How to backup your photographs

When it comes to our photos these images are a livelihood. They keep the lights on and food in our bellies. People would say that gear is the most important aspect of photography. But I would say you can replace a camera or a lens. An image only happens once in a lifetime. That moment is everything, and protection should be a priority for us photographers. This is how I back up my images and recommend you should too or at least try and do at least two of my suggestions. But again, your life, your moments and do with them as you please.

External hard drive

Backup your image onto an external hard drive. This is a no-brainer, we should all have an external backup of our images. Not only on your desktop or your computer or phone. The amount of people that don’t back up their phone images is scary to me. Everything I shot I put on external hard drives. Brand, and type change and get cheaper and better all the time. I recommend you get the best quality you can afford.

Backup twice

You should have at the very least two copies of all your images. I’m excessive and aim for at least three copies of all my image archives. The reasoning for this is that if a hard drive fails, gets damaged or corrupted you have another copy. I aim for three copies, but two is fine. And if at the very least one copy is backup to the cloud, you should be OK.

Update your drives

Technology is moving so fast. Things are getting smaller, faster, cheaper and more secure. Updating what you achieve is on is a must, I would say every 5 to 7 years put everything on new fresh hard drives. This minimises corruption and technology becoming outdated. Like, imagine if your hard drive still needed a firewire 800 or a zip disc. I’m showing my age here. But you get the point, you need to keep up with the times

Off site backup

This is one of the most important ones, after having at least two copies. I recommend you have an external drive stored off site from all your other back-ups. That way if there is a fire, water damage or a burglary, you will still have all your work safe off site. If you can afford it, get a safety deposit box. Most banks will provide this service. And this is the most secure storage you can get. I have one and had to get a bigger size to store my hard drive in. But over the years, those hard-drive have got smaller in size. But I have never regretted purchasing a safety deposit box. If that is too much, then at a friend or family’s house would suffice.

If you had to take away anything from this article. I would suggest having two external copies of your images. Keep one drive stored off site. Keep your work and memories safe. Keep photographing, and recording the world and the lives around you.


  1. Hi Alexander, I do enjoy your blog and have done for a long time, some of your photography is quite evocative. However, there is one thing that generally both amuses and frustrates this English reader, and that is your spelling, even though I have never commented before on the subject. This one really took the biscuit though... ----------------------------------------------------- site See synonyms for: site / sited on Elementary Level noun the position or location of a town, building, etc., especially as to its environment: the site of our summer cabin. the area or exact plot of ground on which anything is, has been, or is to be located: the site of ancient Troy. Computers. website. verb (used with object), sit·ed, sit·ing. to place in or provide with a site; locate. to put in position for operation, as artillery: to site a cannon. ------------------------------------------------------------- sight See synonyms for: sight / sighted / sighting / sights on Elementary Level noun the power or faculty of seeing; perception of objects by use of the eyes; vision. an act, fact, or instance of seeing. SEE MORE verb (used with object) to see, glimpse, notice, or observe: to sight a ship to the north. to take a sight or observation of (a stake, coastline, etc.), especially with surveying or navigating instruments. SEE MORE verb (used without object) to aim or observe through a sight. to look carefully in a certain direction. -------------------------------------------------------------- The two have completely different meanings, they are not merely alternative spellings. PS. You don't have to post this. if you don't want to. Have a great day.
    • Thank you for pointing that out. I do appreciate the constructive spelling feedback. I think I'll write an article about this but I do have dyslexia and have struggled to read and write my whole life. I am working on this, and do not take offence to your feed-back and help that I take as good intentions. When I was a kid I couldn't read or write, I only started reading in my mid to late 20's and my first attempts at truly writing have been this blog, aside from university which was hard. Thanks again A.B Watson

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