This is how I back up all my photographs – read this if you want to know how to simply, safely and securely back up your digital photographs.

As a photographer, the pictures I take are the single most important thing to me. Backing up my digital files is crucial to my photography business. My photographs are my business.

I have a rigorous process for managing my images, and how I back them up.

This is what I do. And when I say do, I really do! All the time.

1 – Image capture

I have a card holder with blank, formatted memory cards. I take memory cards from here for every shoot I do. Each memory card in this folder is empty, and has been formatted in my Canon 6D.

I have another card holder where I place a memory card after each and every shoot. For my ease these two cases are different colours!

I know which cards are blank, and which have those important images on them. And if I am travelling, the memory cards with my images on stay with me.

2 - Import to Lightroom.

When I am back in my office, I import the images into my Lightroom Catalogue. The images are added to my Western Digital external hard drive. A duplicate copy is created on my Dell PC hard drive. I do not delete the images from the card. Not yet anyway.

My Lightroom Catalogue is stored on my PC.

I also back up my Lightroom Catalogue very day to my PC.

3 – Off site cloud back up.

I use Backblaze for my cloud back up. This is an automated cloud backup, which runs in the background all the time.  It backs up everything on my PC hard drive and me external hard drive. This includes the images on my hard drive and my Lightroom Catalogue.

4 – Off site external hard drive storage.

I have a 4TB external hard drive, which I update at least every month. I save all my images and my Lightroom Catalogue to this external hard drive. This hard drive is stored off site.

5 – Deletion from memory cards

I have a separate wallet where memory cards are placed after I have imported the images into Lightroom. Only when I have done my monthly external hard drive back up do I delete the images from these cards. I then format them in my Canon 6D and place them in the card holder which lives in my camera bag.

6 - Deletion of import duplicates.

Having updated my external hard drive, and placed it back in its off site location, I delete the duplicates of my Lightroom imports from my hard drive.

This is how I manage my digital images. The images are always in three separate places.

  • My external hard drive.
  • My off site external hard drive.
  • My cloud back up.

I have both the images and the edits I have done saved in all three locations.

It took a while to set up this system, but now I have everything in place it is easy to manage, and is one thing I do not need to worry about.

I you have any questions about backing up your photographs, and looking after your valuable digital images get in touch with me.

And for all my clients, you can be reassured that your data is safe and secure should you ever need your images in the future.

Rick McEvoy MCIOB, LBIPP 

Photographer - Bournemouth, Poole, Sandbanks, Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Hampshire, Somerset, Wiltshire, London

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