Data is in everything we touch, hear and see. Many of us don’t realize how data shapes our everyday life, until we lose it all. Imagine your computer being wiped, wedding photos gone, business shutting down…all because of data loss. Below, our DroboAmbassadors share the moment they realized the importance of backing up.
Backing up data is so important! It has been more than 25 years since I had a complete hard drive failure and lost a ton of data. However, I know many people who lost their important photos and documents which is scary! I back up on my Drobo not so much because of a previous tragedy, but to AVOID that from ever happening. My collection of digital photos spans from 1995 until today and includes hundreds of client’s weddings, mitzvahs, and the last six Olympic Games. The safety of these photos are paramount!
This is one of my most “valuable” photos. It was the last photo I took of my mother before she passed away. It’s this photo that made me realize I am not a photographer, but a historian capturing incredibly important images for my clients and myself. Is it my best photo? No. But it means the most to me.
A couple of years ago, I did a shoot for a new client that I really wanted to win over. After I got back home, I began working on the images straight from the hard drive. I nearly finished editing the images when disaster struck. My hard drive had failed! I had no backups and even deleted the images from the SD card. I contacted the manufacturer who pointed me in the direction of their recovery software. The process took a long time, but I managed to recover the data. From that day on, I knew I needed to change the way I copied and backed up data. My backup system now comprises of copying all RAW images from a shoot as soon as possible to my superb Drobo 5N2 and two portable hard drives, while also keeping the images on the SD card until the finished work has been submitted. This way, I have total confidence that my work is safe with Drobo at the heart of my workflow. I now go by the rule that if a piece of data does not exist in three or more places then it may as well not exist at all.
This is a photo of my son Lucas, taken the morning after he was born which means a lot to me. I would hate to lose this image.
In 2015, I started my photography company. My first shootings were in the wedding industry where I encountered my first data loss experience. While I was uploading the gallery after one of those weddings, my HDD with the wedding totally crashed. I was shocked and really nervous – especially because weddings cannot be reshot. Luckily, I was able to restore the pictures, but this was the starting point of my intense “backup obsession.” I’ve never been a technical nut or PC-professional and was suddenly confronted with the problem of having to create a NAS-system. Thankfully Drobo came into my life at the right time!! My new backup system was born in a better, more controlled and easy way!
One of my best friends is a 3D animator for Hollywood movies and video games. Years ago he called me to let me know he lost a large amount of his work due to a hard drive failure. Luckily, all of his professional work was stored safely on Blur Studio’s servers (the studio he worked for at the time), but much of his personal work that he kept at home on a single hard drive was gone forever. My backup system was non-existent and within days I had numerous hard drives on the way to rectify the problem. The thought of losing everything was unimaginable.
This is a self portrait of my wife and I standing under the stars in Sonoma with the Orion constellation overhead.
My team and I were tasked with photographing a very remote and very large room deep in a cave in central Mexico. 3000 feet below the surface and after camping three days underground, we reached our goal. We spent several hours setting up flashes and photographing this massive dark void. The route out required lots of swimming, for most of which I used my pelican case for flotation… We stopped to take one last photo five days after entering the cave, and when I popped the latches on my pelican case, water poured out. It was completely flooded! I was worried I lost all of our photos and five days of hard work. With no laptop on hand, I had to wait a week to get home before I discovered my photos were safe! I immediately backed them up before I flipped through them. I have always been an “over backer upper” but now I am more so than ever!
I remember sometime in the 90’s buying a 10gb hard drive, that at the time was one of the largest drives you could get. As I installed it, I wondered how I could ever possibly have enough information to fill such an enormous, seemingly bottomless drive.
Today, drive space is precious and 10gb is filled in the blink of an eye by artwork or by editing files for my YouTube channel. Backing up was done at random intervals and searching for old files could leave you in cold sweats if a folder had been given an odd name or never put in the right place. We can never truly recreate our art if we lose it and I wanted to make sure it never happened to me. I decided to find a storage solution which would suit my needs. I needed it to backup files on a schedule, be amazingly simple to use, and be fast… I found Drobo!
I painted this portrait of my father (below) after he died in 2015. In many ways it helped me deal with losing him. A print is framed on my studio wall and several other family members have prints also. If I were to lose the file, it could be reproduced from the print with some slight retouching. However, the importance of the file for me is what it represents. The days I poured into this in solitude. If I lost this, it would all be gone.
I once in the early 2000s almost lost a Thesis I was writing as the old computer I was using decided to stop functioning. Happily I had a Back-up on a USB Stick. From then on I always had at least two copies of important files, plus a digital copy in the Cloud of the super-important stuff. As I had also Hard-drives fail on me (usually just a week after their 1-year warranty expired) I made sure my back-ups are up-to-date. Happily this whole process has become much easier since I started to use a Drobo, as with its BeyondRAID technology the Drobo makes sure my Back-ups are there and I have less worries.
While this isn’t my most-prized photo I really love this image because of the feeling it gives me – a beautiful sunny day in the Lyngen Alps with great snow & company.
I have never lost a photo thankfully (touch wood), but I have heard some horror stories from friends and the fear of that drives me towards backing up. I believe a photo doesn’t exist until it’s in three different places.
This is a picture that I took of a child gold miner in Watsa, Northeastern Congo, 2004.
The importance of backing up hit me many years ago, I had been on holiday with a family member house sitting for us. My laptop wasn’t password protected and said family member had been using it while staying at the house. I never found out what happened but I came home to a laptop with a corrupt hard drive. I managed to fix the laptop but the data was gone. That was in the very early days of my photography journey, in reality what I lost probably wasn’t that important in the grand scheme of things but that feeling of loss is horrible. From that moment on I backed up somehow, finished JPG’s have always gone to my Flickr Pro account so they have always been held in the cloud but RAW files and secondary backups were always CD’s, DVD’s or more recently external HD’s. It took a big 3TB external drive to fail though to hammer home the importance of more backups. I survived that one thanks to having recently moved to that drive from another and still having the majority of files on my MacBook. I’m at a stage now that I can’t afford to lose anything, so the Drobo 5N3 gives that feeling of security. I also keep a 3rd backup on Amazon cloud hosting, it’s just good practice these days now cloud access and broadband speeds make it so easy.
Backing up my imagery has always been important for me. However, it was when I started working on my 20 year retrospective PHO20GRAPHY that it really hit home. I was working with thousands of images. We spent months scanning my older photographic prints and about a year shooting new digital imagery. All of this had to be securely backed up and well organized. Our Drobos were an invaluable part of the whole book production process.
I have a lot of images that mean something special to me. However, this is the image that I would consider to be the turning point in my career. It was the first time that I felt my vision had been fully realized and that anything was achievable. That was 30 years ago. Image of Vicky Brannigan at Morgan the Agency, make-up by Fiona Connon, hair James Mooney and styling by Nadia Pfeiffer.