Data storage technology has made leaps and bounds in the 21st century and the way wedding photographers deliver photos has changed dramatically in recent years. In this article, we’re going to explain how you can expect to receive your wedding photos and, more importantly, how to safely store your wedding photos once you have them.
HOW WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHERS DELIVER PHOTOS
When we first started shooting weddings back in 2008, DVDs were still the go-to medium for many wedding photographers. File sizes were pretty small in those days, so a full wedding shoot could fit comfortably on one or two DVDs.
Once the DVD became obsolete, the thumb drive stepped in and took its place. Many wedding photographers still deliver wedding photos on thumb drives, due to their increasing affordability and capacity.
These days, the primary method of delivery is the online gallery. Wedding photographers upload a wedding shoot to their websites and you can simply download the photos directly from the internet. This way you don’t need to receive any sort of physical item in the mail or in person. Everything is done digitally. It’s super convenient and eco-friendly.
But once you’ve downloaded your photos from your photographer’s website, what is the best way to safely store your wedding photos? That’s the million-dollar question!
OPTIONS FOR STORING YOUR WEDDING PHOTOS
Desktop or laptop computer
This is the simplest and most obvious solution. Most computer hard drives have more than enough space to hold all of your wedding photos ten times over. But what if you don’t have a computer?
As long as you have enough internal storage on your phone (or micro-SD card, if it has one), you should be able to download your wedding photos directly to your device. This shouldn’t be a permanent solution, though, because we all know how easy it is to lose or damage a phone.
External hard drive
In my opinion, storing your wedding photos on an external hard drive (or better yet, on multiple drives) is the best and safest way to go. These drives have huge storage capacities and are becoming more and more affordable all of the time. Pro tip: copy your wedding photos to two or more drives and keep them in separate locations (for example, one drive in your home and one at your office).
There are a million different cloud storage services available these days. Some are expensive, some are cheap and some are completely free. Even if you have your wedding photos saved on your computer and/or external hard drive, it can’t hurt to create even more redundancy by uploading them to Google Drive (or something similar) as well.
Prints and albums
The old school method! You know, back before digital photography was a thing. Having physical copies of wedding photos is not only a safe an effective method for preserving your memories for generations to come, but it’s also a tangible way to show your favorite photos to your friends and family members. After all, who wants their wedding photos existing solely on a hard drive in their closet?
HOW WE SAFELY STORE OUR WEDDING PHOTOS
Finally, I want to take you through our wedding photo storage process to give you of how we keep your photos safe here at J. La Plante Photo.
Firstly, everything we shoot is immediately copied onto two memory cards since all of our cameras have dual card slots. Once those cards are full, we separate them so that we immediately have two copies in two locations before we’ve even left the wedding venue.
On the car (or plane) ride home, we back up all of our cards to a portable hard drive so that we now have three copies of the photos before we even make it back to our house.
When we arrive home, we back up the photos to both of our computers and to two more external hard drives as well. We now have seven total copies of the day’s photos before we’ve so much as laid our heads on our pillows.
Shortly after, we copy the photos yet again to two additional hard drives in our off-site studio. Finally, once the photos are edited and really to deliver, we upload them to “the cloud” and send them to our couple. When all is said and done, we have 10 copies of all of the wedding photos in three separate locations. These NEVER get deleted, which means if worse comes to worst and you lose your wedding photos, we’ve got your back, whether it’s next week or ten years from now.
THE MORAL OF THE STORY
There are countless ways to safely store your wedding photos, but the bottom line is that redundancy and variety reign supreme. Copy your photos to as many different types of devices as possible and store them in as many different physical locations as possible.
But rest assured that even if you lose all of your photos for any reason, your photographer will still have them and be happy to send you another copy at any time. Well, if we’re your photographers, that is (wink, wink).