you start soon. One day that USB is going to be obsolete (remember CD’s?!) and the day you want to look at your photos you’ll realise you no longer have anything to plug a USB into. This is where tangible copies will always win. Pulling your wedding album off the shelf is much easier than firing up your computer each time you want to re-live the big day.
If you’re a past couple of mine and never got around to ordering your album, get in touch because I’d love to help you out. I provide everyone with a free starter design which you can then tweak and change until you are 100% happy.
A couple back-up Myths busted…
I have my photos on USB but also uploaded them to Facebook so that counts doesn’t it?
Although uploading to Facebook is a great way to share your photos with family and friends you shouldn’t upload them there as a back-up. When you upload images to Facebook, the quality is compressed for online viewing. If you then download that same photo from Facebook the file size will be much smaller than the high resolution image you originally uploaded. Printing from these files will result in pixellation and blurry images and look terrible, and you wont be able to produce large prints from poor quality files.
When we got our USB we copied the photos onto our Computer, is that a back-up?
Yes and No. Whilst you have made a back-up there, you are still at risk if something were to happen to your computer (hard drive failure, theft, fire etc). I’d still recommend you do a external hard drive back up and get a copy into the cloud as well. Better safe than sorry!
Technology changes so fast and I realise that to some it doesn’t come naturally. If you’re overwhelmed or confused about any of the information above, don’t just bury you head in the sand and hope you never have to worry about it!
Please do send me an email (email@example.com) with any questions and I’d be more than happy to help you out and ensure your photos are future-proofed.