New Favorite Tech Accessories for Wedding Photographers

It’s a New Year and I thought I would share some of my favorite tech accessories that might help you organize your life. I’m always on the look out for new tech accessories that are smaller, better, and faster (aren’t we all?) that fit discreetly into my gear bag or handbag. Here are my new (and some old) favorites!! But before we get into the gear, I should mention that if you aren’t already signed up for Ebates or Honey - you are seriously missing out on money every time you shop online. Let me explain why…

1 - The Honey is fully integrated with Amazon which is amazing. Once you sign up and install the plugin in your browser (I use Chrome) it will start a Honey list for you whenever you put things in your Amazon cart. After you add an item, it will then search all of Amazon and get you the lowest price on the site. You just have click the button, and it switches your cart automatically and boom! you’re done!! It’s so easy and FREE it’s crazy. Honey will email you if it finds items on your list are now on sale or listed for a lower price which is so helpful! They do have a small cash back option but it’s only 1% which isn’t a huge savings but I LOVE it for Amazon!! Sign Up by using this link.

2 - Ebates is THE BEST! They have saved me SO much money over the last two years, it’s crazy!! Again you sign up and create a FREE account and install the plug-in in your web browser. They are partners with 1,000’s of online relators and when you buy from a site that offers an Ebates deal, you’ll see it pop up in your browser and you just click the link, they redirect you using their links (this is how they make money and you get to SAVE money!) then you make your purchase as usual. I use this ALL-THE-TIME (especially for my Camera Gear and Technology purchases) and I will receive anywhere from 2-5% cash back. Also, you can use it on travel and hotel deals (hello, destination wedding photographers!!) and so much more. Sign up by using this link.

Ok, so now I told you how to save some money, let me tell you about my fave Tech Accessories :)

Tech Accessories For Wedding Photographers

Western Digital 4TB Passport Hard Drive - I’ve mentioned these portable hard drives before but I just upgraded my new drives to the 4TB which is a HUGE amount of space. I cannot believe that you can get a 4TB drive for under $100. I purchased two of them and now I’m all set for this season and most likely next wedding season as well!

SanDisk 64 GB Compact Flash Memory Card - I don’t know what took me so long to jump on the 64GB bandwagon but I’m so happy that I did because now I can photograph each wedding in under two 64GB Compact Flash cards. Also, I had this item in my Amazon cart and Honey emailed me that there was a price drop (see what I mean!!) so I saved $10 on this card because a seller was having a sale. I’m telling you, you HAVE to sign up!!

Apple Airpods - I don’t know about you but when I use my phone for phone calls, my skin breaks out. Our phones are so dirty that I was using my headphones all the time but the cord felt limiting to me. I couldn’t walk around without carrying my phone while on client discovery calls. So I invested in the Apple Airpods and I’m SO in love with them and the charging case. They sound great, easy to use, charge last a long time, and I love that they hide in my hair!

Tile Mate - Ok INSTAGRAM ad’s you got me here! I kept seeing this Ad and then I saw another photographer use them in a way that my own lightbulb moment went off and I said “I have to get them!”. I am using the Tile Mate tracking disks in all of my camera bags and backpacks just in case one goes missing. I can use the Tile app to track my bags and have a bit of peace of mind when I leave the reception room for a few minutes. These have replaceable batteries which should last up to 2 years before needing to be changed. I always get scared thinking that someone is going to walk off with my gear (which I do lock up thanks to the built in safety locks from ThinkTanks) but now I have a way to track them ASAP if they were to go missing.

Tech Candy Bad Guy Blocker - Honestly, Tech Candy is my new favorite gear company! They have some of the greatest inventions EVER! This Bad Guy Blocker is genius! We all know that someone can get onto your computer, ipad, or iphone, and start your camera up and RECORD you without you even knowing. Yes, they can turn off the recording light as well so when I saw this little but GENIUS device on GMA DEALS (again, need to follow them!!) I bought several for my studio and home. It’s one layer of security I love having on my computer.

Tech Candy Dynamic Duo Woven USB Cable for Apple and Samsung - This super cute (hello GOLD!) USB cable is awesome! Not only will it charge my iPhone but the dual head can even charge a Samsung phone as well which I think is handy to have on hand (especially on a wedding day) because if someone needs a charge and they have a different device, this USB cable can handle both phones!

Tech Candy Cord Keeper in White - A large rubber tie to keep your cord organized in your bag.

Anker Candy Bar Sized Ultra Compact Portable Charger - I used to have the larger version of this item but I didn’t like carrying it around with me because it took up too much space in my bag and was heavy. So, when I saw my friend using this Ultra Compact Portable Charger, I order it from Amazon immediately. Now I carry it my bag all the time and it’s perfect for my Shootsac on wedding days.

