You know how when you go to someone’s wedding that they like to have photo montages of how the couple were from when they were babies to the present day? Do you realize that with the rise of digital photography, people will no longer have mere dozens of photos when they were babies, they would probably have dozens of photos for every WEEK.. at MINIMUM! Hence it’d be quite possible to have HOUR long photo montages during wedding.
Hence as a parent it is my responsibility to ensure that my children’s embarrassing baby photos are well kept to prepare for montage creation and blackmail purposes!
Since we're talking about digital media here, a simple shoebox or photo album ain’t going to cut it. You’ll need backups and redundant backups. In the past month I’ve seen friends post about not knowing how to deal with their children’s photos, and also the lost of a hard disk holding such photos. I guess now is a good time to talk about my children photo backup strategy. Here’s the component diagram.
All photos and videos of the children are primarily taken on one camera, my Sony NEX-3. The first step is to use Robocopy and copy the files into the main Home PC, the cool thing about using Robocopy to do this is that.
- It’s pretty fast and copying stuff
- It ignores empty subfolders when copying, this is a god send when dealing with cameras like the NEX-3 which create an empty sub folder for each day which is supposed to be containing videos even though you didn’t take any videos that day. This saves on sorting time.
If you haven’t set your camera to make a new folder per day, you probably should, I find it helps immensely with organization of the photos afterwards.
So after the RAW copy I’ll end up with a bunch of folders for the images taken in the camera like this
The 30520 type number in the end is actually the last digit of the year, month then day. Organization wise this would start to get confusing once you have photos for 2003 and 2013. Therefore when I copy the photos into my RAID 1 NAS (For the non technical readers, a NAS means it’s a storage devices ie. hard drive connected through the network instead of USB, the RAID 1 means that the device has 2 hard disk in them and the data is automatically copied between the hard disk so that unless both hard drives die at the same time, data can be recovered) I undergo one extra step of sorting and break out the photos into the following structure
I create a folder for the year, and then for every month, then I toss the photos inside the month folder. If there’re any important events during that month, they’re given their own folder again for easier cherry picking when looking for photos.
Even though the data is considered to be doubly backed up between the Home PC and the NAS (TRIPLE if you consider that the NAS has 2 hard disk inside of it) I must be ever vigilant of the worst case scenario in which everything fries at the same time. Therefore, once a month the data from the NAS is copied onto an external hard drive, this is designated as the LOCAL BACKUP DRIVE in the image above.
But as most data protection specialist will tell you, that is STILL not enough! That’s why I’ve recently obtained yet another external hard drive, this one is designated as the Remote Located Backup Drive this is the hard drive which sits in my office so that in case anything happens to my house, I still have a copy in the office.
Some would call this overkill, my wife wonders why I go through all this work when ‘It’s just some photos.’ But I know that if anything were to go wrong, she would be the one that would feel the worst over it. It is still overkill in the fact that I don’t even protect my work PC data with a NAS or an offsite backup! :P