The Best Way to Back Up Your Photoshoot


By Maddy Budd

One of the most important things about being a photographer is backing up your photoshoots. Messing this up can be disastrous, to say the least. But, don’t stress because we have the ultimate backup plan. As photographers, we know that most technology will break or fail at some point (this is one reason why we always carry two cameras!), similarly, when structuring your backup solution you should assume that every part of it may fail or break one day. The industry standard for photographers is to have three copies of every file you have using the 3-2-1 strategy. This means having at least three total copies of your data, two of which are local but on different devices, and at least one copy off-site.

Here is our guide to backing up your work with some extra links for more info on each storage solution...

1. Buy a camera that supports two memory cards and shoot on both cards at the same time

Doing this means you essentially have an instant backup of the whole photoshoot which is really important because, as most photographers will know, memory cards can be temperamental.

See our guide to the best memory cards for professional photographers here.

Pro tip: After your shoot, put one copy of your shoot in an SD cardholder (we love this one because it’s TINY) in your pocket so you have a copy on you. Leave the other copy in a separate location (like the boot of your car) so that way if any of your gear gets lost on the way back to the office you know you’ve got a copy on you. 

2. Back up to an HDD/SSD

When it comes time to take the images off your SD/CF cards and putting them somewhere more permanent a HDD or SSD should be the first of your 3 backups. There is a range of different options for HDD/SSDs and both have their benefits, so you should pick what works best for you. SSDs are about twice as fast and therefore a great option for your working storage AKA for storing files you are still using or working on. 

If you want more info on the best HDDs and SSDs and how they work you can read our in-depth blog on there here.

3. Use a NAS

If you’re not familiar with Network Attached Storage (NAS), it is hard disk storage devices that can be connected to an office or home network. You can set up your NAS to sync to your cloud so you don't have to wait around for it to upload and you can set up RAID (Redundant Array of Independent Disks) so you have redundancies if one drive fails.

Read our in-depth article on NAS and how to use it to back up your photoshoot here.

4. Cloud Backups

The last step is ensuring that all of your work is being backed up to the cloud - this is an important step because in the case where something tragic happens, such as a flood or fire, you can rest assured your work will be in the cloud-ready for you to restore on to your computer. A good option for this is something that provides a continuous online cloud backup that automatically backs up anything new that is placed on whatever drives you have chosen to back up!

Read our in-depth blog on the best cloud storage providers for photographers and how they work here

Tried and tested by many of the best photographers worldwide, this is the backup process we suggest for every photographer to use! Hopefully, this will help you run a safe and efficient backup system for your photography business.

Now that you are all backed up you can start culling photos with Narrative Select. Save yourself hours if not days when culling large amounts of photos of people with our AI-powered lightning-fast selecting tool that helps photographers weed out bad images.

Need to share those images with a client or as a blog post? Try Narrative Publish our long-form photo blogging tool that allows photographers to build portfolio stories and publish them directly to their existing website with ease.