PopSockets - I get asked how do I hold my phone when I create my Instagram stories while I’m walking. Welp, the secret is that I use a PopSocket on the back of my phone. It’s a removable and reusable (yes, it can be removed and used all over your phone or a new case!) collapsible grip for your iPhone. I am a HUGE fan of these little guys. I cannot use my phone without a PopSocket! They come in so many fun colors, combos, and you can even upload your own photos or logo and create your own.


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How I Backup and Archive My Wedding Photography

I was recently asked by one of my viewers what is my process after the wedding has been photographed. She wanted to know what I do after each wedding and how do I backup and archive my photos, which I thought would be a great topic to discuss. However, I'd like to preface this post with a friendly disclaimer that this is just my way of doing things. There is absolutely no right or wrong way to do something but I would strongly suggest that you have one additional back up somewhere other than your on camera and computer. I'm happy to share my some-what lengthly data backup and archiving process so grab a fresh cup of tea, and get ready to read along!

How-I-Backup-Archive-My-Wedding-Photography.jpg

My Gear:

The most important part about backing up and archiving system starts with what gear you invest your money in. Without reliable gear, it really won't matter how you back it up. This is what I use:

Digital Camera - I have two Nikon D810 cameras in my gear kit at all times. They are identical copies of each other and setup the same way so that if one goes down, I can just pick up the second one and continue photographing my couple without any down time. One of the reasons I purchased the D810 was because it offered Dual Memory Card slots - Compact & SD Flash Memory Cards. I prefer to use the secondary slot as my in-camera backup as it automatically writes a duplicate JPG version of the RAW file that is being written to the primary card. You can set this up to be your "run off" card, duplicate RAW copy and sort forth. There are a few setup options and this just happens to be the best for me because if anything happens to my Compact Flash card (RAW) I will have already have a duplicate copy (JPG) on my SD Flash card. 

Compact Flash Cards - The ONLY brand I use is SanDisk for my memory cards. They actually invented the technology so why not stick with the best, right? I purchase a few new Compact and SD Flash cards every year and retire cards at the beginning of every wedding season. I label each new card with their purchase year so I can easily see which ones need to be discarded.

Card Reader - I have two card readers - Lexar USB 3.0 and the EC Technologies Card Reader in Rose Gold (which I keep out on my desk and use the most). The Lexar is a bit faster than the EC Tech but that's ok with me because well, it's just prettier.

Hard Drives - Western Digital is my favorite brand for portable hard drives. I've been using them for as long as I can remember and (knock on wood) I've never ever had a problem. My preferred model is the Western Digital Passport 3.0 USB because it's so light, compact and well designed. I purchase 2-3 per year and rotate them throughout my entire backup process.

My Backup and Archiving Process:

Import, Sort and Copy:
After my wedding or session, I import my photos using Photo Mechanic. Once the import process is completed, I will sort by Capture Time and then Rename the photos to be in the correct order. I will do this for my own photos as well as my second photographers. Next, I copy the Photo Ingested folder (a Photo Mechanic term) and copy it to my RAW FILES hard drive. I like to keep a clean, untouched copy of the RAW files in case of any data corruption once my editing begins on my computer. I keep the RAW files for a certain amount of time and then replace the data on the drives.

Culling & Backing Up:
A few days after the wedding, I will sit down and cull the images to a smaller more manageable amount of files. I will create the couples folder layout and copy the selects to their images folder. Next, I will copy their folder to TWO hard drives (Backup A and Backup B) that are exact duplicates of each other. This way, I have two working backups of their images and complete working Lightroom Catalogue at any moment in time. Each week I will go through my working files and copy the new data to each of these two hard drives. How do I know what I'm working on? I label my "in progress" folders in Green and my "completed" folder in Red. You could use Carbon Copy Cloner to do the same exact thing. Finally, I will copy the FINAL folder one last time to the hard drives for safe keeping.

Uploading and Delivery:
Once the images are completed, I will upload them to my online hosting provider and deliver the final images to my clients. They receive the high resolution jpg images with all of their collections. Their images are hosted anywhere from 90 days to a year and each receive a 30 day reminder that their gallery is about to expire. As soon as I deliver their gallery, it becomes my couples responsibility to archive and back up their images. After their gallery expires, I move their folder into my online archives which gives me another yet another backup of the final images. If a past client contacts me because they lost their images, there is a fee to reinstate their gallery.

Backing Up My Computer:
I am a Macintosh user and use Apple's built-in backup software called TimeMachine. I run this once a week to have a complete backup of my computer on a separate Western Digital Passport hard drive. In the rare chance my computer were to fail, I could buy a new machine and install the latest version of my TimeMachine backup and could (potentially) have little to no downtime. I always like to be prepared for the worst!

Offsite Archiving:
The last and final step to my backup process is to physically take my hard drives off site to my safety deposit box at my bank. I like to have at least one hard copy some place other than my home just in-case of theft or fire. But, if the bank burns down, there isn't much I can do about that now, right? So I like having my online and off-site archives to work together.


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