BACKING UP YOUR WEDDING IMAGES | Helpful Steps to Backing up your Wedding Day Images

I haven't blogged for a while, but with recent events I think that this an important post to share.

You’ve spent so much time planning every detail of your wedding day.  A few months later, you receive a stunning gallery of wedding images from your photographer and relive the moments over and over again. After a few weeks, you’re settling into married life and maybe look through your online gallery once a week, instead of every hour and eventually download all the images onto your computer before the online gallery expiration date. Either that, or you have a USB from your photographer of wedding images shoved in a drawer somewhere in the spare bedroom.

Now what?

You want your images to be safe; and we can’t leave out a nightmare scenario: what if something happens to your computer and those precious images are gone forever?!

It’s very likely that your wedding photographer has clause in the contract outlining how long they keep your wedding files for. Typically, this is six months to one year, but I wouldn’t plan on relying on that as a backup plan, and photographer's unfortunately can't guarantee a copy of your photos after you've received them on USB/disc.

Here are 4 helpful tips to help you ensure longevity of the images for your future generations:

This is one of the easiest ways to keep your images backed up. A general rule of thumb is the more places your images are stored, the less likely you are to lose them in the event of one of those sources failing. External drives are also fairly inexpensive and a small price to pay for peace of mind!

So how do you actually backup your images once you have your external hard drive? The answer is fairly simple. All you need to do is copy your wedding image files (copy, not move!) from your computer to a new folder on your external drive.

I recommend using two external hard drives to backup your wedding images. The first: stored locally. The second: stored off-site. Offsite meaning at your office, your parent’s house, a friend's house, etc.. any place that you’re able to store a hard drive that is not at your home. Another nightmare situation: you have your wedding images on your  computer, and two external hard drives, but they’re all stored at your house and your house goes up in flames while you’re out of town. Also, keep in mind that we live in South Africa, and house robberies are a daily occurrence.

Luckily for you, you can still pop on over to your parent’s or friend's house and know your wedding images are still safe.

Another solid step in your backup system is backing up your image files in the cloud. Going back to that nightmare house fire and robbery situation, if you had one of your external hard drives stored off-site as well as a cloud backup, you’d have double the protection for keeping your images safe! Most Cloud backups are automatic so you don’t even have to think about it. In addition to having images on your local computer and two external drives, I’d also highly recommend setting up your computer up to a cloud backup system! Here’s some great ones:

Microsoft One Drive
Google Drive (this one gives you 15GB free!) and you get it when you open a GMail account.

One of the best ways to preserve your wedding day memories is through a gorgeous wedding album and professional prints. Wedding albums are important, not only is an heirloom wedding album and prints an incredible final piece to your wedding experience, but it’s also another form of preserving your wedding day memories. Technology is wonderful and taking the above steps to protect your images is a necessary first step, but technology does fail sometimes. A wedding album does not require internet, software updates and doesn’t have the potential to become corrupted and crash. It’s an incredible heirloom that stands the test of time for generations to come. If you recently got married and your collection didn’t come with an album, chances are your wedding photographer still offers beautiful albums and professional prints you can invest in. If you’re one of my past wedding clients and didn’t order an album at the time of your wedding, please feel free to contact me and I'll send you some info.

Relying on only one backup source for your wedding images is not enough. Let’s say your wedding images are stored on your computer and are backed up to the cloud as well. You might think you’re fine if something happens to your computer. But if your computer crashes and your cloud drive wasn’t updated or something went wrong with your account, you’d be out of luck. The same goes for only relying on external hard drives or prints in your home. The more places your images are stored the more secure they’ll be. And by taking a moment to review some of the steps above and implementing a solid backup plan, you can rest easy knowing your wedding memories will last a lifetime. Don’t forget about backing up all your family photos and portrait images as well.

Happy Thursday everyone!

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