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    • I did a post yesteday about this topic (here's the link) after hearing a number of people telling me they thought when they backed up their catalog, it backs up their photos, too. Unfortunately, it doesn't, but I shared my backup strategy in the post as well. Hope you find it helpful.

    • Chris MacAskill

      Important comments at the end of that article too:

      This backup warning should be repeated over and over as many people have the feeling that after they imported the images into Lightroom, they can delete them from the hard drive, and that's totally incorrect. Make sure you include a cloud backup solution into your workflow. There are many options out there at different price points.

    • I use a nas at home and SmugMug to backup my photos. 99% of my photos in the last couple of years are taken with an iPhone and SmugMug has a great app that allows you to upload photos to SmugMug. It detects duplicates and I upload the photos to a gallery by year.

      The iPhone photos are also on apples iCloud but they are much easier to access and view on SmugMug.

    • Thanks for the useful reminder. Your backup strategy should be based on the importance you attach to your photos. A pro will need and want more redundancy and will be willing to spend the time and money necessary to guarantee their survival. I'm an amateur, so I'm willing to run a little more risk. Nevertheless, I keep two copies of my complete archive on separate USB drives and all of the good stuff (and some not so good stuff) on SmugMug. If my house were to burn down, the main thing I would be lacking would be raw files, which are not supported by SM. But that would be the least of my problems.

      One thing I would add to the discussion is that people do not pay enough attention to the process of restoring from backup. You should make sure that you (and your cloud provider) have enough bandwidth for you to restore in a timely fashion. Depending on your business requirements, it might not be OK for it to take a week, say. You should test it before you need it. I spent a career in IT and it was not uncommon to find shops that had been backing up their systems religiously for years but had never tested the restore, only to have it fail when they finally needed it.

    • Richard, you've brought up an excellent point that I haven't even thought about:

      You should test it before you need it. I spent a career in IT and it was not uncommon to find shops that had been backing up their systems religiously for years but had never tested the restore, only to have it fail when they finally needed it.

      I'll have to think about my restoring strategy some more.

    • I'm somewhat suprised that people weren't aware that Lightroom backups are of the catalog, only. I suppose they've never looked in their Lightroom Backup folder. If they did they might be surprised to see the number of catalog backups they have. I don't think Lightroom automatically purges old catalog backups. I try to do so manually every 3 or 4 months. I will never need a copy of a catalog from 18 months ago.

      My images are stored on an external drive. They are backed up to time machine. I also clone the external drive to a second portable drive every so often. Web sized versions of many of my pictures exist on my web server. Then there are the various galleries on SmugMug. I'm not too worried about losing pictures. But then I'm not a professional phgotographer with customers, either. If I were my backup strategy wouldn't be quite so casual.

    You've been invited!