My Photography Backup Workflow for 2024

Photography is as much about preserving memories as it is about crafting stunning images. To ensure these memories stand the test of time, I’ve developed a foolproof three-point photography backup workflow. This strategy is designed to be a low-friction redundant backup system, reducing the chance of losing any of my work to almost zero. Whether you use Capture One or Lightroom, this workflow will fit seamlessly into your process.

The Ultimate Photography Backup Solution

  • – It must be effortless. If it’s complicated, you may avoid it. Solution: Automate as much as possible!
  • – It must be redundant. Aim for a minimum of 3 points of failure.
  • – Your working drive
  • – A local backup drive
  • – An off-site copy of your work.

What Am I Backing Up?

Over the past decade, I’ve backed up all my RAW photos and videos. It may seem excessive, but with a robust system like this, maintaining it becomes second nature. In the digital age, there’s no need to worry about losing film negatives!


The Photography Backup Workflow

Step One:

Begin by capturing your photos. Treat your cards like film—especially when you’re away from home. I rotate through about 5 CF cards. Only format the first card (if necessary) once you’ve taken photos with all of them. This ensures enough time for the backup strategy to work effectively.

Step Two:

Next, import your photos onto your designated working external HDD using Lightroom. Do not delete your card after import. Remember, your primary working drive is where you’ll perform all your edits. At this point, you have 2 copies of your images—on your hard drive and the original card.

Step Three:

This is when automation takes center stage. I use Chronosync on my Mac to automate file transfers. When both drives are connected to the computer, Chronosync will launch, check for changes since the last update, and sync these changes from the 2tb HDD to the larger 6tb drive.

Step Four:

Finally, we ensure an “off-site” backup of your photos. I recommend Backblaze, which offers unlimited storage. This online backup solution is fully automated and may be slow initially, but it ensures a reliable, off-site backup accessible from anywhere.

Now, I’d love to hear from you! Do you have a different strategy? Or are you planning to implement this one? What changes would you suggest? If you have any questions about the process, feel free to reach out via the contact page or via social media. Remember, when it comes to backups—three copies are two, two is one, and one copy is as good as none!

Stay safe,
Ben – Cultured Kiwi

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3 thoughts on “My Photography Backup Workflow for 2024”

  1. I use similar setup, but Instead if using special backup software I use simple batch file (say backphoto.cmd) with one command:
    xcopy %1 %2 /D /S /E /V /H /Y /R /C

    So, when I run:
    backphoto.cmd c:Myphotos h:backupphotos

    then ONLY new or updated files will be copied to backup drive. Simple and free solution. XCOPY is standard Windows command in any version of Windows.

  2. Thanks. I went with a Synology DS 1515 backup NAS, first set up price can be huge. I spent over $1400 to get the right backup system. BackBlaze my online backup solution.
    Just depends on how valuable your photos or data is. Least cost now is maybe only replacing drives if they fail and the odd subscription plan for online storage.
    My backup solution was similar to this one I can now sleep at night.
    Cant wait for SSD to get cheap and high capacity. One day bring it on.
    Dont forget 3 copies, 1 at home, one at a friends and 1 online copy.

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