January 6, 2019

We’ve all had that dreaded day where the computer runs increasingly slow, the screen freezes, you get a virus notification or worse everything goes dark, the hard drive makes a funny noise and POOF! Your computer died along with all of your treasured files and PHOTOS! The sick feeling hits you like a ton of bricks. You try to restart to no avail. You quickly look up computer repair or hard drive recovery places only to find out it costs as much as a semester of college for file recovery, IF the files can be recovered!

This is not quite photography related except that it is. I would be doing a disservice if I did not remind my clients and readers to back up ALL their files. I have had it happen myself, calling hubby at work in tears because the computer died. I have seen photographer’s lose sessions with an accidental click of a button. Anyone with a toddler has had an accidental spill and if you have ever been robbed, yes thieves take hard drives. We’ve had this happen to friends. Hopefully I have scared you into taking action, take a deep breath and read on for some easy suggestions.

The easiest thing is to run out and buy an external hard drive and transfer all your files over. We’ll get to that in a minute. First off, check out online back up services such as Carbonite or IDrive. Personally, I use IDrive and I love it. Once you have your back up set, it does it automatically and if you delete a file it does not delete it in your online backup! They offer various pricing options and are definitely worth checking them out. Being a photographer, mom and resident keeper of all digital files, trust me when I say their prices are very reasonable! We have two computers on our plan with the option for more. I do not remember exactly what we pay but trust me, it is worth every penny! Give yourself a little piece of mind and find an online backup company TODAY!

Some of you might say “I have the Cloud, I’m ok.” Please consider another form of backup either online or an external hard drive or all three! I have seen too many people loose their files with an accidental click and the files are gone for good! I’m not tech savvy enough to explain the cloud. The old saying “Technology is great, when it works” is very true here. One is none and two is one. You need multiple back ups.

Your next option is purchasing an external hard drive. Recently I was at Costco (my favorite store) and they had some great prices on external drives. A Seagate 5TB drive for $99.99! That’s a steal! I think I paid that much for my 2TB drive from a year ago. Shop around, external drive prices are much more affordable than they were 10 years ago. You really cannot afford NOT to get one.

Here at the studio and the Blake household, we have a multi step process. As I mentioned, I have an Idrive backing things up automatically which is a life saver. We have the best of intentions of backing up weekly or monthly but life happens and sometimes the backups do not! I have two external drives, one for business and one for personal. I back up business sessions as soon as I download images to my computer. Personal family photos get backed up monthly. Since our mortgage is due on the 1st, this is when I do my backups. I associate bill paying at the beginning of the month with computer maintenance. Maybe you have a better system. Do what works best for you but more importantly do it! It is best to have one external drive to keep in your safe in case of a fire or flood.

One final note, don’t forget to back up your cell phone. Let’s not discuss how many photos we have on these handy devices but somewhere in that mess, are treasured photos you do not want to lose. Take a few minutes, create a folder and back it up.

Thank you for hanging with me on this lengthy blog post. I hope I have helped someone avoid the devastation of digital photos gone for good. Moments captured become our treasured photos and our memories for the future. Take care of them.

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