Photographers, Protect Your Data!
Not terribly long ago, we left behind the art of film development. Digital photography has swept the market and instead of limited rolls of film we use flash memory cards, capable to holding over 30 times more images in RAW format. It’s fast, convenient and a modern miracle of technology that allows photographers to focus more on capturing the subject than their image storage.
However, these small pieces of technological engineering can easily be lost, corrupted or damaged; putting all those hours of hard work and memories at risk. We’re here to tell you just how easily it can happen, and the steps necessary to avoid it.
The first rule of thumb is:
Never carry your memory card unprotected!
This can mean throwing it into a bag, putting it in your pocket or simply holding it in your hand for extended periods of time. Small plastic cases are made for these and for good reason! Something as little as static buildup can affect the card to the point that it’s unreadable. Of course there are the usual dangers of maybe sitting on it or accidentally putting it through the wash (yes, this happened).
Change them out!
It’s smart to replace the memory cards every once in a while. Hopefully you are regularly pulling off the photos and backing them up (of course), but the cards can stop working after multiple erase cycles. Always keep extras handy in case you are out on a shoot and the card corrupts. On that note…
Back it up!
As soon as possible, back up your photos! If you have a laptop with you while you are out, it’s smart to do it right then and there as you fill up the cards. If not, the first thing you’ll want to do when you are at your computer is transfer them and make a back up to both the Mac/PC and an external source to ensure redundancy. Speaking of redundancy…
Redundancy, Redundancy, Redundancy!
Should I say it one more time? Whether you’re a working professional, or just love to take a great deal of photos, be sure you always have more than one backup! At first it may seem a little ridiculous, but we’ve seen plenty of people who didn’t understand until their only copy of those precious memories bit the dust. Think of it as one copy for personal use and one for your portfolio, or one for your portfolio and one for work. However it needs to be labeled, it needs to exist. For industry professionals, another way of doing this can be purchasing a RAID system (read about it here).
Name your files, not just the folders!
Something that could be a great help if data recovery is ever needed, is properly naming the files to ensure that they are easier to organize afterwards. Have a system, and be descriptive. Many people rely upon the file properties and date created to organize, but that information can sometimes be lost. Could you imagine every photo you’ve ever taken, removing them from their organized folders and throwing them all together? Without creation dates, it would be a mess, wouldn’t it?
While it may sound like a ton of work renaming each one, there are many photo-editing programs with a “batch” function, that allows you to rename hundreds ,or even thousands of files at once. Photoshop (File>Automate>Batch) is the easiest, but you can usually find free software online that will do the same thing (but look at reviews and do your research first).
A little work can go a long way in protecting your files, but when all else fails, call Platinum Data Recovery!