Planning for the un-plannable and how to back up your digital files.
Anyone who has ever met me knows how important I feel it is to have printed images. However, Stephanie and John‘s recent tragedy is a great reminder for all of us to back up our digital files. Both at an off-site location (parent’s house) and in the ‘cloud’ (on the web)… Last year, the week before their wedding, Kevin & Zaneb‘s house was robbed and they lost all the wedding planning documents… yet another reason to start now… You just never know.
Here are services I use and love that backup my images on the internet:
Definitely worth the minimal yearly fees to be able to replace priceless heirlooms. Thinking of Hurricane Sandy and other disasters… the off site location would ideally be in another state/the web.
- Dropbox is what I use to sync my desktop and laptop with important files I need anywhere. Though the files are all saved to Dropbox servers where I can access them from the web, they are also synced to my desktop – automatically. To be able to work on a file on the laptop in front of the TV and then access that same file on the desktop later has saved me storage space, sanity and efficiency. I also send files to customers and collaborators via Dropbox.
- iCloud is what I use for my iPhone photos and other ‘fun’ stuff. Calendars, contacts, photos, etc… If I lost my phone or a computer crashed, I could re-sync a new one in just a few minutes.
Non-internet options are:
- Store additional DVD copies or hard drives of important files (monthly archive recommended) in an alternate location like at work or a family member’s house.
- Have a redundant system of backing up files, even at home, like the Drobo. This is what I use in my office for all of my past wedding and portrait photographs. Expensive, but worth it. Great for a lot of data, like what I’m tasked with organizing. Not a great off-site option though, just good for regular hard drive failures.
- Scan in old family photos now. There are a lot of cheap scanners or services that will do it for you. They need to be older than 1978 if they are professional photographs so you do not violate the copyright law. Locally, there are several places that will do this for you. Recently, I had my late Aunt Janet’s slides converted to digital by Scott’s Photo. Lumiere can also do this.
What better Valentine’s Day gift could you possibly give your family??