Best Dress and Shoes For Wedding Photographers

I get asked a lot about what I wear to my weddings. It’s hard to find the right clothing that looks good and comfortable for you to do a very physical job at the same time! I’m really excited to share my GO TO dress & shoes that I wear for every wedding! Yes, I buy in multiple so I have a few of these dresses ready to go in different colors too!

Here is my absolutely FAVORITE dress and shoes to wear while I’m photographing a wedding! You can watch my latest IGTV video where I share my thoughts on each piece and why I love it! I hope it was helpful and please leave a comment below to let us know YOUR favorite “go to” pieces you have discovered and work for you on a wedding day. I want to hear from you!! xo

BestDressShoesForWeddingPhotographers.jpg

Phoebe Dress by Boden - Black - Navy - I absolutely love this dress from Boden. It’s very flattering shape and darts that give you a nice look but very professional. It’s a 100% cotton and totally breathable which is great for when you start to break a sweat. The best feature about this little dress? It has POCKETS! Yes, that is correct! I purchased three of these dresses (2 black and 1 Navy) to make sure that even if I had a double header weekend, I would have a fresh dress for the day.

Gabor Gabor Black Flats - LOVE these shoes! They are like sneakers with a rubber and flexible sole but they look like nice flats from above. These are 100% my secret shoe weapon on a wedding day!! They didn’t need any “breaking in” so no band-aids required. They are about $150+ dollars but worth every penny. I’ve had mine for about 3 years and they are still going strong!

TOMS Jutti Flats - Black Suede - Perforated Detail - I change into these flats as soon as the ceremony is over and cocktail hour begins. I love these TOMS because they are so comfy and give my feet a bit of break. Again, they are really comfortable, require no “break-in” time, and you can hit the ground running as soon as they arrive. I purchase at least 2 pairs every season and were them on my off days too!

Rothy’s Pointed Black Flat - Save $20 when you order your first pair of Rothy’s through this LINK !! - I like these Rothy’s for a few reasons but mainly because they are very stylish and comfortable at the same time. They are machine washable so they are going to last a long time. I will wear these for either part of my day but I would suggest getting arch supports if you require more support for your shoes.

Black Compression 5” Bike Shorts - One time I wore Spanx to a wedding and by the ceremony, I was taking them off in the bathroom because it’s just too much compression while I was working throughout the day. I found a pair of compression bike shorts (similar to linked) and they are my go-to “shorts” i wear under every dress when I’m working. They are comfortable, give me a bit of shape, and do not tug or pull throughout the day. They also keep me “safe” from any flashing accidents when I’m working which, when you are wearing a dress, could be an issue ;)


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Personal Safety Gear for Wedding Photographers

I wanted to share a few items that I recently purchased for my own personal and business safety. Being a female wedding photographer can feel a bit ominous at times, especially when I have to walk back to my car at night or when I’m taking the gear out of the trunk to head back to my apartment alone. I don’t like thinking about the “what if’s” but I always like to be prepared. Here are some of my new tools to help me feel a bit safer and track my gear while I’m working on a wedding day!

Again, I love GMA DEALS and highly recommend you guys follow them to score some great deals on items whenever they are posted! xo

Safety Gear for Women Wedding Photographers

The Glammer : Emergency Escape Hammer by Bling Sting - This super cute and very function personal emergency escape hammer is one of those items that the fire department always recommends you have in your car but you never actually purchase it until now. Why? Well, because it’s so darn cute (hello ROSE GOLD!) and it can save your life if you ever need it. You can cut your seat belt and break the windshield to get out of your car as well. I will carry this in the front seat with me just incase I ever need to use it when traveling.

Ahh!-larm! Personal Alarm by Bling Sting - This super cute confetti glitter keychain heart is not only cute to carry but it’s an ear piercing 115 decibel alarm - YIKES!!! It includes an LED safety light that will blink so people know where you are and you can replace the batteries too! This keychain also comes in a bow shape and gem stone so you have a few choices and colors to choose from. I like that it looks cute and can make a bit impact to scare off someone who might be following you. Hey, we all know that walking back to your car late at night (alone!) can be scary so be prepared!

