Essential Backup for Wedding Photographers
Do not take chances.
Photographers venturing into the wedding arena and brides looking for photographers, please be aware - backup for wedding photographers. The unknown truth in the wedding photographer industry is that our equipment can malfunction. In extreme cases, memory cards can also fail hence corrupt your entire wedding photos. Each camera's shutter has a limited life span. Do not take chances.
Our Backup plan.
1. Backup for wedding day - Camera. Every wedding we attend, there will be at least 3 camera. In most cases, you only see me with 2, with the 3rd/4th either in my bag or locked up in my car.
2.Backup for wedding day - Lenses. Although I do not have 2 lenses of the same, I do have spare lenses for the type of photos I do. For example, I have a 24-70L USM as a backup for my 24LII and 35L. I have a 85LII as a backup for 70-200LII for bridal portrait sessions.
3. Backup for wedding day - Photos. When we click the shutter capturing an essential moment of your wedding, the single moment in recorded into TWO memory cards (This is where some photographers fails). Normally, one huge card stays in the camera for the whole day. During the middle of the day, I tend to switch one of the cards with a fresh one and keep the used somewhere safe. When I get home, one set is being recorded into my computer. This is not the end......
4. Backup Photos - Postprocessing. Sometimes, people think that it's safe once you copied your photos into your computer and that's it! No. For us, when it is being copied into our computer, it is again recorded into TWO Seperate Harddisks (RAID system). Oh yes, hard disk can fail as well. Once I ensure that the photos are copied into the harddisks, I can safely reuse those cards for my next event. We have not taken a new steps where we upload our RAW photos into an online cloud service hence storing your photos at a different location other than our work office, making sure that a fire at our place dont ruin all the hard work.
##** PS: I have since upgraded to a NAS system by Synology 1513+ which can sustain 2 HDD failure at any single point in time but still retain my data.
An example of free cloud service that I use is "Dropbox".
5. Backup - After delivery. Once the photos have been delivered to our clients, these photos are keen in 2 seperate hard disks for archive.
To conclude, please do not take chance. No one single backup plan is bullet proof. We try our very best to ensure that the photos are not lost due to any mechanical failure. Things can still happen. The very least you know that your photographer has a solid backup plan keep you free from any worries.
PS: I bring a spare set of pants, shirt and shoes to wedding. I had my pants split once due to my ninja move taking photo. :)
Update, 27/08/2014 : I have now move all my photo storage into a Synology Disk station, 1813+ which offers a ability to accept 2 hard disks failure at any single point in time without data lost. Gone with the wires and separate disks. I am however keeping one of the disk for an offsite backup. Works great on my iMac.