Hope you are all well and safe. I hope you are still following your governments advice at this time.
So I hoped you enjoyed the first part of this blog. This blog again is not sponsored by any companies. I am no I.T expert so you may have a better understanding than me, and I would appreciate your comments on how you have your storage and backup set up.
This is to look at how you store and backup your images. As I have said I am no expert in I.T, this is more about getting you thinking about how to store and backup images. The important thing is that you have a good system of storing and organising your images. If you think about this before you're on your 100th shoot, it will save a lot of time and hassle. Everyone has their own system of organising their files. A lot of it depends on what you photograph to how you label your folders.
First thing is having a hard drive just for your images. Put nothing else on this hard drive other than the images. You then need to decide how you are going to have your folders it could be with the year on, or like me I have one folder for each letter of the alphabet. I do this as I do stock images and commercial work. A wedding photographer or portrait photographer may find it easier to have a folder labeled say 2019, inside this can be dated folders of when you did each shoot and including the persons name. You could even have January to December folders and then in each months file the folders with those clients shoot during that month.
As you can see there is many different ways to organise your images, but getting it right at the beginning saves a lot of problems in the future. (I am speaking from experience here. Having saved images just in the folder from the camera.) Ask yourself if Mr Tiplady rang you in the future to ask for an image from their wedding, how would you find it? Could you find it quickly and easily?
In my system I have Folder A, Inside is folder labeled Arsenic (I shoot stock images for book covers so I have strange props), Inside this is a RAW folder, a Jpeg folder, PSD folder and a Special folder. The special folder is for images I have resized and want to put on to instagram or some other social media site. As I say this is just the way I work. You may use TIFF in stead of PSD, or have a folder labeled Instagram and any image inside this sized just for that social media. I must credit Dave Wall for the way I do my folder organisation.
Now your probably saying, I have the folder set up what hard drive do I use? Well there is so many options out there, there is no real answer. Although I would say look at external hard drives. Look at the reviews of hard drives before buying. Are you wanting them to all match when you need to expand or are you not bothered and will just buy the cheapest at the time. I have a random collection on my desk of WD, Seagate, Lacie. I am not one of these people who has a neat and tidy desk with everything matching. What I do suggest is look at the reviews of the drives, the speed of the drives, what their reliability is.
Is having just the one hard drive with my images on ok? NO
Now there are many ways to back up your files. When you buy a hard drive for your images buy a second one exactly the same. This means you can mirror your main hard drive on the other one. So if one drive fails you are able to still retrieve your images.
At this time it is also worth looking at an cloud storage system. This means you have your files still available if you lost your two back up drives for some reason like theft or fire. I use Backblaze as my cloud backup. I only chose them from the recommendations of other photographers. Have a look around and look at the reviews before deciding. Worth sorting sooner than later, as when you first back up it can take a long time. My computer was backing up for over a week when I started using Backblaze. Now it runs in the background uploading any new files I have on the drives I have set to be backed up.
When you want to expand further your storage you might want to look at NAS RAID systems (I never can remember which is what) This will store your files over say 4 drives, and even if one fails you can still retrieve your images. Some of the companies out there are
You are best looking at their websites about their systems or speaking to them at any Photography Trade show. They are better at explaining things.
I hope you found this useful. Please comment on how you have your set up. As I say everyone will have their own way, but may have not thought of something you do and find it better.
Stay safe through these times. Get planning for the future.