On workflow and backups

It has been a while since I wanted to talk about my backup strategy as a photographer. And I read a couple of articles this week that finally prompted me to share some thoughts about it. This piece by Scott Hanselman is worth the read.

The short version for my backup strategy is quite simple.

First, every picture that I import is automatically copied to an external disk drive. This is done by Lightroom during the import process. The hard disk is located in a different room where my iMac is located and is connected over WiFi.

Second, my iMac and Time Machine, the built-in Mac OS auto backup service, takes care that a third copy of my files exist on an additional external disk. Third copy you say? Well, if you do the math, one copy is on my work disk, a second copy is made during the import process and the third copy sits on the Time Machine hard disk.

The difference between the Import/Copy backup and the Time Machine one is that the second one does not backup deleted files. So, if I want to recover a picture that I accidentally deleted from Lightroom, I can recover it from the Import/Copy backup.

On-site backup is not sufficient shall my Mac get stolen or my workplace set on fire. This is why I also backup my files in the cloud with Backblaze. I guess that “my workplace set on fire” is the reason why the product is called as such. Other services do a similar job but at the time I started using Backblaze, it was the only service available for the Mac.

Online backup is slow and recovery is an all or nothing process. But online backups is like the last line of defence against hazard.

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