Tile Mate - I mentioned this previously but I forgot to put it in my IGTV video which you can watch here. I love these little Tile Mates because they are small, discreet, and I can put one in each of my gear cases and track their whereabouts while I’m busy photographing a wedding. Also, the new Tile Mates allow you to replace the battery once a year which is great and very environmentally friendly! You can use the Tile App to track your devices and play the tune to find your cases (or keys!) quickly.

Is personal safety something you think about on a wedding day? I’d love to hear your thoughts and comments below! xo


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Speaking at IGNITE 2019 Workshop

I’m so excited to share that I’m going to be speaking at the upcoming IGNITE 2019 workshop hosted by NJ SPARK on Saturday, April 23rd, 2019. Each year this incredible group of women host a FREE wedding photography workshop and I’m so thrilled to be teaching one of the breakout sessions. Yay!

I’m going to be teaching attendee’s how create content for Instagram with images they already have and how to schedule, plan, and auto post with Planoly to get your life back and OFF social media. Ahhh, I’m SOOO excited!! The conference has already sold out (it’s free but the 75 spots are all full) but they do have a waiting list if you want to sign up to find out more and hopefully snag a spot! xo

Jaine Kershner - Brklyn View Photography

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What to do if a Client Cancels Their Wedding

What do you do when your client cancels their wedding OR you have to cancel on them? Well, it’s not a fun topic to talk about but as a business owner, you should be familiar with your options just in case it happens to you. Over the course of my wedding photography career, both scenarios have happened to me so I thought I would tell you how I handled each of them. It’s never easy, or comfortable but being prepared is always half the battle.

My BEST advice is to have the RIGHT wording in your contract!

I am NOT a lawyer but I have been told that the type of wording you use in your contract can determine how you can protect yourself from these type of unfortunate events. Let me explain:

First and foremost, you collect a RETAINER for your services, not a deposit. The client is RETAINING your services for their wedding. A deposit is defined as “a sum payable as a first installment on the purchase of something or as a pledge for a contract, the balance being payable later” but a retainer is defined as “a fee paid in advance to someone, especially an attorney, in order to secure or keep their services when required”. Does that make sense? They are retaining your services vs. putting a deposit down.

You need to protect yourself so you do not have to return any money collected for retaining your services. If you do not have associate photographers, you are not accepting other jobs for their wedding date and if they were to cancel on you, you are losing the reaming balance due AND other sales in the future.

I’ve heard other wedding photographers say “but I feel bad, and I should return the money”. Well, to that, I would say “I feel bad for them as well but feeling bad, doesn’t pay your bills and when you can’t pay your bills, who’s going to feel bad for you?”. Unless you have a second source of income, spouse, or trust fund to support you, you need to think like a business and stick to your contract. #toughlove

Again, be sure to check with your attorney and modify your contract to use the correct verbiage that will hold up in a court of law, if necessary.


What To Do When Your Client Cancels On You

Unfortunately, if a couple decides that they aren’t ready to get married and cancels (or postpones) their wedding, it stinks for everyone involved including us, the wedding vendors. Once the couple notifies you about the cancellation, they might ask you for a refund or partial refund from their retainer. This is where your contract comes into play and you need to stand firm to protect your business.

As difficult as it is to get the news that your couple is breaking up, it’s just a difficult to realize that you have lost the potential earnings from their wedding and all future sales. In most cases, you have turned down several other inquires for the same date and depending if the couple notifies you early enough, you might not be able to rebook date at all thus creating a loss in your business for the year. Keeping the retainer, although it stinks for the couple, it’s in your contract to ensure your time and services thus far are accounted for.

One of my couples did have to cancel their wedding due to travel issues in and out of the united states and even though they knew about my retainer policy, they did ask for their money back. I kept my retainer and said that if they could reschedule their wedding within one calendar year, I would be happy to move their retainer to the new date and honor my current pricing.

For my business, I require a 50% retainer fee at the time of booking. I am a small business and photograph a limited number of weddings per year, so if I have a couple cancel, it’s a big deal for me and my bottom line.

What To Do When You Have To Cancel On Your Couple

Ugh! This was NOT fun for me. I do not like to be the bearer of bad news and I definitely want my couples to depend on me but sometimes things happen and you have to let a few people down.

