For Photographers: How to Back Up Wedding Photos

Hey photographers! I believe that taking extra precautions to back up wedding photos is SO IMPORTANT! Wedding days only happen once, so I do several different things to ensure nothing ever happens to mine. Here are five ways I back up wedding images after a wedding day:

  1. Shoot on dual card slots. My Nikon D750 has two SD card slots, which means I can write to two cards at one time! This is amazing, because I instantly have a back up of every photo I snap. Plus, I can use two larger cards (like a 64GB or 128GB) and not have to switch them out as much (for fear of a card becoming corrupt). I love that my camera has this feature and it makes me feel so much better about shooting!
  2. Back up the photos to two hard drives right after you get home. The first thing I do when I come home from a wedding is back up my SD cards to 2 different hard drives. One hard drive is my “working” hard drive that I use to edit all my shoots on- the other is my backup hard drive to my “working” hard drive. My backup hard drive sits in a drawer in my desk, so it doesn’t get dropped or corrupt in any way! After they start uploading, I’ll hop in the shower, and by them time I’m back, they’re usually done! I can pick a few sneak peeks, then head to bed, knowing they’re backed up in 3 different spots (2 hard drives + SD cards).
  3. Keep all “back-up” hard drives at a different location than the working ones. For every wedding, I have all the edited JPEGs + RAW files backed up on 2 different hard drives. Once they fill up, I will put my back-up hard drive at me or my husband’s parent’s home. Just in case something happens at our home that would ruin the hard drives, I have another backup somewhere else that’s safe and secure!
  4. Don’t format (erase) your SD cards until the wedding gallery is delivered. I’ve developed a really great system that allows me to have a quick turn around time, so personally, I never run into the issue of needing my cards before I’m done! This is one extra way to have your photos in one more spot until they are delivered, just in case something happened- or worse, you realize after you begin editing that you forgot to upload a portion of the day! Sometimes, if I’ve been shooting a lot or want to be extra cautious, I will carry around a case with all of my SD cards so nothing happens to them at home (if I happen to be gone and an emergency happens!).
  5. Back up the photos online. I haven’t found a way to instantly back up RAW files online (CrashPlan and similar programs take months to upload one wedding, so it’s pointless if it takes that long), however, once my couple’s online gallery is delivered with the high res JPEGs (I usually deliver my galleries within a couple weeks), I keep it up for as long as possible. I haven’t yet come close to running out of storage on Pixieset’s highest plan, so all of my past galleries are still up! However, if space becomes a problem, I know that PASS also offers a free 10 year back up on all their galleries. I also will use DropBox to save JPEGs when I want them in an online space!

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