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  • Writer's picturePeter Morgan

The Ultimate Backup and Workflow Journey for Creatives

We look at what makes a successful backup system, the components, the ideal outcome, and how we test that all is working before the inevitable happens.

As a creative, one of the worst and most frustrating ways our journey will be hindered will be losing files, whether it's due to a faulty memory card when capturing on the day of shooting or during the ingestion of images post shoot and prior to post-production.

So, what makes a reliable backup?

I recommend starting with three copies of your data stored on two different source mediums with at least one additional stored off-site. Three backups? Why the need for three backups? Surely, this is not only time-consuming, but expensive? Read on, and I’ll explain.

Would it surprise you to know that most commercial disaster recovery (DR) plans include three levels of backup security? On-site, offsite and cloud. Let’s look at the steps we need to take to ensure your data is secure and backed up regularly.

The above diagram is an example of a standard business backup solution. It looks complicated. Let's break it down into seven easy, straightforward steps.

Step 1: The Shoot - Media Capture (SD Cards)

Starting with the photo capture, ideally, I'd recommend using a camera with two card slots, giving a level of redundancy. Use good quality, high-capacity cards with fast read and write speeds and ideally, shoot using raw to both cards simultaneously or raw and JPEG if you deliver JPEG only. Having images copying to both cards reduces your chances of losing files to card failure, and shooting raw as well as JPEG allows for greater post-production manipulation should you accidentally over- or underexpose your image. Brands like Lexar or SanDisk are brilliant and have an extremely low failure rate.

Step 2: On-set Backup

A rugged drive such as the SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD attached to a computer or iPad is ideal if it’s being used outdoors or if you’re accident-prone! These types of drives can be used for backing up while you’re out on a job. Weddings are a great example where you might want to back up part way through a day. The SSD drive inside makes it an incredibly fast, light, and versatile backup option.

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