I came across an online post in an online wedding forum the other day that practically made my heart stop. The bride was contacted by her photographer just a few days after her wedding with news that his computer crashed….meaning all but 100 of her wedding photos were gone.
Yes, things happen and anyone’s computer can crash at any time but professional photographer prepares for the worst before it even happens. Prior to hiring someone to photograph one of the most important days of your life, ask what his or her plan is in the event of a hard drive failure. If the response doesn’t fall into the “don’t worry, I make backups of my backups”, quickly walk the other way.
Protection of your wedding photos should begin at your wedding. Although a memory card may hold 16gb, it does not mean that the card should be filled. In the event of a card becoming corrupt, many of your photos would be lost. Instead, your photographer should switch out memory cards every hour or two. Filling a memory card up entirely can be risky, so be sure to remember that when taking your camera on your next vacation.
Your wedding photographs should never be deleted from the photographer’s memory cards until there are at least two copies in separate locations. I personally store a copy on my hard drive, an external drive, and a dvd. In the event of a computer malfunction, I still have other copies to fall back on.
If your photographer claims that your images are ‘lost’, don’t let it go. There are numerous data retrieval companies specializing in this type of situation, with the ability to retrieve images that were lost due to corruption or failure. Although it can be quite expensive for the photographer to pursue this route, any true professional won’t think twice before taking action and contacting this company.
When meeting with potential photographers for your wedding, be certain that asking about backup storage is on the top of your ‘questions to ask’ list.