As someone who relies on external hard drives for everything, I knew that one day I’d be writing a post like this. At some point, technology fails, and I count myself as super lucky that this is the first time ever I have had a hard drive fail on me. I just plugged it in one day, and along with some very questionable noises coming from it, it never showed up again.
Luckily, I was pretty much prepared for it to happen after hearing about horror stories from a lot of other photographers. All of my work for clients is safe and the only things I lost were a few personal photos and a few random files. I am very lucky, and I’m glad I took the basic measures to get things backed up. HOWEVER, this has given me warning for the future – I think there comes a (usually disastrous) moment in everyone’s life where they see the need to back things up, and this just happens to be mine. If you haven’t taken to back up or protect your files, then please let this little post be a reminder to do that. Share it far and wide to get the message to everyone one there.
1 – Create a ‘Mirror’ hard drive which doubles up your current hard drive.
There are various softwares that can do this for you, or you can always do it manually by copying photos to both whenever you import.
2 – Utilise online storage like Dropbox, Google drive or The Cloud.
Free or paid for – it’s worth it and as you can access these photos on your phone it makes uploading to Instagram pretty easy too.
3 – ‘Archive’ and don’t ‘delete’ when you deliver galleries
eg. Shootproof, Pixieset. Sometimes this comes at an extra cost, so way up if this is worth it to you. Hint: Most of the time it probably is worth adding this cost into your pricing.
4 – Use an online software such as ‘Backblaze‘
which backs up files from $5 a month
5 – Don’t wipe your memory cards for important jobs
A more expensive way of doing things and not necessary for everyday things – but if you have that Really Important Job™ it might be worth adding the cost of new memory cards that you never delete from or reformat.
6 – Don’t store things directly on your computer if you can help it.
Working off of backed up hard drives and online storage is generally more reliable.
Previously, I was probably utilising 3 of these methods on a consistent basis which is how I was able to get over this pretty unscathed. However, I’m still going to try and go through some data recovery to get back anything that I lost. It’s expensive though, and can be so easily prevented.
I hope this helps!
Jasmine Aurora x
Hi guys! I’m always interested to know what kind of photo equipment people use for their photos – mostly the lens, as I think that’s where all the magic really happens.
For me my photography totally changed when I was able to use this set up, and it was a fantastic investment. I’ve slowly built up to this equipment over a few years.
My most used set up…
Camera: Canon EOS 6D
Lens: SIGMA Art 35mm f1.4
Computer: 21″ iMac and 13″ Macbook Pro
Software: Adobe Lightroom Classic & Adobe Photoshop CC
You can see some examples of using only this set up here:
What About The Future?
Honestly? I’m up for experimenting with pretty much anything to see what can be made with it. In general I do prefer shooting with prime lenses (ones that don’t zoom!) because it adds a) a visual consistency through your work and b) absolutely gorgeous results and depth of field (my favourite). I don’t have the budget to expand soon, but I would love to try:
85mm f1.4 (Sigma or Canon)
50mm f1.4 (Sigma or Canon)
and perhaps have a go with a…
Canon 5d Mk4
Sony Mirrorless cameras!
I’m always interested in finding out what people use and why they love it.
What’s your favourite camera set up?
What would you like to try next?
Jasmine Aurora x
Something which I have started doing recently is taking some time after a key photoshoot to write a brief but detailed review on everything from how it went to how I want to improve.
I suppose I first learned to do this while studying photography both at a level and degree level. Remember back in art subjects where you had to fill sketch books with ideas and inspirations? It’s sort of like that but without the pressure as you’re the only one it has to benefit.
Why it’s a good idea
It keeps you on track with your work
It allows you to learn and become a better photographer
It helps keep your portfolio look consistent
It helps you identify what you love and what needs more work
What kind of photography will this benefit?
I can’t think of any form of photography that this might be a bad thing for. Personally I use it for family photography, documentary and fine art just the same.
Some prompts to get you started…
What went really well?
What obstacles did you face?
How could you have prepared more?
What did you learn?
How will you do it differently next time?
How does this fit into your portfolio?
How does this fit into your goals?
What did you enjoy / not enjoy about the process?
What’s your best image/feature and why?
And some key areas to focus on may be…
Interaction with people (models, clients etc.)
Lighting and equipment
Tones & colour
Concept, message & storytelling
Movement and emotion
Okay…. so do I need to do this every time?
You can do it as much or as little as you want. Personally I’m doing it for almost everything I shoot at the moment because I’m very much young in the world of photography and I want to learn and grow as much as I can. Sometimes I group a few similar shoots together, sometimes I focus on just one image.
What do I need?
You pretty much have three options: physically journalling in a notebook, finding a way to do it digitally or a mixture of the two.
Personally I use my bullet journal to work out what it is I want to get out of the shoot, to explore new ideas and get things down on a page. I then write the actual review after the shoot on Google Docs on my photography account so that it’s all there together backed up and always accessible.
Taking some time to review your own photography is a skill that I think is really helpful in advancing as a photographer. Of course, everyone is different. Some people may prefer to write this down, some may find talking it over with another person is more helpful or even just having a think about it while you’re in the shower.
If you review your work I would love to see, please feel free to link me in the comments, send me message or tag me on instagram if you’d like to share it with me. Journalling and bullet journalling are both things I bloody well adore, so I’m always up for seeing more.
Have a great day,
Jasmine Aurora xo