It is never been easy to storage literally thousands of photos every week. As heavy data clients, wedding photographers are in a unique situation. Melbourne Wedding photographers need huge digital storage capacity, reliability and data transfer speed.
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In 2020, the great news is wedding photographers have more options. Here are some tips to consider when planning storage and backup strategy.
No matter what strategy you have chosen to save and backup your digital contents, the most important consideration is you fully understand the storage or backup system you have used.
Know where you store the original photos and where you keep the backup photos. Also, you need save all the digital data include your wedding photos and videos, workshops, lightroom or photoshop presets and actions, wedding studio financial documents, wedding studio admin documents, etc.
As Melbourne wedding photographers, you should know exactly where your lightroom catalogue is stored, and where your lightroom catalogue backups are stored.
Now image what would happen if your hard drive failed tomorrow. Is every document backed up to another drive or to the cloud?
Many wedding photographers believe they have a good backup system. However, when the hard drive crashed, they realize they did not backup couple of months or the backup system did not include important folders.
For me, the most important considerations about storage and backup systems are:
For wedding photographer Melbourne, hard drive reliability is the most important point to consider. The main workstations for many wedding photographers turn on for 24/7. The storage system is used for extended periods of the time every day.
If the storage system and backup system have anything crashes, we need time to find the problem and to fix it.
Melbourne wedding photographers normally edit the data directly from storage system. It is means we need to have a system as fast as possible.
Wedding photographers always work with lots of files at lightroom. Therefore, photographers need storage system with decent speed.
There are two methods to extension the capacity, keep buying new external hard drives or the storage system and backup system have good expandability.
Being a wedding photographer, you need to consider the increasing a number of wedding photo. It is more often than you think you need to copy old photos for clients.
It is required wedding photographer be able to access and find old photos quickly. If the system is run out of space, both systems need to an easy, fast and affordable way to expand the capacity.
I am using one computer as editing computer to storage all the wedding photos. The computer has 4X14TB magnetic storage drives and 2 TB Solid State Drives (SSD).
These drives are considered advantageous because the drives have good capacity. However, the significant drawbacks to magnetic storage devices are the writing and reading speed and mechanical failures.
It means the drives cannot be moved during they are working.
SSDs are preferential to magnetic storage drives because SSDs can launch and data transfer much faster. In addition, SSDs could keep longer than magnetic drives.
However, SSDs are more expensive than magnetic drives. For latest technology, the 8 TB SSD needs to cost around $3,500 AUD. The 16 TB magnetic drive cost around $999 AUD.
As wedding photographers, we have both .jpg and RAW images. Recently, the RAW image size is around 50MB per image. 1TB of storage space just can storage around 25,000 RAW images.
Some wedding photographer just backup the .jpg images, but I backup both .jpg and RAW images to be more professional as wedding photographer.
I am using 2 Drobo systems as the main workstation, the External Hard Drives and SSD as the temporality backup system. The internet cloud as the delivery system.
More wedding photographers are choosing cloud storage for their wedding photos. The most popular cloud services are Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, iCloud and Dropbox.
These cloud services synchronize wedding images on your computer to the cloud servers. The cloud services most offer a small amount of storage for free. If you want to increase the storage space, it will be charged around $18.69 AUD/month for 2 TB.
As wedding photographers, if you want to use cloud to backup RAW images, the capacity of cloud is not feasible.
And as a wedding photographer in Melbourne, the internet speed is a huge problem for using cloud to backup photos.
There are many different sizes with different brands external hard drives from different price ranges. And I used both Desktop Hard Drives and Portable Hard Drives to backup wedding photos.
The differences between desktop hard drives and portable hard drives are desktop hard drives must connect with the power and the size of desktop hard drives are 3.5 inch, the portable hard drives are 2.5 inch. So, desktop hard drives are more reliable than portable hard drives. But the portable hard drives are much easier to carry.
However, the problem of externa hard drives is the same as magnetic drives storage.
I used one 2 TB SSD as portable SSD. The portable SSD is good at speed and reliability. But the it still has the heating problem and the SSD is more expensive than the normal external hard drives.
A storage array (also named disk array) is a special box own operation system that can have multiple hard drives or SSD drives to save and access data. The system of storage arrays can make the storage array more reliable and expandable.
Below are the major storage architectures you might come across today:
NAS system is networked appliances that contains storage array. NAS system can be accessed from multiple computers at the same time through internet.
A storage array is connected the storage array through a cable to computer is DAS. DAS provides block-level storage to a computer.
Between DAS and NAS, I chose DAS for my back up main workstation. Because the DAS system has better speed, better latency and lower cost than NAS.
There are different brands for personal DAS. For example, Drobo, Dell, Lenove, etc. I chose Drobo 5DC containg 5*14TB hard drives as my wedding photogrpahy backup system. Because the Drobo 5DC is the most cost efficiency and the easiest to set-up and use for windows system.
And for wedding video back up system, I chose the Drobo 5Dt which is older model for 5D contaiing 5*8TB hard drives as my wedding videography backup system.
As a Melbourne wedding photographer, I always put the data safety as first consideration. Wedding Photographer aims to turn moments into timeless memories. Your files & couples memories are irreplaceable!
If you want to know what lense I used, please check here.