photo representing a 3-2-1 photo backup system

Not Doing Photo Backup. Your Images Are Not Safe!

Are Your Photos Safe? What is your photo backup strategy?

Here is a simple photo backup system we use at Gilmour Photography to protect every image from the camera to the archive. The instant the shutter clicks, a duplicate RAW image is captured on a backup drive built into the camera. Instant backup means that in the event of data loss, damage, or corruption, we always have a backup of your images.

Before leaving your photo shoot, another photo backup is made to our laptop, creating a triple backup before we even leave the photo shoot. Keep reading to find out how we back up the images after the shoot.

3-2-1 Image Back-Up

Simply put, the 3-2-1 photo backup system means:

  • 3 separate copies of the photos are backed up
  • 2 different media or hard drives, are used for the backup
  • 1 copy of the images is backed up in a different geographic location

3 Copies of Each Image

  • Copy 1, Upon arrival at the photo studio in Calgary, the images are copied to a set of mirrored hard drives in our photo editing workstation.
  • Copy 2, The images are uploaded to our cloud storage. The cloud storage is a pair of data centres. Read more about our cloud photo backup.
  • Copy 3, A backup is made to an external RAID array kept in our Calgary photo studio. This backup is for long-term, redundant storage.

2 Media Types Are Used For Photo BackUp

Our images are backed up by multiple media types.

  • One copy is on the mirrored hard drives in our photo editing workstation.
  • One copy is on solid-state drives in our cloud storage data centres.
  • One copy is on a tape backup in our cloud storage data centres.
  • One copy is on the HDD RAID array we use for long-term photo backup at the studio

1 Copy In Multiple Geographic Locations

For long-term photo backup, we store the images in multiple geographic locations so they are safe from natural disasters and catastrophes.

One copy of the images is made on an external RAID array kept in our Calgary photo studio.

Another copy is saved in the cloud at a pair of military-grade data centres. One data centre is located on the East Coast and the other on the West Coast. Read more about our cloud photo backup.

When a hard drive crashes or a disc is damaged, we always have another copy. If you lose a photo, we can send you a replacement, usually on the same day, via our cloud backup system.

For a deeper dive into the 3-2-1 photo backup workflow, see this article at PetaPixel.

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