Remember the days when photographs were paper, coated with a thin layer of silver and coloured pigment? I can still open an album; look at pictures of my grandparents taken 100 years ago. All without the need to switch on a computer fire up a bit of software. All you need to protect these is a cheap paper album and a cupboard or draw.
The images we took last year require a couple of grands worth of computer hardware and software to view them and it doesn’t end there. If I want to continue to be able to access these photographs for the next 10-15 years, I will need to continue investing ever larger sums of money.
With trying to find more storage space it is very easy to overlook the need to make a copy of your photographs. After all you have paid out to store them once why spend more money. The answer is your photographs are a mechanical failure away from disappearing forever.
So be you amateur, semi-professional, fulltime professional you need a backup plan. Conventional wisdom is that you need at least three copies of your photographs. Each copy should be on a different medium and at least one of those copies should be at a different physical location.
If you can afford it, have the internet connection speed, today you can back up to a Cloud service. If you are using this backup always read the small print. Make sure that the Cloud service you are using is being backed up. You would be surprised the number that do not offer a guaranteed retrieval of your data. Also, if the company who is providing the Cloud service goes out of business what are you going to do?
When you have a good plan in place and before you commit all that time money and effort in using it, do a test. Use a small, but not to small sample of your files. Back them up. Then retrieve them from the back up. If it all works, your good to go, start backing up all your files. Most importantly once you start make sure that you back up on a regular basis.
Your backups done, your files are safe. Should disaster strike you can retrieve your clients’ pictures from you backup, smile and carry on as if there were no problem at all. We have only one last word of wisdom. If you have family pictures that are very precious to you, why not get them printed. Today even the cheapest of prints will outlast all the current computer technology by tens if not hundreds of years.