How do protect your Photo files
So you've had your photo shoot, you had a blast, the photos arrived and they turned out amazing! You couldn't be happier. A few months go by and you'd like to look at those photos and say, make a selection for of images for Christmas gifts. But now you can't find the USB or worst, it has been damaged and won't work. Now think about how many images you have on the computer. What would happen to those photos if there was a power surge and it killed your computer? Some of your photos are down right irreplaceable! What a horrible thing to loose those memories. The worst part is, that it's not a matter of 'if' your hard drive will fail, but a matter of 'when'. The best way to avoid losing those images is by backing up your photos... in fact back up ALL of your important files. There are lots of great ways to do this.
Option 1: Of course a common way is to transfer to them to a folder on your computer, or another USB/disk. Problem with a computer is it can always crash. And how many USBs or disks do you really want laying around?
Pro: USBs and Disks are great to bringing images to print centres. And once they are on your computer it is easy to just go to an online print centre and order through there.
Option 2: External Hard Drive. These things are great! You can not only back up photos but any files. And like a USB stick you are able to grab them in all different amounts of memory, only they hold a great deal more then your standard USB. It is also super easy. Just plug the hard drive into your computer, then copy and paste the folder. The only downfall is that these devices can get quiet pricey, ranging anywhere from $50 to $200+. On bright side these are very resourceful.
Option 3: Downloadable services. ICloud is a popular back up program. It's great because you don't need to plug anything to anything else. It automatically backs up your images with a WIFI connection. There is even a mobile app, however you do need to sync your phone to your computer. The downside is that is cost money to use, only $5, but still. Other great options that are similar to ICloud are Picasa, a google program/app that works the same way but is free! A third option is Crashplan.
Option 4: Photo and share websites. These include websites such as Flicker, which allows to you upload only photos, or Dropbox, which allows you store any file AND privately share through links. The problem with them is that they only allow so much storage space before you have to pay for more. Dropbox does offering extra storage space for those who invite friends and those friends sign up. Another downfall is that is there is no way to automatically upload images/file, however there are methods to upload images in large bunches.
More tips: It is important to have a name and folder system in place that is easy for you. Everyone has their own system. This is useful as it will make finding that favorite photo from your newborn session with ease.
It also doesn't hurt to have a few different back up plans either. Personally I use 3. Picasa, External hard drive and USB. If one of your back ups fails or is misplaced, you always have another to fall back on.
Don't mess around with your files. It can be both upsetting and troublesome when you lose everything due a system fail or being lost. There are some things you can never get back.