6 Steps To Protect Your Treasured Photos
This is part 2 of a two part article, covering 6 steps to take to ensure you do not lose any of your treasured photos. By not following these simple steps, you will leave yourself open to losing pictures. If you would like to learn wedding photography, this steps will help you to have a successful day.
Copyright (c) 2008 Tom Jackson
It can happen to even the best of us. I have seen professional photographers lament over the loss of photos they took at an event. In the old days of film cameras, it was quite difficult to lose an image. As long as the settings were correct, the film recorded the subject and was then processed and printed. The camera had just a few settings, and if the photographer took reasonable care, you were good, But in this day of digital cameras, everything is controlled by a computer, one in the camera, one in the lens, and one in the flash. The computers will do a pretty good job of preventing errors, but they cannot eliminate them. At least, if the photographer looks at the LCD on the back of the camera, you can be pretty sure that things are working ok.
1. Make sure that all your batteries are fully charged. This is critical, not just to make sure your camera can take photos on the day, but to also protect the photos you take and be sure the memory card does not become corrupt.
2. Make sure that you have enough memory cards to hold all of the photos you will be taking on the day. By having several memory cards available, you can shoot a number of images on each card and minimize the risk of losing all the images you take on the day.
3. Before you start the days event, make sure that you format the memory cards and get them prepared for the days event. Always format in the camera you will be using.
This is the continuation from part 1 of this article.
4. Never use a memory card in more than one kind of camera without formatting the card. You can not only damage a memory card but you may lose the images you have already taken by using the card in a camera other than a camera of the same make and model as the one you used to format the card. Most cameras will write the file a little differently, and so if you use the card in a different camera, you again run the risk of losing images. If you intend to use a card in a different camera, that make sure that you copy all the files onto your computer, and then format the card in the other camera before use.
5. Part of the reason for item 1 above (fully charged batteries), is not just to make sure you have enough power to take photos during the days event, but also to ensure that the camera will not power off during writing a file to the memory card. If the camera battery fails while writing a file, you will not only lose that image, but the rest of the images on the card may be lost forever. A memory card is just like a computer hard drive. It has a directory and file structure so that the camera and your computer know where the files are, how many files are on the card, and how big the files are. If the camera fails during writing a file to the card, it can corrupt the card, just like a hard drive crash. Also, never take a card out of the camera while the file is still being written to the card. Always make sure that if you need to remove the card after taking a photo, wait a few seconds to make sure the file has been written to the card to avoid problems.
6. When it comes time to move your photos onto your computerís hard drive, I suggest that you use a memory card reader and not the camera. Again, it is always possible that the cameraís battery could fail during the process to copy the photos over to your hard drive. If the card does become corrupt, you could potentially lose all the images. Also, it is usually much faster to use a memory card reader to transfer your images. Card readers are very inexpensive, and you have a choice of using a multi format reader or one designed just for the card type your camera uses. The price of memory card readers are so cheap, you can carry one with you and use it to show clients during the shoot. If you have a computer available, it is the most pleasing way to see the photos you have taken.
So, if you would really like to lose all those treasured photos, if you really want to have the hassle of explaining to your client, family or friends that you have lost all of the images you took, then just ignore these tips. You will lose some money, some friends and have to endure the wrath of some potentially very angry people. Good word of mouth advertising cannot be bought. So, if you do have a problem during the event, you will miss out on a lot of income that you could've made over the years. There are wedding photographers who consistently make well into the 6 figure income. And in the US alone, the wedding photography market is in excess of five billion dollars a year. Not a bad market to be in.
By following these simple steps, you will know that you have taken every step to ensure that your images will be saved properly. OK, well, maybe we do not need to be that melodramatic, but I am sure you get the picture (pun intended). Your clients will be happy, you will be happy, and your wallet will be happy. Plus, you get the benefit and the pride of knowing that you did a good job and that a small part of you will live on and be enjoyed by generations of people looking at your photos. Like a fine art painter, your photos will be seen and enjoyed by generations of people. It really doesn't get better than this. Enjoy.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Like many professionals, Tom Jackson began his career by shooting weddings. Tom has been a consultant to the graphic design, advertising and publishing industries, teaching digital technology. You can get more info on photography and see examples of his work here; For free tips visit Toms blog.