Posted by DianaM Photography on 06/07/2017

Backup, Backup, Backup!

Backup, Backup, Backup!

How to backup your photos properly and to safe keep them for future generations


I always supply my clients, both in the wedding and lifestyle shoots I do, with a USB with all their precious photos on them. I only buy my USB’s from respectable suppliers who individually test them before I use them and transfer the photos over. I want to talk about how you can backup your photos when your receive them and how printing your photos and not just storing them on your computer is essential.

When you receive your USB from me, plug into your computer and COPY the files into a separate folder in your computer. I want to stress to you NOT to cut and and paste your photos from the USB, only COPY them. The reason behind this is, if something goes wrong with the file transfer and you have cut and paste, the files are no longer on your USB and you can lose them entirely if it malfunctions through the transfer process and we don’t want that at all.

Once you have copied a set of the photos onto your computer, make sure you make another copy on an EXTERNAL Hard drive. Why External you say? Well, if your computer was to ever blow up or get stolen and all you had were all your photos on that computer, then they would all be lost. So make sure, you have an external copy of your photos aswell.

When you unplug your device from your computer (whether it be USB or an external Hard drive) always right click on your device on your computer and click EJECT. If you do not eject your device properly and you disconnect your device from your computer, the device can malfunction and you can also lose all of your photos. Please always press EJECT before disconnecting.

So, you now have a copy of your photos on your computer and a copy of your photos on an external hard drive. You are now covered if your computer blows up and your covered  if you lose your USB as they are now safely stored on your computer. So what happens if your house burns down? (not a nice situation, but it can happen!)

Make another copy of your photos (and not the photos just from me) on ANOTHER EXTERNAL hard drive that you can store at your parents house, a friends house or someone you can trust to safe keep your photos. This ensures that if your house does ever burn down, that you have a copy of all of your precious memories that remain undamaged.

As a photographer, it is my duty of care, to have an offsite backup of all of the photos that I supply my clients incase my own house burns down! (knock on wood)

Printing of Photos

We all love having digital images and with the introduction of USB’s and hard drives we think that life is great and our photos are always secure in these tiny pieces of glorious electronic hardware.

That is completely untrue!

USB’s Fail and so do External hard drives. They don’t and will not last forever but a printed photo does (if secured and kept properly)

Always print your photos! Even if it’s a tiny 6×4 inch copy of all of them. At least you will have a hard copy memory of that day that you can hold in your hand and show your children or grandchildren, long after your USB or hard drive has failed and been destroyed.

This is the beauty of prints and this is why I always offer prints with all my packages because at least I am doing a small part in ensuring that my client always has a hard copy memory kept alive on luxe paper.

When storing your printed photos (larger ones over 8 x10) and your storing them in a frame, always ensure that your frame has glass in it. There is a fad going around where you can get glassless frames and really it’s a bad idea because there are 2 things that can go wrong with your photo if it is not behind glass.

  1. Dust can sit on the photo and discolour the ink and will eventually destroy that photo over time
  2. If in direct sunlight during different times of the day, either with light coming in through a window or placed outside, the sunlight will fade and damage the photo a lot quicker than it does when stored safely behind glass.

When receiving your canvas print from me, make sure that again, it is not in direct sunlight and that you always wipe over the canvas with a clean dry cloth once every 2 months, to makee sure that no dust collects on top of the canvas or on the front itself, as we know that dust can damage inks.

Please DO NOT spray your canvas with Hair spray thinking that it will protect the colours and longevity of your print. IT WILL NOT and the chemicals in the hairspray WILL damage your canvas.

I hope that I have helped you in some way with understanding the best way to backup your photos when you receive them from me or any photographer and in worse case scenario, your photographer should keep your photos for a period of up to 5 years both internally and externally so if all else fails, they can resupply your photos for you usually at a cost of just supplying another USB and the time it takes them to find the photos and recopy them.

In real life, we all say we don’t have time to do this or that, but photos are memories and they are your past self. Don’t destruct your past and let those memories vanish.

Backup, Backup, Backup!!

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