Professional Photo Backup System

by

Photo © Copyright Image Mechanics

As a professional photographer, you know it’s extremely important to keep backups of your photos so you don’t lose them. Part of your backup strategy includes accurate and efficient labeling, and a system for storing at least one copy of your photos in a separate location in case something happens to your local copy.

Image Mechanics, a high-tech, cutting edge photography company in Los Angeles, seems to have found an ideal backup and archive solution. They routinely work with photographers that shoot over 3000 medium-format images per day, so they need a system that will allow them to archive very large numbers of photos at a reasonable cost. Expandability — being able to add more capacity to their backup system — is also very important to them.

Furthermore, they determined that it isn’t practical or necessary to keep all of their archived photos live and accessible on a server 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. A system like that would be very expensive to buy and very expensive to operate continuously.

Here’s a snapshot of their system:

  • External hard drive enclosures with removable hard drive trays
  • Individual bare hard drives mounted in the removable hard drive trays
  • Identical A and B copies of each hard drive
  • Each drive labeled with its shoot number and “A” or “B”
  • Stored in custom-cut, anti-static foam inserts
  • One copy stored in a fire-safe file cabinet
  • One copy stored off-site in a Pelican case
  • A simple text file contains an index of the archive, with shoot date, photographer’s name, and client or subject.

Sounds like an excellent, efficient, and economical archive system. Read more about it on the Image Mechanics blog.

Here are some related articles in the Photobird Daily that you might also be interested in:

More articles in the Photobird Daily about photographic adventures with Image Mechanics, the company profiled in this article:

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