The Best Backup Strategies for Photographers

Your photo archives will grow with time, no matter what you have done for storing/preserving them. Some of you might be following robust backup strategies to protect your digital images. But, it won’t be the case of all. Some photographers don’t even aware of whether such backup strategies exist or not. If you belong to the latter category, it’s important for you to understand the need of image backup strategies.

The importance of Image Backup Strategies

Today, a large number of photographers depend personal computers to store their digital images. Most of them randomly select a drive on their PC and put their images in different folders. Generally, they don’t even think about the situations wherein their computer doesn’t boot up or the accidental deletion of photos, etc. If it’s a laptop, there are even chances for theft and related incidents.

Even, you are the one who’s keeping a solid backup for your photos, it isn’t sufficient enough – it can also fail sometimes. So, your approach should not be directed to follow any particular backup media, but to choose a strategy that you can put forward to mitigate the risk of data loss. In general, this strategy should cope with your photographic workflow process.

The Quick and Easiest Backup Plan

Storage workflow of photographers has the same importance as editing workflows wherein they’re more interested in. Even you are a seasonal photographer or hobbyist, you can follow such a backup plan. But, a hobbyist does not have to adopt any complex and expensive plans – it doesn’t mean keeping images on a separate memory card as a backup, as you have strong alternatives.

Let me say this simply-  at least keep two backups in different physical locations – nothing more. This is very basic and important procedure if you’re a beginner. Some of you may use to keep multiple backups in the same location. For your information, this is also a wrong move. External Hard drives are vulnerable to image loss under a lot of situations. Some of these situations can be effectively tackled using a professional photo recovery software like Remo Recover Media. But, what you’ll do for threats like hard drive theft, physical crash and so on?

Of course, you can back up your photos using a 1 TB hard disk if you have one. Anyhow, it’d be good if you use two 500GB hard disks to store copies of the same data. And, don’t forget to follow a backup routine – daily, weekly, monthly, or whichever comfortable to you.

If you want to use automated backup tools for backup, you can. Manual backups are accepted too.

Backup Strategy for Professional Photographers

It’s not a feasible option to depend on one or two external hard drives or a single cloud storage service if you are a professional photographer. Perhaps, your storage needs as a pro photographer won’t just match with the capacity of an external hard disk. And in the case of cloud storage, more questions on storage reliability, bandwidth, etc. need to be answered before choosing such a service.

So, there should be a serious approach from a professional photographer towards setting up a great backup strategy suitable for him/her. As compared to hobbyist photographers, these people require faster access to their backup media. Following 3-2-1 backup rule would be a good option here.

What is 3-2-1 Backup Rule?

  1. Maintain 3 copies of a file (Here photo). Keep one on your primary(using/working) storage device.
  2. Finally, keep two additional copies on two different storage devices.
  3. And, it’s recommended to keep one of these two additional copies in online and the other in offline.

This is one backup strategy that gained huge popularity recently. It’s useful for hobbyists as well.

Using RAID for Photo Backup

Today, a large number of photographers use an additional drive to ensure redundancy of their pictures. They set RAID 1 configuration (mirroring) for their additional drive. If one drive fails, it allows continuing work using the mirrored data on the second drive. Although it can’t say as a pure backup method, it offers the necessary fault tolerance service. So after a hard drive failure, you can easily replace the failed hard drive in this case.


You must have to figure out your actual storage needs in accordance with your professional expertise as a photographer. It’ll guide you to form a solid backup strategy suitable for your budget. Know, where you want to put money in and where shouldn’t.

The Best Backup Strategies for Photographers was last modified: November 29th, 2016 by John Harris

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