I just thought I would share this information for any other couples who have experienced this nightmare!
Our wedding photographer accidentally deleted our wedding photos, we have been absolutely devastated. We had such a perfect wedding and I designed the wedding specifically for the “LOOK”.. and it was ours and 6 other couples who lost their photos at the same time. WORST NIGHTMARE!
Four months later and we were still trying to recover them, thinking it was not possible. All the photos were on an external hard drive that had been accidentally reformatted..
How scary is that? How do you avoid this happening to you?
I guess there is no way to totally avoid this but there are a few steps you can take when choosing your wedding photographer:
Hire a professional – Definitely a good start. A professional shoots wedding for a living and relies heavily on referrals from happy clients. One bad shoot can spell disaster for a wedding photographer, especially with the way news travels over the social media networks. With so much weighing on a good experience and quality images for our couples, we know how important it is to back up.
Ask about back ups at your appointment – When you meet your photographer, you need to ask about their back up strategies. If they are serious about it, they’ll be able to let you know immediately. In our studio, we have a check sheet for every wedding that includes five separate back ups including wedding photo storage off-site. Our strategy start with a duplicate copy of every image shot in the actual camera.
Off-site storage – No matter if your photographer is working from home or in a studio, they should have a back up of your wedding photography in a place away from their main location of work. It doesn’t mater too much where that other place is as long as your wedding photos are stored on two different areas. This way, you are protected against fire, theft (of computers), flood or storm damage.
What if you have the Hi-Res Files – With almost every couple asking for the hi-res wedding photos, it’s important for you to know what happens with your files once your photographer has supplied you with the files. Whether or not he/she keeps the back ups is irrelevant, you just need to know either way.
Check your contract – If your wedding photographer doesn’t keep any back ups (or the contract you signed releases the studios responsibility of the files) once the files are handed over, you need to make sure you take care of that. This could simply mean you make multiple copies of your disc and keep at least one copy at someone else’s home.
Have options – My advice would be to have at least one copy on an actual hard drive and not solely on DVD – just in case you find in ten years time you go to access the disc and you can’t read the files. Who’s to say you’ll be able to retrieve them off the hard drive – well, not me, but at least you’ll have two options available to you. It’s all about covering your bases.
There is no excuse for not backing up any files, especially someones wedding photos. I guess the best thng you can do to avoid the horrible disappointment is to know you have a professional looking after you. Sure, the chances of your photos going missing are slim but, what if…
I mentioned choosing a professional wedding photographer for your wedding and it can be difficult working out who is or isn’t a professional, particularly when browsing the web. One of the best things you can do is read the article I wrote on why you should choose an AIPP accredited photographer for your wedding.
Here is another great reason to choose a professional photographer for your wedding: Do you really need a Professional Wedding Photographer?
Just to prove that it really can happen to anyone – not many people know this story.
About 6 years ago, I had an employee accidentally reformat not one but two hard drives. She was actually trying to do the right thing but had a major stuff up… twice!
We lost two complete hard drives with months of weddings on one and portraits on the other. I received the late night call, she had returned from a shoot in the city after photographing a school formal and thought she would help out by downloading all the images to be on the computers for first thing the next day.
Yes, there were tears
She called in tears.
The call ended with me in tears – haha, not really (but nearly) – but I was stressed, cranky, upset, nervous, concerned, anxious that I’d lost not one but two complete drives. How does that happen?
It turns out there was no excuse, she just failed to read and understand the on-screen warnings.
The good news.
We had back ups. We always have had. That’s what professional do.
It took a little work but not a single image was lost.
Occasionally, there will be mistakes, mishaps, accidents and the like. I can understand and have experienced the loss of a handful of images but never a whole wedding… touch wood.
What about Jade
The good news for Jade, from the beginning of this post, is she was able to recover her wedding photos, along with the wedding photography of six other couples on the same hard drive!
She took the formatted hard drive to a data recovery centre, at her expense, and they were able to recover every image.
What usually happens in a data recover job though, is that every single image, from all seven weddings will be randomly jumbled together. I’d hazzard a guess that Jade will be sorting through around 10,000 – 12,000 wedding photos, trying to find hers.
Now that sounds like fun (sarcastic)!
Have you ever experienced the loss of any images? Let me know in the comments below – I’d love to hear about it.
If you’re looking for ideas on how to back up your family snaps and precious photos, I give some idea in this blog post: Back Up Or Lose It!