It’s astonishing, in this day and age, that backup for many is still just an afterthought. Sometimes when asking people if they backup their files, they’ll say ‘No’ and then when they see the astonished look on your face, they’ll say something like ‘I’ve been meaning to’. This is a really serious problem because we’re not talking about people just storing a few silly selfies, we’re talking about people storing files and documents that often, at times, their livelihood depends on. So it’s simply ridiculous that they’re not backing up. For photographers, our photos and body of work are everything to us and for me, my photographs are my most prized possession.
They are unique, irreplaceable pieces of work. So the thought of losing them is just horrible but there are still stories of this happening to people surfacing all the time. The easy way to avoid this happening to you is to follow the three steps for better storage and backup. Very simply, the first stage is to backup the images on your camera and that means taking them off the camera and putting them onto a computer. There are now cameras that have dual card slots which offer some level of camera backup but you have to take the multi-camera at some point you may as well do this as soon as possible. There are various ways to transfer your files.
You can plug your camera into your laptop or computer but I prefer to remove the card from the camera and use a card reader with my laptop. It’s quicker, a bit more reliable and you just remove the camera from the process. So now we have the images of our camera and the key to this stage is to have two copies of that file on two separate drives. So one will probably your internal computer or laptop drive and then you need to backup to an external hard drive. Files like videos and photos can end up taking up a lot of space. So you may end up transferring some of them to an external hard drive anyway. If you do this, then you need to have a second copy as your backup.
Seagate Backup Plus
Now, this here is the Seagate Backup Plus 8TBUSB drive. This is 8 TB of storage on here, absolutely insane and this stores all my backups on my laptop and my server. If you are interested in having a look at this excellent 8 TB Seagate drive, the link to the description is down below. Once you have a dedicated backup drive, you simply run applications like Time Machine on the Mac or something like Acorns True Image on the PC. They just take care of everything. You set them up, tell them where your back drive is and they just back everything up automatically.
This can take a little bit of time when you first do it, but then it just does incremental backups from then, just backing up new files that you’ve modified and it’ll back them up. You’ll also have also had access to previous versions of the files that you’ve changed just giving you an ultimate on-site backup solution. So Stage 3 is about ensuring that you have a copy of your files offsite or in the cloud because if there is a fire or theft occurs in the house and you lose all your files then they’re backed up in a different location where the thief on the fire cannot get to them.
Then you can restore them back to the computer once you’ve got that replaced. This is a vital step and it seems now that a lot of tech companies are offering services in this space, things like the iCloud and Google Drive and One Drive. Everyone is vying for your business. These services are pretty good when you’re talking about backing up your mobile devices but if you’re looking to store all your photos and videos, it can start to get pretty expensive very quickly.
Dedicated Cloud Backup
Thankfully, there are companies that provide dedicated cloud backup. They’ll back up your whole computer and any external drives attached as well. I have been using Crash Plan until recently when I upgraded to a company called Back blaze. Back blaze is a very easy service to use. You just fill in your email address, create a password and then download the little program onto your Mac or PC. It’s very secure and it will upload all your files to the cloud.
It offers full encryption between your computer and the server and if you want to add your own encryption keys, even Back blaze can’t see your files, and then you can do that. If things ever go wrong, it’s is really easy to restore your photos in your documents and all you are the files that are done through the application on your computer. Back blaze is now offering a 15-day free trial and you can upload everything in that time and really get a sense of how the application works, what it can give you and whether you like it or not.