Talkative Tuesday: I Cried…I Cried A Lot

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I did cry. I cried a lot. Why? Well, let me explain…

First of all, this actually wasn’t supposed to be today’s Talkative Tuesday post. I was actually going to share  the photos Robert and I took at the beach with you all. However, when I woke up this morning…I just felt called to write this and share my story of how things can go wrong and what I did to fix it. This is a long one guys, so bare with me…

I lost client files this past November. You read that right. I was devastated and to be honest I still have an enormous hole in my heart. I thought I had a pretty darn good system for making sure my files where safe and backed up. To think I was sitting down to get on my computer to edit one of my FAVORITE engagement sessions of all times along with a couple other sessions and the files just weren’t there. ANY photographer that this has ever happened to, because it does happen more often than you think, will vouch for the pit in my stomach that I felt that entire day, week, and month(s) after it happened.

I searched. I searched. I cried. I searched. I called. I messaged. I cried again. I ran recovery programs. I literally did EVERYTHING I could do to figure out where these files disappeared to. They were ON my computer. Otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to post EDITED previews of each session on Facebook for my clients. This happened once before with losing an actual memory card. When that happened I made sure I was doing everything in my power to protect them.  Nothing made sense.

So where did they go? They’re in a black hole somewhere where I will never be able to bring them back. You see, my memory card reader failed me and I had already used my memory cards enough after the fact that the files had already been re-written over. I am lucky it didn’t cause more damage than it did. I mean, to think I could have lost an entire WEDDING from this year chills me to the BONES, but what I did lose was bad enough already.

I cried more…oh, I still want to cry just thinking about it. But even through the tears, I immediately made a back up plan. A not so cheap one (a nice tax write off though), but one that I know would be able to make not only me, but my clients feel more secure with the safety and protection of their files. Oh, and how I am incredibly honored and thankful that the clients who’s files were lost completely understood. They were beyond supportive of me and even rescheduled with me to make sure they received photos. I seriously couldn’t believe the generousity they shared with me over this…maybe to some of you (if you’re still reading this far) it’s really not that big of a deal. In the grand scheme of all the things happening in the world today, it’s not, but it was/is to me. It’s my art work. I put my heart, tears, and my very soul into it and when a client books me…I don’t take it lightly. That means they trust me and I want nothing more than to keep that trust and make them happy. That’s all I really care about. Their happiness.

So with that being said, photographer friends…if you don’t already have a back up system…please, please, please learn from this. Make sure you have one, because things do and will happen. It’s better to be better prepared for it than not prepared at all.

For those that are curious here’s my new back up system here’s the run down:

Drobo 5DN with 5×2 terabyte hard drives that backs EVERYTHING up

A 1 terabyte external hard drive that is synced to the Time Machine on my computer so God forbid if something does happen I can revert back to a different time on my computer where nothing was wrong

Extra SD memory cards to use in my camera that will automatically save jpegs of all my images incase the CF card that has the raw files on it fails

A NEW CARD READER

And last but not least, a more efficient way of backing everything up in not one but TWO places at once. Files will now be directly imported to my computer and to the Drobo. I will now work live on the photos that live on my computer and then once finished move the finals to the Drobo. Security has never felt so good and I thank God for his mercy on me.

9 Responses to “Talkative Tuesday: I Cried…I Cried A Lot”

  1. Oh my goodness, Heather! I’ve been there and I can still remember the feeling… Just remember you are human and its okay! Sending you a big hug this morning xo

  2. Oh gosh, that is SO hard to go through…sending hugs your way! As a planner, I work with many photographers and this is so very important. Thanks so much for sharing some of your new back-up methods :)

  3. Thanks for your bravery in sharing – I like your new system! <3

  4. So thankful for these tips as this happened to me this past fall! Thankfully they were just a styled shoot, but it will still super frustrating!!

  5. Oh goodness, a photographer’s worst nightmare! Thanks for sharing your backup workflow :)

  6. This is such a nice post for prospective clients to see. Increases trust, for sure. Thanks for the inspiration.

  7. Thank you so much for sharing. Four years in, I had my first experience with a card going corrupt. Fortunately I had shot to two cards in camera that day so all the images were fine, but it was definitely a reminder that sometimes technology does indeed fail unexpectedly and redundant back up is important! I’d love to know more about how the DROBO system works, do you mind explaining? Its pricy but I applaud you for making the investment.

  8. My heart sank reading this but thanks for sharing your back up methods!

  9. Heather,
    I remember you posting about this..I’m so sorry this happened to you. I haven’t lost photos (yet, pray to God it doesn’t happen.) but I lost my portfolio in college weeks before graduation…30-some weeks pregnant and I bawled like a baby.. I know how awful it is to lose your work! I may have to look into your system though…I’m wondering now if I’m backed up enough!!!! Thank you for being so humble and sharing your life with us! It is so refreshing to see that everyone goes through the same things and you CAN come out on top! Keep being you girl. Xoxo, Meaghan