How to Keep Your Digital Wedding Photos Safe

You've had an amazing wedding day, you've received your photos, you've shared them with friends and family, now what?

You've downloaded your photos from your photographer to your computer, so you should be all set, right? What happens when your computer crashes, 15 years pass, and your photographer has since moved on to something else?

Until you have three copies of your photos, in two different locations, you aren't prepared.  This is sometimes referred to by computer nerds as the 3-2-1 Backup Rule.

  • You need 3 separate copies of your photos.
  • You should use two 2 different mediums. Two copies on one computer doesn't count.
  • 1 copy should be off-site. If there is a fire or theft, you still will be safe.

So here's one of the easiest way to accomplish this:

  1. When you get your gallery link, download a copy of all of your images to your computer.
  2. Copy these images to a USB Thumb Drive.  Now you have two copies of your images on two separate devices.  I would put this in a safe place, such as in a physical, fire-proof safe.
  3. Finally, copy the photos to the cloud.  You can do this for free with Google Photos or Amazon Prime Photos. This gives you an off-site copy.
  4. Bonus Option! Don't want to deal with the cloud? Have a trusted family member download a copy of the photos to their computer or give them a USB Thumb Drive to keep safe.

You should revisit this every few years as technology changes.  Floppy disks, zip drives, CDs, and DVDs were all thought to be good long term storage solutions, but have since gone to the wayside. I'm sure USB drives will fall as well, and cloud services will be discontinued and change.

This sounds like a pain, but before this, a fire, flood, or a mis-labeled moving box meant the end of your photos, forever. Prints are great way to be future proof, but bits are much easier to move, copy, and protect.

A little bit of awareness and your great, great, great grand children can be checking out your wedding photos on their implanted virtual reality eye ball modifications as they sit in their Jetson-isque condo in the skies of Mars.

Chris Bartow

Morristown, NJ