Sharon Arnoldi is a family photographer specializing in families with small kids  


How To Backup Your Images

Recently I've been asked by quite a few people what I use to backup my libraries of photos.  In reality I use multiple solutions, not just one.  I have 4 TB of storage on my main computer, 3 External Hard drives, Online Cloud Storage & I store DVDs of images at an off site location. 

Sound excessive? Its not. Mechanical hard disks WILL fail.  If you don't store anything off-site, what happens if your studio/house burns down or gets broken into? I don't ever want to have to explain to a client why I lost their images.

Here's the breakdown of my plan:

After I shoot, I do not erase my memory card until the images are downloaded to my computer and backed up to an external hard drive / indestructible thumbdrive.  If I am backlogged  - I might dump all the images onto Wuala (cloud storage)  just for safe keeping.  If I am not backlogged the images will get culled, edited and uploaded to Pictage as soon as possible.  Pictage provides a lifetime backup of your images - once I get my images to Pictage I feel much better, until then I can backup 80 GB onto my waterproof / fireproof USB thumb drives - made by LaCIE available on Amazon.com.


Wuala - (Cloud Storage) For Backup of shoots in 1 calendar year - this also gives me access to files from anywhere so if I go on travel and want to work on images & I forgot to transfer them to my laptop I have access.  Pretty sweet service. Its free to sign up and my referral link gives you an extra 1 GB free
( http://www.wuala.com/referral/33PMK55K5H66FK3JMHAJ)

Pictage -  (Cloud Storage) - Lifetime backup of all images uploaded into system.  Monthly fee to use Pictage.

Local & External Hard Drive Space: I use my computer to store 2-3 yrs of the most recent images, Raw & JPG files.  My external hard drive is an exact replica. I have a thing for LaCIE hard drives - some people hate them but I have had great success with them.

DVDs / Solid State Storage - At the end of each year I backup all shoots and mail them off to my parents house, boring I know and time consuming.  I'm waiting for solid state hard drives to become cheap then I will just have one for every year and mail it off.  Key to solid state hard drives are - no moving parts, yes they can still fail but failure is less likely.

So there you have it: for me to lose all my images: my house, my parents house, Pictage & Wuala would all have to crash at the same time - whats the probability in that?