Back-up for Your Photo Collection

external hard drives

Let’s talk back-up for your photo collection.

Do you back-up your photos on a regular basis? If not, I’ll let you in on a photo organizing secret:

The 3-2-1 method.

When you back-up your photo collection I recommend this strategy because it’s easy to remember and simple to put in place. I first read about this in Peter Krough’s excellent resource, The DAM Book and use it for our family photos. My husband also uses it for his professional videos and photos, and we always recommend it for clients.
Here’s how it works: You choose three types of back-up, two are external hard drives (EHDs) and one is the Cloud.

Start by labeling your EHDs with the date purchased. Then add the date of your last backup.

The quality of external hard drives can vary. Some can fail in as little time as 3-5 years so it’s important to check them on a regular basis. If you back up on a monthly basis you can check the drives then. It’s a good habit to get into.

If you choose to automate your backup, there are many cloud systems that can run in the background of your computer. Your OS has auto-backups that you can configure with an external hard drive.

If you are manually backing up, determine a backup schedule based on your photo-taking habits. This is especially important if you are not syncing to a cloud service. If you are wary of cloud storage, remember that it protects against things that your computer can’t. Your hard drive is vulnerable to power spikes and outages, ransomware viruses, and so on. Backing up your collection to the cloud as well as to two external hard drives protects it from these scary scenarios. 

Keeping your photo collection updated, safe and backed up is an ongoing process. There is no AI or system that can do this part for you (not yet, anyway). The reasoning behind this is simple. Take a moment to think about what happens if a disaster strikes your home. Your personal photo collection, if not stored and backed up properly, can vanish. And these simple steps will give you insurance against that and peace of mind as well. Your photo legacy is worth it.