Personal Data Libraries
Personal data whats???
I am sure many photographers and artists alike have come across the problem about storing their master works.
And further it goes to what should you store?
Considering a large amount of members shoot their images in RAW, space becomes an issue somewhat quickly.
I can personally attest to the fact that going from jpeg to RAW shooting has drastically increased my requirements for space. Filling up a DVD of jpegs was a hard thing to do.
So what am i really getting at here?
Basically this is my process of handling and storing/backing up my data.
Firstly i separate shoots by months and days, or even subjects (if i have had 2 major subjects taken that day).
Inside that folder i have a sub folder called RAW Images. in which i place un-edited direct from camera files.
Along with that sub folder i have my final product images (ie white balanced, cropped, touched up etc) in a folder called MASTER JPEGS.
*A note here is that after i finish creating my master files, i make the folder and its contents read only.
And then i create another sub folder for client related purposes. Eg Dreamstime. In which i select images for the client (DT in this case) and any modifications clipping background removal interpolation etc
Basically an example of my directory structure would look like this...
----- RAW Images
----- Master Jpegs
----- Customer X
Additional to this i make it a habit of making backups of these images at least once per month. A more active or professional may do this weekly. Creating copies on two DVDs.
After these discs have been created i check them and remove the files from the PC. Mostly to maintain free room for data as well as keeping things organized.
Keep one disc for usage and another for a true backup. Discs can be scratched a i have found out =( Plus they are not that expensive anymore.
I realize this can be a bit pedantic, but the benefits can be immense.
Take for example DT's minor outage of pending images.
All images needed to be re-uploaded.
Sometimes accidents happen, and if you are in the business of selling you work (you wouldn't be reading this or on this site if you didn't) accidents can prove costly.
A client may loose a submission or a commissioned piece of work. Or the issue can be in your own backyard. A hard drive may fail, virus may force a pc refresh, or heaven forbid theft can occur.
Backing up your work can be a bit time consuming but with it integrated into your work flow, can drastically improve your output.
Not to mention that you can still re-style the image from the original, not for a copy of a copy, causing loss of detail.
I have personally been saved a few times with this process. By having easy to find data, I have been able to replace 'lost in transit' data, as well as survived a few hard drive and PC crashes.
I hope you never loose any data, but if it does happen, i hope you have it organized. Because its hard to get your customers but very easy to loose them.