For the next four weeks, I'm participating in a Lightroom 3 workshop through ClickinMoms. It has been on my to-do list since I got Lightroom as a gift for Christmas and I'm just now getting around to learning it thoroughly. Besides learning how to properly edit my photos, the thing that had me most excited to take the class is the time spent on setting up your system for Backing Up Your Photos!!!
Back-up is so crazy super important.
Yes, big Bolded letters important. Don't make me share with you the story of my friend who lost all the photos from her baby's first couple weeks except for the precious few that had been uploaded for sharing at Shutterfly when her computer crashed.
Not backing up your photos is just tempting fate. We've been pounded by storms this year, both of the snowy and rainy variety. For some reason, the worst always hits as I'm just drifting off to sleep at 11 p.m. when I jolt upright in panic at the thought of lightning surging through my computer erasing 4 years of kid photos. I'm sick of worrying about this so I finally did something about it.
1. Back up to an external hard drive (EHD):
I'm lucky enough to be on an Apple computer. If you're a Mac, you have absolutely no excuse for not having back-up in place. Get yourself an external hard drive and hook it up to your computer's Time Machine software (under System Preferences). It will take maybe 10 minutes of your time.
If you're a PC, I don't know how you'd set it up exactly but our external hard drive came with software to manage it. It's worth looking into.
2. Back up to offsite storage:
But whether you're a Mac or a PC, external hard drives go corrupt. Houses burn down. Basements flood. You really should have off-site storage. I used to take the time every couple months to burn everything to back-up DVDs and send a fresh set with Handyman Tim to his office to be kept in his desk drawer. But, I tended to forget. Or get lazy. Or run out of DVDs.
After a lot of looking around, a very affordable option was suggested to me. Check out Backblaze.com I'm in the process of my first back-up with their system. I love the idea that if something were to happen to our house, someone has my files and photos safe and sound for me.
Even if you do nothing else, the various off-site companies out there (and yes, there are more than just Backblaze, go ahead and do a search) do all the work for you. It only takes a few minutes to sign up and you're done. So if this is something you've been putting off like I have, here is your official reminder to do it NOW.
3. I don't even want to go here, but I just realized I have to:
Oh pretty pretty please don't tell me your photos are just sitting on your camera. A camera memory card is NOT reliable–import those puppies to your computer and back the files up! I know it can be scary the first time you clear a memory card, but trust me they are safer on your computer than in your camera. Just double check they are on the computer before you erase them in camera.
I'm no tech genius, but if you have any questions, feel free to contact me (email, comments, Facebook, wherever), and I'll do what I can to help. I cringe at the thought of anyone losing baby photos!