I had a hard drive fail last month – one that I store templates, papers, brushes, etc. on, and I DID NOT have a backup. I called to get an estimate on recovery and it will cost between $700 and $2900 to recover the data. Are the files worth that much?? Maybe, but probably not. However, it did make me thankful for my backup strategy. Yes, I said strategy. I have a system in place, so that I have two copies of every image my camera takes. As a professional photographer, I am expected to keep client images for at least three years, but honestly, my family images are the most important to me. I can’t imagine losing the images of me holding my daughter for the first time, or the folder from a cold week in 2008 containing images of my son with his IV board taped to his wrist in the NICU. Their first Christmases, Halloween, Daddy’s deployments and returns, birthdays. Can you imagine the void? Is there a price I wouldn’t pay to recover those memories? No, I would pay anything.
Are your images backed up? Here’s a clunky non-cloud based backup plan:
Purchase two external hard drives; label one Master and the other Backups.
Purchase a fire proof safe.
Copy your image files to the Master drive.
There are backup software that will assist with your backups, or you can just copy the Master drive to the backup drive.
Check the backups! Open a couple of the copied files to be sure they are not corrupt.
Secure the Backup drive in the safe.
Make a plan. Will you backup monthly? Weekly? Daily?
FOLLOW THROUGH!!! Your backup plan doesn’t mean anything if you don’t follow it.
This plan will cost about $300 to begin ($200 for the hard drive, $100 for the safe). Worth it? Yes.
There are other options out there, and I will be doing further research on cloud based storage, etc. I’ll let you know what I find, but until then – make sure your backups are sound.