The only time I had to cancel on a couple was because I was expecting a baby. As a women entrepreneur, this is just one of those times when your family (and body) comes first. Their wedding date was too close to my due date and I just physically couldn’t risk the possibly of going into labor 2+ hours from my hospital. It was my first baby and I was very nervous as to what to expect.

I called the couple and told them the good and bad news. They didn’t take it very well but I assured them I would help them find the best replacement photographer I could, as we were several months away from their wedding. They met my replacement recommendation but in the end, they found someone else and we parted ways. I returned their full retainer and “gifted” them their engagement session for the inconvenience. It was the best I could do and I don’t regret that decision at all as my daughter came a week early!!

Again, having a good contract is going to save you in this type or similar scenarios. My contract clearly states that if I were to cancel, all monies would be refunded, I would help find a suitable replacement photographer, and that is exactly what I did. Personally, I do not see this happening again for all my potential couples, but like most things, you can’t really plan when you are going to start your family so you just have to roll with the changes when they occur ;)

If you are cancelling a wedding for other reasons, such as you no longer want to photograph their wedding because the client has become difficult or no longer a good fit, a family member is getting married on the same day, or really anything else that involves disappointing a couple, you’ll have to decide what is important to you and how are you going to handle the situation positively.

Have you ever had to deal with this type of situation in your business? What did you do and why? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below! Be sure to say hello and I hope this was helpful information!


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Finding Your Light - Film Photography for Beginners - WRKSHP Class

Well, it’s true what they say, what you put out into the world comes back to you and never in my wildest dreams did I think I would be sharing such an exciting announcement. I’m beyond thrilled to share that I’m teaching my very first class (ever) at WRKSHP workshop this November in Brooklyn!!

My film lab, Indie Film Lab, is a sponsor of WRKSHP and asked me to teach an intro to film photography “mini” course during the three day workshop on November 2nd - 5th, 2018 at 501 Union in Brooklyn, NY. I nearly fell off my chair when I read the message from Josh!! I have been using Indie Film Lab to process and scan my film for the last 6+ years and so honored they asked me to speak on their behalf.

Can you guys believe this? I’m SO SO excited and thrilled to be included in the impressive line up of speakers they have scheduled to educate and help photographers. It’s going to be so so amazing!!

For those of you who are interested in learning how to add film to your wedding photography, what questions do you have? I’d love to hear directly from you so I can create my course based on your questions. Please leave them in the comments below or you can send me an email. I'd love to hear from you!

You can still sign up and attend WRKSHP by purchasing your tickets here. You get to pick and choose which teachers you’d like to learn from and I hope to see you there. Oh, and please be sure to say hello! xo - Jainé

Film Photography for Beginners

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Podcast Interview with Jessa Schifilliti of Love & Light Photographs

The latest episode of Tea with Jainé is now LIVE on our podcast channel. I interview my good friend and fellow wedding photographer Jessa Schifilliti of Love and Light Photographs. We chat about how Jessa started out as a second (sometimes third!) photographer, built her wedding photography business, and successfully implemented an associates photographer program. Jessa talks about defining her brand and finding her signature style. She shares her thoughts about how to network and create authentic relationships inside the wedding industry. To find out more about Jessa and see her wedding photography, visit her online at Love & Light Photographs and @jessalovelight on Instagram! 

You can listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts and many more. Check our our Anchor profile for a full list of available platforms.

Jessa Schifilliti Photography

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How to Setup Lightroom Catalog and Useful Keyboard Shortcuts

I wanted to share my best practices when it comes to setting up your Adobe Lightroom Catalog because I think it's very important to start off on the right foot when editing, backup and archiving your photos. Lightroom is an incredible photo editing program that has a ton of features which can become very overwhelming when you are first starting out. I have studied and mastered how I use Lightroom to edit my photos and I wanted to share with you how I prefer to setup my Lightroom Catalogs along with some of my favorite Lightroom Keyboard Shortcuts.

I will preface this post but saying that I wouldn't know anything about Lightroom if it wasn't for Jared Platt's Creative Live course Lightroom 101. I bought that course and watched it 3-4x's in a row to truly understand how to setup my catalog and edit my photos as efficiently as possible. I would highly recommend checking out his catalog of courses on Creative Live. I met him once at WPPI and thanked him for helping me and changing my editing workflow process from top to bottom.

