Protecting Your Wedding PhotosWords by David Zimmerman
Photos courtesy of LC Technology International, Inc
Destination wedding photos and videos contain priceless memories that simply cannot be duplicated if they are lost. With today’s DSLR cameras, you can easily take several thousand shots during the rehearsal dinner and ceremony itself. While you likely will only have 50 shots in a printed wedding album, you still want to save all of the images for a lifetime.
Keeping these memories in the digital age means proper management of storage devices such as hard drives and SD cards (the little cards that go in higher-end digital cameras). Follow these six steps to be sure you can remember that “first dance” and those flower arrangements forever.
- Be careful with your data. If you have a friend taking DSLR pictures of your rehearsal dinner and amazing wedding, then they’ll likely hand you the small SD card from the camera. Handle these cards with extreme care because they are fragile and can bend easily. They are sensitive to temperature extremes, so don’t leave them on your car dashboard and then bring them into a cool wedding reception room. You also want to give them 15-30 seconds before removing them after taking a photo. They need time to build the file the right way, so don’t rip them out before they’re done working! Static electricity is also bad, especially for the smaller Micro SD cards.
- Backup your backups. If you have an SD card filled with thousands of wedding photos, then you want to have several digital backups. After downloading the pics to your computer, you should then copy them onto one or more external hard drives. Consider giving one of the hard drives to a friend or relative to store away as an extra backup. Get a case for each hard drive to prevent damage from falls.
- Put your memories in the cloud. You’ve likely heard commercials about information going “in the cloud.” What this means is using computing and storage that isn’t in-hand, you simply access it through the Internet. Companies such as Amazon offer huge amounts of storage for minimal cost. Simply upload your precious wedding photos and videos and they’re safe and accessible when you need them.
- Don’t use the memory card in several different devices. Each camera is slightly different in the way it creates files to the SD card. Be sure you have one card that you (or the bridal party) use for every camera so you don’t have any file corruptions. SD cards are relatively inexpensive, so buy a bunch. If you have hired a professional photographer, it’s not rude to ask them to confirm they have a backup camera (or two) and plenty of storage cards.
- Don’t delete or alter pictures via the camera. If you have many photos on your DSLR of the reception, then you might be tempted to alter or delete them on the fly. It’s best to only delete photos after they are moved to a computer so you avoid any possible corruption issues. Otherwise, you run the risk of “backfilling” which means a new image goes in the place of the old deleted one. This type of error doesn’t happen often, but when it does, you likely can’t recover the data.
- Bring in a pro if something goes wrong. Despite all of your best efforts, there is still a chance your hard drive or SD card might become corrupted. Use a well-respected recovery firm with tested software to recover your files the right way.
Wedding planning is sometimes fraught with tension. Worrying about your photos and videos shouldn’t be a concern if you follow these six steps that will help you secure the memories from your special day.
About the Author: David Zimmerman, CEO of LC Technology International, Inc., has been in the hardware/software industry for over 30 years. During this period, he has been involved in the creation, marketing and support of the earlier drive recovery software products to enter the PC market. Zimmerman’s company is a global leader in data recovery, file system utilities and data security technology. LC Technology products are available worldwide and published in more than 24 different languages.
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