How to protect your photos by backing them up

We’ve all deleted or overwritten photos that we have loved, and we have also lost photos that we were proud of. It happens to the best of us. As you grow as a photographer though you want to minimise this risk, especially if you are getting paid for an assignment as losing photos or deleting them could have financial consequences.

In this article, we will look at some of the best ways that you can back up and keep your photos safe.

Purchase another memory card

As a photographer, you probably have multiple memory cards anyway but you should have one for backups alone. Having a backup memory card for your in use card is a great way to keep your photos safe. Once you are done photographing use your computer to copy and move your images over to another card that way when you are editing your photos if you delete one or damage a photo you can revert to the original.

Whilst doing this method you could copy the images to your PC, then make another copy and move them to your memory card so in this instance you will have the originals, a copy on your PC and a copy on an additional card.

Burn your photos to a disk

It’s easy to delete photos from your memory card but if you burn them to a disk it’s far harder to delete your images. Disks are inexpensive too so copying your images to a disk is easy enough to do. If you don’t have time to make backups of your images or movies you can use a company such as digital converters to do it for you.  

When burning your photos to a disk you will be limited in the number of images that you can move to a disk especially if you were shooting in RAW mode so keep that in mind. Standard disks can hold 700MB of storage while DVDs can hold a few GB.

Purchase an external hard drive

An external hard drive as a photographer is an excellent investment as it not only gives you extra storage that can be carried around with you but it also gives you a device to backup your images on.

Just like external disks, external hard disk drives come in a variety of sizes and some offer different connection speeds. If you are transferring larger images I would recommend an external hard drive with enough storage for your needs while having a quick transfer speed.

The only risk with an external hard drive is that they are portable and can be lost easily. If you choose to backup your images on an external hard drive just be sure to check that you have it on you every time you use it.

Using the cloud

Using the cloud is a great way of storing your images as a photographer. Not only does this free up space on your computer but it also provides you with a backup solution if anything were to go wrong.

Cloud technology used to be very expensive but now photographers can benefit from cloud storage for just a few bucks a month. Companies like IDrive, Dropbox and Google Drive offer terabytes of storage while being extremely affordable.

Cloud storage is also very convenient and you can install software on your computer that will detect new files in your photography folders and automatically upload them to the cloud for you. This takes away the need for you to do it and it’s simply more convenient.

Combining the methods to protect your photos

You can never be too careful when it comes to protecting your photos and the best practice would be to combine a few of the above methods so you have peace of mind and you know if a disaster were to occur then you would be able to recover any images that were lost.

If you are pressed with time and can’t spend hours every week backing up your photos I would go with something such as an external hard drive and cloud storage. This way you have a digital and a physical copy of your photos and if either were to get damaged you have a way of restoring the original and the backup.

Our final tip would be to have a backup process that you follow on a schedule that suits you. If backing up your images every day is feeling like too much work then maybe cut the schedule down a bit and do every other day or only backup your most important photos.  

If you do have to back up your photos every day and you are finding it time-consuming then use a digital option with automatic backup features as this way will keep your photos safe and cut down on the time needed to back them up.