I mentioned in a previous article about how important it was to have backup equipment on a wedding day as a photographer. Be it a second camera, a camera with two memory card slots, multiple lenses, and spare batteries. Hopefully most of it sounds like common sense, but you would be forgiven for thinking that bad things don’t sometimes happen, and occasionally for no reason whatsoever.
Unless something drastic happens to a piece of equipment, eg it gets dropped, knocked on the floor or against the wall, or something of that nature, it’s very rare that it will just decide to stop working. Some key parts are more prone to failure than others, and some even have a ‘lifetime’, like the shutter mechanism in some cameras. These can usually be replaced, but not in the middle of a wedding day!
So things like a backup camera, several lenses that can serve a similar purpose (or have some overlap), a second flashgun if one is being used, swapping memory cards and batteries several times during the wedding. These are all things that can be done to mitigate risks and ensure most if not all of the images taken survive after the photographer has packed up and gone home.
Once back home, the process continues. Many photographers after importing the images to their computer will keep the raw data on the memory cards for some time as a physical backup while they edit the photos. Once imported, it’s important to make copies of the images to a few different locations. External hard drives work well (or at least something outside of the physical confines of the computer), and some even send the images to a cloud storage solution. This is arguably the best thing to do in terms of backup, as it’s not ‘on site’ so won’t be lost in case of a fire at the photographer’s home or studio, and can be accessed from anywhere in the world.
What’s key here is that a good wedding photographer should always be taking steps to ensure there is adequate redundancy, not only for his equipment, but also the images taken and is working on during the wedding day and beyond. To trust to fate and only ever have one copy of your photographs is taking a very big risk on what is of course a huge day in your life and a big financial investment. Technical failure is rare, but it does and has happened to people, so it’s good to know your photographer is taking steps to avoid this happening to you.
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