Posted by Dave Seeram – Editor and Publisher of the PhotographyBB Magazine and Website
After reading an article about a photographer who had the misfortune of a system crash wipe out his entire hard drive, I got to thinking about my own backup strategy for my files and beloved photographs. System crashes and hard drive failures do occur, and although the occurrences are rare, they do happen from time to time. It could be due to a virus, and sometimes it can happen just randomly (perhaps it’s all that cosmic radiation eh?), but if it does happen do you, are you prepared?
If you think about it, we buy insurance for everything these days – Our cars, our homes, even our health! Extended warranties are pushed everytime we purchase one of our favourite toys, and when we buy them we do so for peace of mind. Certainly we aren’t expecting the worst, but at least we know that we are prepared should the worst happen. Yet when it comes to our memories preserved digitally, we sometimes look the other way. Perhaps it is because we got used to traditional photography, where we keep our photos in nice albums, and hang onto the negatives as our backup… Perhaps some of us are in denial and think that it will never happen to us… Or perhaps we are just being complacent and lazy when it comes to a solid backup strategy for that which is most important to us?
Many professionals make backups of their photoshoots onto DVD’s, but even a DVD doesn’t last forever (and can fail just as easily too). The archival life of a recordable DVD can be anywhere between 5 to 100 years; depending on the brand of the disc, AND the brand/quality of the burner which is was burned on. How many years worth of pro work do you have stored on your system or backed up onto DVD?
But professional photographers are not the only ones who need a solid backup strategy. Think about all of the family photos and personal memories you have stored on your hard drive. Knock on wood, but what would you do if your computer were damaged beyond repair, or even stolen? All of these questions got me thinking about my own backup strategy, which leads me to today’s discussion: Do you backup, and why(not)?
I would like to see as many participants in this discussion as possible, so join us and put in your two cents on the issue. I am currently in the process of revamping my backup strategy which I will be sharing with you as I set it up over the next few days. In the meantime, I’ll cross my fingers and hope for a healthy hard drive!