Funny one! But jokes aside, somewhere in your photography journey you are going to lose images. Due to neglect, idiocracy, theft, hard drive crash, SD card malfunction…. Whatever the reason you are going to experience the horrible, earth swallowing embarrassment of explaining to a client, those images you just captured… are all gone!
My 9 tips to you!
Firstly buy Sandisk, buy quality memory cards, do not opt for cheap alternatives to save a buck. I have had cheap cards pulling apart, corrupting images… and believe me, the extra few Rands spent on a quality memory card is worth every cent.
Furthermore, buy fast cards, the faster speeds, mean they read faster and record the images faster on the card. Imagine shooting the first kiss at a wedding and your camera hangs because your camera is waiting for your card to catch up.
BE HONEST! Yes in CAPS!
Don’t beat around the bush, don’t keep your client on the line. Come out with the truth. There is nothing worse than being lied to, explaining to your client what happened… in the worst case, they will ask for their money back or a reshoot or scream at you and maybe cry.
The toll it takes on you by lying is going to cause you a nervous breakdown, and by the time you come out with the truth after lying for weeks….you won’t just be an idiot for losing images, but now you have added, liar, crook, unethical and thief to your C.V
I literally won’t format a card unless I made 100% sure the images have been loaded:
1. Onto my laptop and
2. Onto my external hard drive….. Amazon has some good external hard drives – https://amzn.to/3C0F7vJ
3. I don’t format images on an SD card unless I know I have finished editing the images and have delivered the images.
So that means I have more than 12 SD cards. Can I tell you why? I learned my lesson years ago by losing 2 photoshoots after formatting the card and reshooting on it.
This is a cardholder for the memory cards, this is a MUST! Most of these, like the ones from JJC, are secure and waterproof.
Don’t place memory cards in pants or jacket pockets and think you are going to remember them, I think most of us have a near memory card death by washing machine story.
How you handle your cards should not be a habit but a religious exercise.
I have a little system where if the memory card is full, I put it back in the case upside down. The ones facing up are ready to use.
I have thrown a memory card into a dustbin because I got distracted. I was cleaning the area after a party and also decided to put my memory card away safely when my client started chatting with me…. 3 days later I eventually found the memory card in the dustbin in a yogurt container. I don’t cry easily… I cried with relief. When handling your memory card, focus on what you are doing.
Copy and paste
Never cut and paste images! Copy and paste. See your memory card as a backup until you have a secure backup in place. Sometimes during the copy and paste your files might get corrupted, you will need the originals from the memory card to salvage the corrupted images.
Worst-case scenario – Theft
The only way I can think of getting past this one is to hide the memory cards in the car or on yourself in the Tote, before leaving the wedding or shoot.
If you have insurance, GREAT! The cameras will be replaced however those wedding images won’t be. Separate your memory cards from the camera bag in a safe place.
There are devices now to back up the images straight on the spot https://amzn.to/3ibIKHi
Firstly, when you realize that you have accidentally formatted the card, DO NOT USE that memory card until you have recovered the images. You will not be able to recover the images if you have done a whole new shoot on that card… many have tried, many have cried. You do get some great software out there to recover the images from the card.
Rescue Recovery has saved my backside more than once – https://amzn.to/3zMGTP6
When you are tired, go to bed.
When I get home from a shoot and I can still think straight, I will download the images and start sorting them…. However, after a wedding, I am probably not in the best position to handle the photos and should rest up before screwing up some precious memories.
Once upon a time I did format the SD card AND somehow deleted the images on my pc in a 30minute window. Thank goodness I could retrieve the images from the recycle bin.
Moreover, your memory cards are like a piece of gold, mishandling them could destroy your reputation as a photographer. My biggest piece of advice is being OCD with them. If you need to check and recheck that you have downloaded the images, recheck them!
In conclusion. Have you put them in a safe place? Are they all in a secured case? Are they backed up? Not sure?
Check and check again!