The day I’ve been preparing for arrived unexpectedly this past Saturday as I went to my Mac to export photos for a client, just like it was any other day. But I quickly found out it wasn’t going to be like other days when I found my photo and video files had disappeared from my Lightroom catalog.
I calmly checked my drive to see why my catalog claimed that there were missing images, and Lightroom was not lying. Five terabytes of my hard work had disappeared. I’d like to believe that I take great caution and care when dealing with my drives and files. I still don’t know why — it may have been a terrible glitch — but that’s not the point of this article.
PSA: Back Up Your Work
This article is simply a four-word PSA reminder: back up your work. It is not a joke and it can happen to anyone at any time. The reasons are endless on how you can lose your work: formatting errors, improper connectivity, read/write crash, file corruption, physical damage, bad sectors, glitches, and even unknown causes.
The Good News
Fortunately enough, I prepared for this very day to come. I visited my off-site drive location that I backup to periodically. I successfully avoided losing all of my hard work by taking the necessary measures. Even with a successful backup and avoiding potential disaster, I found out there is room for improvement.
A Reminder to You
But with that all being said, I will go out with this: hard drive corruption is not a joke, and I know of many photographers (novices and even professionals) that use simply one “pocket” hard drive and that is it. If that is you, I’d highly advise you to take the steps to protect yourself. I don’t care if it’s the most sophisticated backup system in the world or the simplest, just take the proper steps. Spending $500–$1,000-plus now is worth much more than losing your life’s work later. Make multiple copies of work by any means necessary. Think about it, be smart, and continue to create beautiful work with peace of mind.
Backup Education Resources
I know there has been a slew of backup articles published lately. I’m glad because it’s a topic that isn’t discussed enough. Here are some helpful articles to help set up or better your backup workflow:
- My Four-Step Photography Backup Workflow
- What to Do With Digital Storage That's Collecting Dust
- Let's Talk About Storage and Backups
- Create Quick and Easy Backups While on the Go or Tethering
- The Differences Between RAID 5, 1, and 0 and How to Ensure Your Photography Is Always Backed Up
Also, feel free to leave a comment below regarding how your backup workflow is set up. Keep in mind to make it as simple as possible as if you're explaining it to someone new who'd like the proper steps.
Photo by Azz Bad via Pexels.