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‘The Ultimate Photography Backup Strategy’ Infographic

By Hanssie on March 6th 2016

As a photographer, having a solid backup strategy for your photos should be very high on the priority list. After all, if you’ve ever lost one of your own precious images, you’ll know the heartache. Now think of what it would be like to lose the images of someone who paid you money and trusted their wedding day/portraits/event/etc. photos to your care. It would be devastating for both parties involved, which is why if you don’t have a fail-safe, multiple backup system, it’s time to get one. If not, your a** and your business may be on the line someday.

Wedding photographer Francesco Spighi has worked on developing his own system for backing up, “something not too complicated and expensive, but at the same time reliable enough to let [him] sleep peacefully without being worried about [his] customers’ photos.” He created the following infographic to show what he does from camera to delivery. In the end, there are multiple copies, and he can rest assured that his files are safe.

His backup strategy begins in camera with shooting on two cards in both of his Nikon D810‘s. Then he imports his raw files both through Lightroom and onto a working external hard drive. He creates a standard and a smart preview and then exports the high-resolution jpeg files. He then takes the jpegs and the Smart Preview catalog and saves them on the cloud (with Microsoft Onedrive).


His external drive with the raw files is timed with a NAS and then syncs the files to a second external hard drive. He now has numerous copies of the images – two on the memory cards, three copies on hard drives, and one more on the cloud. Finally, he uses a professional service to archive the images on a cloud before formatting his memory cards.

To read Francesco Spighi’s original post, check out his website here.


What is your backup strategy? Comment below.

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Hanssie is a Southern California-based writer and sometimes portrait and wedding photographer. In her free time, she homeschools, works out, rescues dogs and works in marketing for SLR Lounge. She also blogs about her adventures and about fitness when she’s not sick of writing so much. Check out her work and her blog at Follow her on Instagram

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Gary Frost

    My PC has a RAID-1 drive setup as drive “D:”, which is two drives that are “mirrored” so the system sees only one drive, but everything is duplicated in real time. If one drive failed the second after I deleted the images from my camera, I would have a reliable backup. I have an external portable hard drive that is stored in a fire & water resistant safe. I also have a cloud based service that costs about $50/year and backs up folders that I identify to the cloud. The cloud service is additional redundancy for fire/flood/theft protection. Also, best to replace hard drives every 5 years.

    (1) Copy all images from camera to drive D: on my PC.
    (2) Copy all images from camera to the external drive
    (3) Verify both drives have the copied files
    (4) Disconnect external drive and store back in fire safe
    (5) Delete files from camera
    (6) Leave PC on overnight so that cloud based service will have all the files

    One last thing. I leave the SD cards in the camera at all times. Connection to computer is made via a USB cable. This prevents you from shooting w/o cards in the camera and never capturing the images from the start. Some cameras have ways to prevent this, but my friend shot a set with a model and had zero images after a ½ day shoot. Very disappointing for him.

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  2. Peter Nord

    A lot of redundancy, but whatever it takes to give a person a good night’s sleep. I always felt better that my back-ups lived in a fire proof vault.

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