Go ahead, ask me about our hard drive failure. You know why? We can talk about it because we were prepared. After 12 years in the wedding and portrait business, we know there are things you don’t skimp on. One of those things is your backup equipment. Yes, you may find a photographer that’s cheaper than us, and yes, their images may be good enough for the price, but do they have a backup plan for your images? What if their hard drive fails a week after your wedding? It happens all the time. Photographer X downloads wedding images onto a hard drive, doesn’t back them up, and then that hard drive fails. Sometimes it’s before the bride and groom ever see their images. It happened to multiple local brides that we know of in 2014. The good news is that’s it’s preventable.
How do we do it? How do we protect your images?
You see the photo above? Its consists of three components. The two smaller components in the front of the image are hard drives. That metal box behind them is their housing. Normally, those hard drives are both in that metal housing. When we download a wedding, we plug into that housing and it creates two copies of your wedding files automatically. One of those drives is the primary drive and the other is a duplicate. If one of those drives fails, we get a warning light on the main housing unit so that we can swap out the bad drive with a new one where the other drive automatically creates another copy as if nothing ever happened. Recently, this main unit failed us. There was nothing wrong with the hard drives themselves, but the power port in the main unit came loose and the unit would not turn on. The great thing is that we were able to take out both drives with all of our clients photographs, and keep those safe with us while we shipped that main unit off to be repaired. No worries about anything being lost in the mail, no worries about any drives accidentally being formatted during the repair. If that main unit had been lost or damaged beyond repair, all they had to do was send us a new one so we could plug in the hard drives and keep going. Each one of these drives is 2 TB, so that’s 2 TB of storage and 2 TB of backup in each unit. We have to buy two of these units every year. Yes, that’s 8TB of storage capacity every year to keep our files safe.
Is that all? Nope!
After we download your wedding to that big hard drive with dual backups, we also download a copy to a smaller pocket drive. Drives like this Toshiba allow us to create a temporary offsite backup. If someone were to break in and steal that main hard drive we spoke of above or heaven forbid we had a fire, these little pocket drives are our next backup. These are never left in the same location as the main drives. They stay in an offsite safe, or travel in a laptop bag so we can work on your wedding while we travel using these smaller drives.
Nope! So up above, we show you how we have three backups of your wedding files the minute we download the files from our cameras. As soon as your wedding is uploaded to our galleries and posted online, that becomes your 4th backup. Yes, we upload all high-res files into a cloud server where they live indefinitely. Those are the same files you are viewing as your proofs. Even in a worse case scenario where we die in a plane crash while simultaneously our office is burning down with the other main drive in it, your files are located safely in a cloud and available for download at any time.
There can’t be more…..
Well, yes… sort of. Our clients also receive their wedding images on a USB flash drive at high-res sizes. That becomes the final backup. We highly recommend for our clients to download their flash drives and then send them off to family members to download their own copy for safekeeping as well.
You cannot be too safe with the images from a once in a lifetime event. We are happy to protect those memories the best way we know how. Please share if you agree!