Importance of Cold Backups

As a wedding photographer, any news about a backup failure grabs my attention.    The most recent world wide-spread failure of Western Digital My Book Live’s drive made us wonder about how many wedding photographers worldwide may be using such consumer systems as their primary backup for their work.  Hopefully none.  Technically, the fault was not a mechanical drive failure – it was a programming issue that remotely wiped drives.  That’s actually scarier because it wiped all data that was contained in healthy, working hard drives.  Sadly, WD My Book Live’s users were faced with a complete wipe of their drives.  If your drive was connected to the internet, a hot drive – then your data was at risk.

This underscores the importance of cold backups.  Data that has been backed-up then it is taken completely offline. This prevents any hacker, programming fault, or electrical issue to cause the drive to fail.  Mechanical failure is still possible, so you should always have multiple cold backups and/or SSD drives as an additional layer of security.  In our previous blog post, we detailed our backup method in which includes an offline backup.

Always, always have a copies (underscore the “s” here) of the wedding as a cold-backup.  Copy copy copy.  You can never have enough copies of a client’s special day.

Never, ever have an unedited, unreleased wedding only in your live editing computer or just in the “cloud”.  You never know when the cloud may turn into a thunder storm or your live system may get hacked by a bad actor.  You do not want your client’s wedding photo held hostage at any point.  If you have a cold backup, then the solution is always simple.  Just copy it over to a clean system then edit fresh.  At minimum, we believe every wedding photographer should have:

  1. Hot: Editing Computer’s copy
  2. Hot: NAS drive backup (We love Synology)
  3. Cold: Backup #1 (on site)
  4. Cold: Backup #2 (off site)

Always copy.  More you copy, happier you will be.

Garland & Davi's wedding rings frozen in their ice sculpture.

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