Lately, I have been seeing people looking for a photographer to do some "touch ups" to old photographs. I'm thinking of sepia or black and white photos... maybe someones 60's polaroid pulled out of an old trunk of memories. Most times this is exactly what happens, attempting to preserve the past.
One of the people I came across needed a photo watermark removed from a photo. It seems the client was married 10 years ago and lost her disk. The only photo she had of them was a watermarked photo on social media. She said her photographer no longer knew where she had her files. What a heartbreak! One of the biggest life events in life and no one has files.
There is no reason for this to ever happen to anyone! There are so many storage options today for both the client and the photographer. The world would have to end for this to happen with our technological advancements!
Before I go on with the easy steps to safe guarding your photos, if you have a disk with photos in it stop right now; gather them and transfer the files onto a stick drive (USB Flash Drive)... I'll wait!
Your photographer should ALWAYS:
1. Provide you with an online gallery. Even if the session produced 5 photos you deserve a gallery. A professional has so many gallery creation options that do not cost them anymore money that this should not even be an issue. If they want to charge you for this, pay it! Many photographers require you to print from them, they can still provide you with an online gallery where you can purchase the photos from them. They can allow you to download low resolution photos at a reasonable cost. I provide my clients with not only a private gallery on my website, I create a gallery with a company that is very mobile friendly. Even with this protection there are drawbacks. The first being my clients know that the gallery on my website will be available to them until I am no longer here and paying for my website! That's a given! The secondary gallery has a shelf life of 10 years.
2. Instruct you to download all your photos from the website gallery onto a stick drive. DO NOT DOWNLOAD ONTO A DISC. A disc drive needs to be replaced every 5 years. It could also warp in heat, get scratched, the list of disc perils goes on.
As a client, you should ALWAYS:
1. Take the necessary steps to have backups. Create the stick drive and here's an idea; take it out once in awhile to look at your photos. This benefits you in two ways! You can make sure the quality of your photos is still in tact. Second, life gets tough as the years pass. Looking at life event photos can make you stop and realize what you have! You can also store photos on cloud sites like Google Drive and Drop Box. There are companies who can custom make beautiful USB drives for special life events like weddings, you can have a drive for each child that holds the photos from birth on!
2. Post as many photos, especially your favorites, on social media! They won't be high resolution and printable but you will still at least have the image!
The quality of image capture today is amazing! Don't get lazy and make sure you pick a photographer that not only can capture those special moments but one that helps you protect your investment for many years to come!
Carpe diem! Nah! Carpe Vitae instead!