Do You Backup Your Pictures?

by | Apr 26, 2012 | Perspective | 8 comments

I used not to. But that changed after I learned my lesson!

Back in the early months of 2010, I had a method of backing up my files on DVDs, but because it was such a long process, I would procrastinate for months and months until I slowly ditched the whole process altogether. Then suddenly, after returning from a Florida vacation with my family, the “new” hard drive that stored most of my 2009 pictures bit the dust.

Though I learned my lesson to have multiple backups, I learned it the hard way. Looking back on it now, I realize how silly it was not to backup my pictures. But I was just getting started into photography and none of my external drives had crashed before; surely that would never happen to me, right? Wrong. It can happen to anyone.

And it can happen multiple times. Late one night in February earlier this year, as I was moving around pictures on my hard drives and running backups, I did something . . . something that I can’t exactly explain because I don’t know exactly what I did. All I know is that I made a mistake somewhere along the way and had deleted all my pictures from the month of January! Thankfully I had a third backup in a different location, so I took a deep breath, went to bed, and resolved to take care of it the next day, perturbed that it had happened.

Even more recently, as I was backing up files from my most recent excursions (and late at night again, too) I thought they had somehow been deleted and I just about fainted. God was merciful and chose to show that they really hadn’t been deleted (after which I almost fainted again) and I took a deep breath, went to bed, and resolved to take care of it the next day, exasperated that it had happened again!

So lots of lessons learned here.

1. First, don’t back up your hard drives at night. Smile

2. It’s best to store your pictures in more than two locations.

3. If you’re name is James, than for some reason it’s only natural to delete files while your backing them up. Just beware that at all times they are easily lost!

4. Remember that where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. If I get angry over loosing my pictures, than it means I am trusting in them for fulfillment and happiness. In truth, this is making an idol out of them because our jealous God wants us to find fulfillment only in Himself, for he knows that abiding in Him is the only way for us to find true happiness.

9149_Canon EOS 40D, 70 mm, 1-500 sec at f - 8.0, ISO 200

One of the many pictures I thought I had lost.


  1. James Staddon

    Thanks Daniel! Thankfully I’m not in need of it right now, but if I ever am, ahem, then I’ll have to check it out!

  2. Barbara

    Thanks James. I’m learning to back up my pictures as well, and I also tend to delete them while trying to back them up. WHY??? Oh well. I guess I’ll just trust that God will keep the ones he wants to use safe from my fingers!

  3. Bethany

    I’m glad that you got them back!

    We had that happen a while ago…hundreds upon hundreds of pictures got lost when our drive crashed(I think I could safely say even thousands), consisting of all family pictures for over 4 years, trips, friends, relatives, and everything else we took pictures of. For over a year, I thought that they were lost, and started again on taking the camera everywhere we went. Thankfully though, my dad told me about a month ago that he had gotten them all back! I was very relieved.

    Lesson learned…always back up your pictures. Now, what’s on my to-do list? Backup all the pictures, because none of the new ones I have taken are backed up. Better get busy =)

  4. James Staddon

    Wow, pictures of family events are even more distressing to loose because you will never be able to re-take them. I’m glad you got your first drive recovered, and I hope you get the rest of your pictures backed up.

    I recommend getting a Western Digital 1TB or 2 TB external hard drive for backing up your pics. You can get them for right around $100 on

  5. Bethany

    Thanks for the suggestion! I do think that my dad has a drive that we all back our documents/pictures on though…I’m not exactly sure….[I’m not the best with computers and such :P]

    During the crash, we had lost all the pictures we had ever taken of our youngest sister (only 2 years old), and of our next youngest sister (5 years). You can’t imagine our relief when we found out we could get them back!

  6. Benjamin Cahill

    There is a wise saying that goes like this: “There are those who have lost data, and those who will lose data.”

    For those of you who say you tend to delete photos when attempting to backup, this tells me you are not using an application to assist you. On Windows, SyncBack (free version) is nice, and I use Unison for two-way syncing.

    I currently have two 1TB datasets, with the less important in two places, and the more important in three. This is still not ideal, since I don’t have an off-site backup. I’ll have to work on that. 🙂

    James, I agree with the late-night remark. Many times, I code best at night since there are no distractions, but when dealing with data, it is good to have a level head. 😉

  7. James

    I always appreciate your perspective, Benjamin! I am glad that you have a good system for backing things up, and though I already use SyncBack (for most of my backups), I’ll have to check into Unison.


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