There’s no secret here: we live in a digital age. The time of dropping off rolls of film down the chute at your local drugstore has ceased, and digital delivery is now king. I have been using digital delivery for images since my business began simply because it’s cost-effective and easy for clients. But after you get your images, you don’t want them to JUST live on the computer (or maybe you do?). After you hit download, what steps should you take to preserve your wedding day photos?
Back Up Your Images in Three Places
How many times have you downloaded your images (in high-res, right? You did pick high-res and NOT web-sized?) and just left them right on your desktop or in your documents folder? No no! Digital items that are near and dear to you should be saved in more than one location. Typically, it’s suggested to save your images in at least three different places. So one place could be locally on your computer; another could be on a USB drive or external hard drive; and another should be in the cloud. It’s helpful to have at least one of these places be NOT at your home (the cloud is a good spot or a safe).
Get a Cloud Backup System
I use a cloud backup system for my own personal photos and even my iPhone photos (I pay extra for iCloud space so I never lost anything). I also use a cloud backup system for my business. This makes sure that your photos are NEVER lost. I personally use Backblaze, but there are MANY companies out there that can help you constantly backup your images. I highly suggest investing in one of these.
The best part about services like Backblaze is that they usually automatically backup your images for you. So for my client work, I always have redundancy (two hard drives, one cloud system, and a memory card — ALWAYS) so that if something does happen (and it has happened to me), I have everything backed up so that nothing is lost. Technology is wonky and I’ve lost personal photos from a once in a lifetime trip when they were just saved on my computer (back in 2007 when I should have been backing up to disc). Don’t let this be you!
Create an Album
These days, there are numerous companies where you can upload some photos and have a wizard design an album for you. Most of my wedding collections include albums which is great for you – another place to preserve your memories. I highly suggest if you are investing a great deal into your wedding photography that you also purchase a professional, heirloom quality wedding album simply because it will match the beauty of your digital images. Plus, I know as a kid I ADORED looking through old photo albums of my parents. I don’t think this will necessarily go away; in fact, I would say that these heirloom albums are passed down from generation to generation. If you didn’t get a professional wedding album from me, the option is always there! Contact me!
If you don’t get a professional wedding album from your photographer, I suggest at bare minimum making a press printed album that you can flip through on your anniversary. It’s easy and anyone can do it. It’s a cost-effective way to make sure that you have a substantial number of images in print, just in case they go kaput one day (you just NEVER know).
Print Them & Hang Them
I’m a photographer, so naturally my home is filled with photos. There are a few wedding photos mixed in with photos from my travels or other important moments. Even if you don’t get professional prints of your wedding photos, print them somewhere. I can’t guarantee they’ll look as gorgeous as a professional print, but nonetheless, get them off the hard drive and onto your walls. And then send me a photo of them because I want to see it! I love seeing my work in your home!
Photos are meant to be enjoyed and I think culturally we have lost the tangible joy of having photos in our hands and on our walls. To combat this in my own home, the last time Josh and I did a session, I printed almost all of the photos just so we could flip through them whenever we wanted. Technology is great for allowing us to have MORE photos and lowering the cost barrier to entry, but I still love seeing my photos every day when I wake up and remembering that time we were in Italy on our honeymoon, or when we were eating delicious cake at our wedding. The photos may change over the years, but that’s okay.