Having recently sat down with a young and exuberant, recently engaged couple, a rather nervous but upfront Bride to be asked me, “How will you protect or Wedding images?”
Fair Question. The young woman went onto explain that one of her female co-workers had the misfortune of hiring a “Nightmare” Photographer who lost most if not all of her Wedding images due to the Photographer’s poor business practices. In this case, the Vendor had cut corners and had not purchased professional quality hardware and or taken the time to develop a rock-solid image back up strategy to support his business. The poor Bride was now on the doorstep of the local Court system to try to recover her hard-earned money. Disheartening to say the least. Devastating I’m sure for the poor woman.
Sitting back, I watched with interest as my couple’s youngest Daughter methodically poured her over attention over her game of Jenga. Carefully balancing the wooden blocks one by one should they topple and her game went all to scratch. When it came to me how to best describe to my prospective customers how I would protect their Wedding images. Joining the young girl on the living room floor, I inwardly smiled and asked if I may play too? I hadn’t played a game of Jenga for years. The youngest member of my couples’ family smiled and said “Sure Mr. Photographer”.
Picking up my first wooden block, I placed it in front of my Customers and began my narrative.
“This is how I will ensure that your Wedding images are preserved from start to finish”!
- Equipment. While a number of Photographers will wholeheartedly invest in a decent DSLR camera and an expensive lens setup, they may turn their pocketbook to a series of cheaper non-professional memory cards which may very well be their downfall. As a Professional, I invest in quality media cards. Today these cards are not only super reliable but affordable as well. And when it comes crunch time, you’ll be glad you did. A good card will support a fast read and write time. They are less prone to corruption and you’ll be using them for years to come. Companies such as ScanDisk, Kingston, and Lexar all make quality memory cards and won’t break the bank.
- Shuffle Those Cards. Wedding day is not the time or place for a game of Texas Hold’em! Personally, I won’t use SD Cards with a greater storage capacity beyond 64GB. The school of thought being if ever a card was to fail or corrupt during a shoot, at least your only at risk of losing that series of images on the one card. Not the whole shoot. Additionally, the smaller cards are easier to work with and if tasked with attempting to retrieve any lost images through an arduous Data Recovery process. Less is more in this case.
- Invest in a set of quality SD Card Wallets. Inexpensive, affordable and practical. This is additionally one of those minor investments that will make a huge difference in securing your Customer’s images in a safe, protective manner. Amazon.ca hosts a wealth of these SD Card Wallets. You should ideally be looking to purchase the hardshell cases. The hardshell cases will protect your SD Cards from dust, rain, and accidental damage. The cheaper versions of these wallets are quite often soft and flexible in their construction. Not what you are looking for when your customers are paying you thousands of dollars to photograph their Wedding day!
- Pro tip # 1. Buy two of these SD Card Wallets. Mark one Wallet as ‘New’ in which you hold your empty cards ready for immediate use. Mark the second Wallet as ‘Used.’ Into which you would immediately put your full cards into for safekeeping. Follow this simple tip and you’ll never overwrite a full card of your morning’s Wedding shoot images with the evening’s Reception shoot images. Believe me, it’s happened.
- Pro Tip # 2. Card Management. Number your cards. Number them from one to whatever number of cards you may carry to a day’s shoot. As a Wedding Photographer, I carry 10 – 64GB cards to every shoot. Each card individually numbered so when I’m done with the current card I’m using, I can move onto the next sequentially numbered card. Easy breezy right!
And last but not least – The Back-Ups. At the Church, the Synagogue or the Temple, get into a regular habit of backing up your work. If your lucky enough to have an assistant, have them back up your cards while you work. A simple laptop with a portable hard drive work wonders for this additional level of security.
At the end of my wedding day shoot, I’ll have at minimum of three complete backups of all the images I shot that day. Better to be safe than sorry as Grandma used to say. God Bless that woman. I can still see her shaking that wooden spoon at me as a kid. I guess something sank in. Thanks, Granny!
Sitting back, and dropping that last Jenga block into place, I finished off the last sip of my beloved Tim Horton’s and thanked my prospective customers as I prepared to wrap up the day’s free Wedding Consultation. Confident in my explanation and hopeful that my knowledge and expertise would put the young couple’s minds at ease.
As Professionals in our chosen industry, it’s our responsibility to safeguard our customer’s Wedding Photography images! After all, there is no wash, rinse and repeat cycle at Weddings. We only get one shot to be our best. In closing, If you can follow one or more of these Wedding Photography tips above your off to the races. With your Customer’s images intact at the end of the day!
We, at Toronto Wedding Box asked Blair Atkins Photography to join us as a content partner because of their exceptional professionalism and vast experience. Nightmare wedding experiences are real, avoid them by trusting your wedding photos to only the best professionals.
Blair Atkins Photography | Visit their website