While there was something magical about film (mainly developing your film only to find your finger was in 1/2 the shots) it did provide you with added security with your pictures. If you were smart enough to not store the photos in acid paper, then you had the original, the copy and the negative. Three opportunities. With digital, if you don't back them up, you have one. And, with technology it is so easy to lose everything. If you are like me, my life is on my computer. So one fire or virus/computer glitch and life as we know it would be over.
As a chronic planner- the chance of losing my photos was waaaayy too risky. So last year I devised a photo backup plan, which seems to be working well.
First, Ryan and I are mac users. Because, let's face it, we are that cool.
With Macs, it has an integrated program called Time Machine. It reminds you to backup your computer, and makes it super simple. So, I picked up a top-brand external hard drive. I saved some money by not getting a slim one, since I knew I wouldn't be taking the hard drive anywhere.
When I had my own place, I would plug the sucker in all the time. Now, I try and do it every week, or right before I do some major things on my computer. While the time machine backup is great, it isn't perfect. If you accidentally deleted photos a year ago, and your hard drive was full, it may not save them.
In enter my second hard drive. Yes, I have two. (And actually may get a third!) So the sole job of my second hard drive is to store our original photo files.
I used to be able to have them all on my computer, but as we upgraded our cameras, we found we took more photos and they have larger file sizes. The hard drive is organized by my photos and Ryan's. And I try to create folders with the date and details of the pictures of the folder.
But, we are not done quite yet. Because, what if I am backing up my photos and my computer explodes along with my hard drive? Well, I make backup CDs/DVDs too. And while you may be thinking this is nuts. It's not. I swear. So I have discs of each event/photo set.
Before I delete anything off my computer, I run the discs on Ryan's computer, and hook up the photo hard drive to make sure everything is working. You'd be surprised how many times I've done this, and have found something wrong.
Now this insane amount of backing up is great and all, but you are probably thinking, well if there was a fire, all of the backup discs and hard drives would be toast. And you are right. This is where our fire safes come into play.
We went to Home Depot, Target and Costco last year to find a safe. Most of them were huge, and very expensive. We didn't have the space for the large ones. But, they had a smaller briefcase version for $20. So we bought two.
And they are great, they fit right under the bed in the guest room.
So one houses our hard drives, the other the discs and important docs like our passports and birth certificates.
Now I hate to admit that most of our photos live on my computer or hard drive, and are not printed. I have made two photo books through blurb, one for our wedding and one for our honeymoon. But, I am going to start to print a few photos from each event just so I have those too. Because, you never know.
Lastly, I am going to look into online storage (box.net, dropbox.com). These services charge per month, but then your files are online which is great if you have any hardware issues.
So, there you have it, how theMorblog backs it up!