A Lesson in Backing Up

So, I'm going to piggy back on our last post about Being Prepared.  As I was packing and gathering all of our important documents, I was backing up the two photography sessions I had just finished editing, onto my external hard drive.  If my camera goes with me, my hard drive does too.  I keep it well padded in my camera bag and that's the only way it travels.  

I guess in my haste to gather and pack up everything important and irreplaceable, I wasn't thinking and took my camera bag downstairs.  I'm sure you can guess what happened next.  I came back upstairs, grabbed my hard drive, phone, ipad, toiletries, and a bag of my daughter's "irreplaceable" toys and headed downstairs.  Just as I approached my camera bag, my phone and hard drive slipped out of my hand and fell on the hardwood floor.  Honestly, I didn't think twice about it.  Picked them up, packed them up, and went on my way.

It wasn't until days later, after the storm passed and we returned home, that I realized that I broke it.

That's when the real storm happened.

Client photos: Gone.  Business info: Gone.  Blog posts: Gone.  But most importantly, my daughter's entire life in pictures: GONE, GONE, GONE.  I cried and cried, screamed bad words into a pile of clothes on the floor in my closet, and cried some more.

When I calmed down.  I realized I needed to go through everything on the computer and see exactly what I lost.  My dear husband was able to recover a lot of stuff that had recently been deleted and I had a lot of stuff on some of our computer's back up drives.  After the dust settled, I am really only missing the end of 2012 and the middle of 2015.  

I looked into sending off the hard drive to have it's contents recovered, but it is not cheap (about $1000+ for a 1TB drive) and I am still trying to organize what I have recovered.  If I had been better at backing up, this wouldn't have happened.  So, here are my newly learned tips for backing up:

  1.  Use an external hard drive and a case.  I like this case from Amazon.
  2.  Make sure you have capable, working back up internal hard drives.  
  3. Sign up for a Cloud based storage service.  Google Photos and Amazon Prime Photos both offer unlimited storage without a reduction in picture quality...and it's free!
  4. Set a monthly/weekly reminder on your phone to remind you to actually back up your photos.
  5. Print your pictures!

As painful as it was, I hope you can learn from my mistake and never find yourself in this situation.  Happy backing up!

Has this ever happened to you?  Seems to be pretty common with the worst offenders being professionals!

xoxo, Alicia