How do you store your images?

With JPG’s at several MB and RAW files weighing in at tens of MB, how do you store your digital photos and keep them safe?

Do you archive off to optical media? Perhaps you keep a backup of your images on an external USB/network drive? Remote, online storage perhaps? Or maybe something completely different?

Personally, I can’t use the optical media method as it’s too repetitive and I end up forgetting or just not bothering.

Another problem that I would have with write-once media is that I sometimes go back and edit old photos. I could imagine things getting messy for me if I used CD/DVD back-up. Also, each disc doesn’t store enough for my liking as I can easily fill an 8GB CF card in a day. At the last wedding I was at, I shot over 10GB in about 12-hours.

Perhaps, larger capacity optical media could be used for archiving…

Online backup is slow, but cheap. Mozy (part of EMC so they’re pretty legit), for example, offer unlimited backup, but my upstream is 512kbps at best so this is proving to be a very slow process. So far, I’ve backed up 184GB using this method, but I’ve still got a lot more.

Ideally, I’d like a RAID array stored in my garage to back up my photos over a fast, secure, wireless network. Sounds a bit pricey, though!

CDs/DVDs are a pretty safe and cheap storage method. Burn them to a DVD, check the disc for integrity, and store the disc in a fire-proof safe.

You could use external USB or network drives, but those would fill up quickly and the files still run the same risk of being edited or wiped as they do on your internal hard drive. Online storage for such high amounts of data is also a bit extravagant, when compared to cost and the time it’d take to upload them.

CDs and DVDs are cheap, safe, reliable, and can hold a considerable amount of data in an uneditable way so you don’t have to run the risk of accidentally having one of your original files being saved over.

Personally I store them in a HDD, because optical media like DVDs(CDs are passé) are a bit unreliable than HDDs & anyways HDDs are getting cheaper every week. A 500GB or 750GB HDD is quite cheap these days.

Right now I’ve just 1 500GB HDD for storage which I don’t keep plugged into my PC all time but sometime later I plan to get a RAID compatible HDD Box in which I’ll plug in 2x750 GB HDDs joined in RAID 1 and store my data there, so in case of a failure of 1 HDD my data will still be safe & retrievable from second HDD. :slight_smile:

I pretty much use my HD like others here. Then again, while my pics are valuable to me they are not priceless and while it would be a crying shame to loose them in some nightmare data corruption, it wouldn’t be the end of my world. :shifty:

I did look into online backup such as jungledisk, but it seemed pointless for me as of the moment. I do think safe storage will become a greater issue for me in future, so I’m keeping my eyes open for solutions :smiley:

I’m using an external USB hard drive (Maxtor 500GB) as a backup but I don’t shoot very often. I don’t want to lose my kids’ pics though and I don’t know if this solution is enough to protect them. I do store DV videos on the same drive too which is making it full very fast.
How about Blue-ray discs, anyone using them?

I haven’t used Blu-Ray, but have you considered an online back-up service such as They offer a free 2GB account so you can try it out. I think I’ve a promo code somewhere that’ll give you a bit of extra storage… I think it’s really worth considering especially if you don’t shoot often.

Well at this movement I store on my hardisk and then pass through DVD

I store my images on my HDD with LightRoom2, but the best images I copy to another folder in psd format, then I’m working with them in photoshop…
and sometimes I’m burning new images from that folder to DVDs.

My strategy is very similar to what has been stated here, with one exception.
I transfer all photos from the camera to my PC. In the Startup group on the PC is a batch file that copies (only those that have changed) to an external USB [500B] Maxtor.

The major problem with this approach is that the backup device is very close to the PC. So in the event of a fire/flood/catastrophe it is likely my PC and my backup would be effected.
The wise thing to do is copy to another medium and store off-site (or, at least, in another room).

you can actually save your pictures through a writable compact disc. In this way, you may able to compile them in your cabinet.

Raw files, on a portable hard disk.

Cd’s or dvd’s fail on storage, they don’t keep it so long. After a few years, the data fades away and isn’t readable anymore.

They start off on my hard drive, and if I remember, they get archived to optical media. I’ve pondered getting an external hard drive to store my images as well as various other files I have on my computer and laptops, including some video that I have shot.

I archive 1st edit RAW and Final retouched TIFFs on Raid 0. That’s all.

I do not trust any of the media types so i use multiple - I am storing RAW on a separate HD, archived retouched TIFFS on another one and DVDs and final Jpegs on DVDs as a last chance of recovery. I can’t store RAWs on optical media as i need them from time to time.

RAID 0 seems pretty attractive, but has a single point of failure as well - the PC itself.

If i will try Serious photo business as a photographer one day, i would suggest using hosted storages and uploading encrypted archives there.

I’ve recently become a huge fan of JungleDrive and Amazon S3. I’m able to backup my MacBook, my PC and my Linux server each to separate buckets on the same S3 account for less than $10 a month. Before this I was using Mozy but it didn’t support Linux.

Hosted? I have about 50-80G of RAW files after a days production then after editing and develop that’s another 30-50G for the same job.That would suck to upload and download all the time.

My photos are very precious to me, and I store them on a HD here, with a backup on another HD and to top it, I also have dvd backups of them.

I have lost too many because of hd failure and lack of backup to not take it serious. i have approximately 24 gb of jpg pictures at the moment, and I can’t afford to lose any of it.

a few 1 gb sandisk usb drives

I back everything up once a month… i guess i should do it more often… but it eases my mind.