This is one of my favourite shots of Lydia, my daughter, taken six years ago when she was just two years old as part of a family photography shoot we set up just outside the pretty village of Shere in Surrey.
She does not look like this now; she has changed in many, many ways. The image is important to me for several reasons – all emotional. I remember the fun we had on the day, her super-pretty red shoes, that lovely dress that was her favourite at the time. She was easy to pick up and hug and we both loved cuddles. We had lunch in the lovely White Horse Inn – when it was still independent – and viewed the village church afterwards
Photographically, I was experimenting with muted colours and toning, understanding light and considering the effects of different backgrounds.
All in all, then, this shot evokes oodles of memories and associations. How would I feel if I lost it? Very sad, as you might expect, for I would lose not just the image but a reminder of the feelings, emotions and associations of the day and the time in our lives.
Part of family photography is about images that jog memories of events, after all.
OK, so I have established why this is important. As you would expect, I have a strict regime for backing up and securing my professional images and I use this for the personal images as well.
You probably won’t need to do all this, but pick at least two that you can use:
1 All images are downloaded from my camera cards, phone, compact camera, etc, after every shoot onto my desktop computer (well, actually it’s a server, but you get the principle).
2 I select the images I want to keep and delete the rest
3 The selected images are backed up onto DVDs and these go to a storage place well away from where I live. A good tip here is to take them into work or post them to a friend or relative.
4 Every night, I run a backup that copies the images from my desktop to an attached portable hard drive
5 My desktop computer is backed up to the cloud (I use BackBlaze which is reliable and inexpensive ) in real time throughout the day.
6 Before periodically removing the original images from my desktop computer, they are backed-up and stored offsite on another hard disk.
I strongly suggest you do at least 1 and 5 – this will give you at home and offsite copies of your images. But mainly, please, do not use your camera cards or phones to exclusively store your images – we all know someone who has lost special shots in this way.
Now it’s your turn:
Look at my list again and pick options that ensure you have at least two copies of your images – preferably one offsite. Cloud storage is good for this – check out this review of online storage products.
Does that feel better? Do let me know what you think.
And, most of all, enjoy yourself . . .
This post is a one in a series on Family Photography hints, tips and advice that I will be posting in the run up to Christmas. Please add a comment here or on my Facebook page if there is any aspect of your photography you’d like some help with.
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