Skip to main content

ASMP — American Society of Media Photographers

Back Up Your Work Offsite

By December 12, 2012April 19th, 2016Strictly Business Blog

In this digital age, backing up files is important. In all the seminars and workshops about workflow, I’ve been exhorted, begged, pleaded — “backup your work!”

Remember the 3-2-1 rule: 3 copies, 2 different media, 1 offsite. See for a detailed explanation.

I had done the 3 and the 2, but I never got around to the 1 offsite. It was always too much trouble to buy extra hard drives, and find where I was going to place them, etc.

Recently, a friend of mine’s apartment burned down. A freak fire nearly incinerated the whole building. Luckily he was unharmed and recovered his cellphone and wallet. Besides that, he had nothing. No computer files, no clothes, no childhood keepsakes, nothing. Even worse – no backup of his files. And no insurance (but that’s another topic).

The next day, I bought external drives, moved all files, and walked them over to a fellow photographer’s studio. He will do the same. Also, for the rare occasion I need an image pulled from my archive and I’m on location, he can access the backup archive and send on my behalf. I provided screen grabs of each drive, to make things easier to find.

Please, please, please backup your files offsite. You can do my “sneaker net” approach, or any flavor of online backup, from consumer services like,,, or research heavy-duty services like Amazon’s S3 service. It’s like catastrophic insurance; you never need it… until you do.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.