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As a digital photographer, you will always end up with loads of photographs and videos over the years and in my case, around 8+ years worth. Unfortunately, one of my computers, an iMac, decided to call it a day and I cannot retrieve a whole library of my work, most of which wasn’t backed up. Yes, I can feel you cringing from way over there. That is a blog post for another day.
In this post, I am going to share a few tips on how I archive my work. A system that works for me, but might be helpful to someone out there. My methods may not be perfect, but it works and I can find my folders/files easily.
Tip #1 – External Hard Drives
Now that I haven’t got a desktop anymore, I work mostly on my MacBook Pro. My laptop hasn’t got much storage at 250GB with only 26GB left at the time of writing this. I try very hard not to let it drop below 20GB as it tends to slow down my machine. It’s an old laptop as well.
Anyway, I have invested in hard drives. My favourite brand being Western Digital ‘My Passport’ hard drives. The key is to have several small capacity hard drives than saving all of your work in one large capacity hard drive. I tend to save my work on the current one that I am using and have another one to backup my work in. I am still looking for that third option to store my work as we all know how expensive it can be to invest in hard drives, cloud and data loss. So far, the best one I have come across in BackBlaze, which is a Cloud type of storage.
Tip #2 – USB Sticks / iCloud
I always have a pair of USBs with me in case I forget my hard drive, it gets full or simply stops working. This way I have an option readily available to save my work when out and about.
For my phone, as I take a lot of images using my iPhone, I have invested in iCloud especially for storage for my images and videos. The thought of losing photographs of my children is just too painful.
I am now looking to go much further and invest in Backblaze Cloud storage solution I mentioned above. The peace of mind that your data is safe in case your computer is lost or stolen just makes it a worthy investment. And in the case this happens, they send you an encrypted hard drive of your backed up computer to restore depending on where you are in the world. This is at a cost of course. You can read all about it here.
Tip #3 – Creating Folders
For as long as I can remember, I have been creating folders for all my assignments, projects, etc. and I have always put them in a Master Folder. I have one for images and another for video.
The more I photograph, I have come to a realisation that I now need to categorise my folders into years and then months that I have now started dating my folders so when I decide to ‘spring clean’ my computer, I know exactly which folder goes where.
Tip #4 – Naming the Folders
For anyone, this is no brainer. You name your folder according to what the images or videos are. As mentioned in Tip #3, I have now started putting dates on my folders, e.g. EK13 Filmscans 010317 – my brand, what is in the folder and the date (day month year). And in the folder, I have an original folder for the DNG files and then a Final folder for finished edits. Depending on the project/job, I will have additional folders for Photoshop, Web, Social Media all in the ‘master’ folder for the particular project/job.
Tip #5 – Online Platforms
My current choice is Flickr, but this has turned out to be my final thought when I want to archive my pictures. With it changing over the years and the threat of it being discontinued, makes me not make it my priority to store my images, but worth a mention as I have some photographs that I lost from my desktop saved on Flickr. There are others out there like Picasa, but I am yet to try them.
Well, there you have it. My tips or should I say, ‘insider’ information on how I archive my images.
Care to share other ways I might want to look at when it comes to archiving or backing up data.
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