Why You MUST Back-up Your Images ONLINE! | WV Wedding Photography | Hannah Barlow Photography

Hypothetical Scenario:

Your wedding photographer delivered your beautiful, irreplaceable wedding photos via a USB drive in 2015!  It's now 2045 and you want to show your grandkids but USB drives don't exist anymore.  WHAT DO YOU DO?!

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Floppy Disks? CDs? Crashplan? Backblaze?

Do any of those things or names ring a bell or spike some interest?  They should!

You're probably wondering, "Why on earth is she even mentioning floppy disks?  This is 2017!"  Well, if that's what you're thinking, I'm glad!! You're with me and on the right track to where I'm going with this blog post.  In the 1980's those huge (5 in.+) truly floppy disks were available to computer users.  I was born in the 80's, so I barely remember them, but apparently, they actually hit the market clear back in the 60's!  Who knew?!  I don't remember ever using those truly floppy disks myself but I do remember using those hard 3 1/2 in. disks in school during the 90's!  That was the "to go" avenue for storing all your important documents (or in my case, my 4th grade IBM clip art pasted onto a basic document).  Remember them?!

Yes....my life was colorful back then too!!  These are actually my mom's old ones (which were probably mine and left behind when I moved out).  I recently threw all the ones at my own house away....sad day for me!! I don't like to part with my organization.

So anyway, let's spring forward about a decade as I was leaving public school to attend college.  I remember specifically having to order a special floppy disk drive for my college computer because floppy drives weren't "standard" anymore.  I quickly realized, however, there was no need for the floppy disks because something else had come out and it was new and improved - the USB drive...jump drive...whatever you want to call it!  It was so cool...so small...so easy!  

I also frequently listened to music on CD's in my car (which had a CD drive and I thought that was SO COOL!).  Cassette tapes were gone and done and really not even an option in cars anymore!  They were definitely a thing of the past but mp3 players, iPods, and smart phones hadn't quite made it into our hands yet!  It's CrAzy to look back at how technology has changed in just a decade!  Heck, CD drives aren't even standard anymore for computers! 

Check out my color collection of mass storage devices! 

Seriously.....how do you choose what to use?!

*Photo Disclaimer (See Image Below)*
You know how all of us wedding photographers show up on your big day looking professional and clean?!  Well, this is what we look like behind the scenes when we are stuck in our offices finishing beautiful images (or, in my case, writing blog posts)!  This picture below offered many "check offs" on my long "to do" list.  I got to practice with my new equipment, double check the timer settings, AND clean out my drawers!  I also discovered one of my tripods was broke (apparently it didn't survive wedding season last year).  So, you'll see....we, as photographers, are buried in technology and tasks and constantly working to keep up!  As soon as we get caught up and "up-to-date", the next best thing comes out!

Anyway, now that I got off track, my point is....technology is constantly changing.  CONSTANTLY!  Computer geniuses are always looking for "the next best thing".  With that being said, consider this - another hypothetical situation - you were married in the 90's and your photographer put all your digital images on a floppy disk.  How would you access them now?  It would be extremely difficult.  Now, it's present time again (and I'm going to repeat my hypothetical scenario I started out with).  Your wedding photographer puts your images on a USB drive.  That's great BUT...how are you going to access them in 10..20.....30 years from now?  You probably won't be able to.  The USB drive replaced the floppy disk.  The CD is being replaced with DVD's and Blu Rays and smart phones (depending on what you're using them for, of course)!  Heck, you can't even play a CD in most new cars these days...people are using their phones! 

THAT'S WHY IT IS SO IMPORTANT YOU BACK UP YOU IMAGES ONLINE!

SO, PICK UP THAT MOUSE.  BUST OUT YOUR OLD DESKTOP OR LAPTOP.  GET ONLINE!

I am pretty sure the World Wide Web isn't going anywhere and although whatever company you choose does have the chance to go out of business, they will almost always give you sufficient notice and time to get your precious images transferred to another online archival location.

You may be thinking, "But Hannah, my photographer said he/she would keep my images forever!"  Yes, you are right.   Most professional photographers are going to keep your images forever.  So, in most cases, you will be able to get them back if say...your USB drive gets LOST or it's 30 years later and you can't access your USB drive.  BUT, most photographers like me put a special clause in their contract in the event something tragic happens and the images are lost.  I personally have them backed up in 3 (sometimes more) locations - 3-4 locations, 2 of those are off site and then it gets backed up online!  Yes, I keep every finished image I send to my clients but what if my house burns down?  What if my office gets robbed?  Again, I do back up online now, but what if something happens to me?  I know it's weird to think that way and most certainly would be tragic, but my husband surely won't be able to easily retrieve those photos for you.  Again, it's sad to think that way but so true and something I want all my clients to consider!  Let's face it, I'm a realist and a former nurse! HA!

So, I'm going to say it again.  When I (or any other photographer) present your finished images to you, BACK THEM UP ONLINE!  If you're an Amazon Prime member, you already have a ton of storage space for personal use!  Most people don't know that.  Other places offer online storage for a low cost.  Google them!  Crashplan and Backblaze are two that pop into my mind!  I'm a customer of Crashplan myself!  It's worth it.  Trust me.  You'll regret paying that small fee if you lose all your wedding images.  

You can't ever get those memories back! Keep them safe!  Back them up online!