It might be a surprise to some that we still come across inconsolable photographers who have lost years of valuable work they thought had been stored in a digital bank vault, gone in a digital puff of smoke, in the blink of a digital eye….permanently.

The main causes are complacency and over confidence that IT will work until you decide to upgrade or that security is fail safe. If your IT fails or is broken into and damaged before then, the diligently observed back-up plan, assuming there is a dependable one, will get you out of jail… hope.

Breaking news, IT does fail and suffer unplanned setbacks. The lifespan of machines is not ad infinitum.  Back-Up plans do not always work, especially unreliable plans or procedures that are frequently neglected.

Putting off replacement of outdated equipment and not performing regular and reliable Back Up of data remains a disaster waiting to happen for many Photographers. Back up methods or procedures can be a grind, but if not conducted as a matter of daily routines they are almost definitely going to be useless.

There are a multitude of different back-up systems and techniques but the main objective should be to store invaluable work away from workplace computers (including portable and mobile workstations). This is most preferably off site at a separate and dependable data storage location.

Too many people still leave themselves extremely vulnerable to computer crashes, thefts of equipment, security breaches, weak back-up procedures or failure to back up at all.

No amount of insurance will recover irrecoverable images.

Top tips:

  • Get expert IT advice (if direction is needed ask trusted Contacts &/or Membership Trade Bodies)

Conduct back-ups as a matter of procedure immediately or at least in accordance with any insurance cover minimum conditions (e.g. daily, weekly)

Test or check back-ups as a matter of procedure

Keep an up to date back-up off premises away from your working server

Check your insurance cover for reinstatement of data and against what risks (e.g. hardware failure, software failure, Malware, theft, loss or damage)

For most photographers their working lives are locked within and governed by their computers and computer devices. Losing access to their contents is like losing access to a bank account and would be a traumatic and costly experience.

Paying customers are entitled to expect Professional Photographers to employ robust IT practices. Failure to do so which results in a failure to perform and complete contracts leaves you vulnerable to claims of Professional Negligence. A potential double whammy.

Think about the worst case scenario, guard against it and work out how you will be able to recover if the guards are breached. It is a must do today job, not tomorrow or the day after or the month or year after.