The Importance of Secure Photo Backup For Photographers

7 important reasons why photographers need secure backup for their images

By Rebecca Goutorbe

Disclaimer – This website contains affiliate links to the products and services SmugMug offer, you won’t pay any more for the products or services they offer but I may get a commission Thank you  

The importance of secure photo backup for photographers can not be stressed enough. Photographers must have a backup plan for their images. They need a copy, and they need to get into a routine of backing up their images. The backup needs to be secure too.

The more you go along the photographers journey the more you learn and more stories you hear about photographers loosing their images from not being backed up properly. If you have’t got secure photo backup it could be you next.

Take a look at the 7 important reasons why photographers need secure backup for their images

1. Computer backup for images

Using your computer to backup your images makes sense but it’s no good.  Your computer storage is not never ending. It depends what you are using a desktop or laptop. Either way soon enough there will be no space left storing high res files on your computer because of this it will then run slow. Programs won’t work properly. What if the computer crashes or breaks, it can just causes you more problems.

An example of what loading up your computer with loads of photos is like doing. Imagine your computer is a fast car like a Ferrari. Then load up too many images to the computer. The computer will now be like the Ferrari towing a caravan. 

2. Memory card backup device

Memory cards can be a photographers worse nightmare. A photographer will pay thousands for photography equipment but after the photo shoot the memory card is the only thing holding all the information you need to make money from the photo shoot. Don’t try and use memory cards as a backup device for your images.

A tip with memory cards – Do the photo shoot and get the photos off the card. Do not use the memory card or format the card until the photos are edited and backed up. 

Second memory card tip – Don’t buy bigger than a 32GB memory card, if you want bigger buy two 32GB. Memory cards don’t last long and they are not a backup solution at all for storing photos. 

3. External hard drive backup for photographers

USB’s and external hard drives are a very good concept and are great for storing for your photos on instead of storing them on your computer.  Although they are not cheap and they don’t last forever. The cheaper the USB or external hard drive the less reliable. There is no doubt you do need some kind of external hard drive, but don’t use that as your only photo backup plan. The external hard drive needs backing up too. These are a disaster just waiting to happen.
 I had this happen last year with not one but two external hard drives which broke. One the cable connector snapped inside the case, then just the following week another just completely stopped working. 

4. Store and organise photo backup

The backup you are going to use needs to be organised.  If that is 20 little USB memory sticks with name tags hanging off them or a 1TB external hard drive. Whatever you are going to use as backup must be organised well inside. If it not you will never find what you are looking for when you most need it. Its fine naming folders, or renaming folders. When there are hundreds of blue folders inside the external hard drive it can take forever just to find one photo your looking for. We have all done it named a folder ‘this one’ or ‘its here’, ‘this one 2’  ‘THIS ONE 3’ or the dogs 1234 you get the idea. More than anything its frustrating and wastes time. Your backup does need to be organised well and this will save you so much time.

5. Privacy controls for photo backup

The backup and any copies needs to be kept safe, secure, and private when photographers are dealing with clients images. You can’t be careless with them or leave them floating around on a USB on your desk or a folder on your computer. They need to be securely stored. 

SmugMug secure photo storage

6. Photo backup access available on mobile device

What ever the reason may be to need to find an image or a folder of images. Being to able to use a mobile phone to easily access your full backup just saves so much time. 

7. Make money from your backup of images

The final important reason for secure backup for your photos is that the backup will earn you more money. A lot of clients will return in time for more images from a photo shoot or they will want to order a few more prints. If you have lost, deleted or not securely stored the images you will have no extra money from the original photo shoot. Not only that it doesn’t sound very professional either. If you can’t find your photo’s or have to tell a client sorry I deleted your images because I ran out storage space for them, it is no good.    

There is a simple solution to secure photo backup for photographers its called SmugMug

With a SmugMug basic account you get cloud-secured unlimited photo storage. There is no compression, what you upload you can download exactly the same file size. There are privacy controls on your galleries and account. Download the free apps, upload automatically from Lightroom and automatically backup your external hard drive of photos to SmugMug. Upload and access all photos from your phone.  The SmugMug unlimited photo storage is cheaper than photo storage with Dropbox, Google Photos, Amazon or Apple Photos. Take a look at my Review for SmugMug about how I have used the storage, websites and sold images and prints online with SmugMug.


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