How to Setup Your Lightroom Catalog


No. 1 - Create a NEW catalog for each and every job you photograph. Think of a Lightroom catalog as filing cabinet and your photos are the "files" inside. You want to keep all of the folders and files inside one filing cabinet at a time. If you were to keep all of your photos inside the same catalog, archiving and and keeping track of your "files" (aka. your photos) is going to become a hassle and you could get the dreaded question mark (Folder Missing Icon) inside of your catalog. To keep everything organized, I create a new folder for each client and create the same file set inside their folder which includes a Catalog, Images and Print folder. When I am done organizing, editing and exporting the images and have delivered them to my clients, I will archive them to my backup drives and within time, deleted them from my computer. If I were do this while only using one main catalog, I'm going to have a hard time keep track of all the photos that belong to each job. For me, it's peace of mind knowing that everything is in ONE place and can be easily opened, archived, and worked on anywhere without ever missing important photos. 

No. 2 - Turn on Automatic Backups and Write the XMP data for Each Catalog. After you've created your new catalog you should immediate turn on two important functions of Lightroom every single time.

It seems like a no-brainer but turning on Automatic Backup's every time you quit Lightroom is just a extra level of protection for your files. Sometimes catalog's get corrupted but if you've turned on this feature, you can simply go into your Catalog > Backups Folder and simply unzip the last saved backup and start working as if nothing happened. It's 100% worth turning on and takes only a few seconds to complete once you quit the program.

Open Lightroom > Go to the Lightroom Menu > Catalog Settings > In General Tab > Backup > Choose Every Time Lightroom Exits from the drop down menu.

Lightroom Catalog Setup Tips - Automatic Backups

When you are editing photos inside Lightroom (and hopefully your are shooting in RAW) all of the changes you make to the image don't actually touch the image. What's happening is the data is being written to the "sidecar" file which is the XMP file. The XMP data writes on top of your photo like a piece of vellum. It's only a layer that can be easily removed however, Lightroom doesn't automatically process these changes while you are working. Why? I have no idea so you have to tell the program to do this for you thus saving you time and energy if the program were to crash and you lost all your work. Nobody wants that!

Open Lightroom > Go to the Lightroom Menu > Catalog Settings > In General Tab > Metadata > Check the box next to "Automatically Write Changes to XMP". 

Lightroom Catalog Setup Tips - XMP Data.jpg

No. 3 - Build Your 1:1 Previews for every catalog - I'm sure you've heard of Smart Previews when importing your photos into Lightroom. It renders a faster preview of your image so you can edit faster BUT it's still not the fastest. It can still take time to render each image inside of Lightroom thus slowing down your editing time. Your images can look pixelated until Lightroom catches up and processes the file. I find that when I make the Smart Previews upon import, I still need to build my 1:1 Previews to have my images load instantaneously with absolutely no lag time. 

After your images have been imported successfully into Lightroom, select all the images in the Library Module. Next, go to Library Menu > Previews > Build 1:1 Previews. It will take a while for the previews to load so I will go make myself a cup of tea or respond to emails until the process has completed. Once it's done you are ready to edit your images without any rendering or lag time in editing. FINALLY!!

No. 4 - Keyboard Shortcuts - Oh my goodness, Lightroom has a million shortcuts that will become second nature to you the longer you use the program and sometimes they change them on you without warning, which is the worst! 

Keyboard Shortcut: SHIFT + R - REFERENCE VIEW
My favorite keyboard shortcut is the Reference View. You must be in the Develop Module (D key) for this to work. The Reference View creates a split screen inside the Develop Module for you to do a SIDE-by-SIDE edit without having to use the pop up window option anymore. Once it's selected, you can drag your Reference photo on the LEFT and on the right, you can edit and toggle between photos to match your REFERENCE image. It never moves until you drag and drop a new REFERENCE image to use. Seriously, it's the BEST shortcut ever for hybrid photographers like myself or anyone looking to match images. 

Lightroom Catalog Setup Tips - REFERENCE View

Keyboard Shortcut: SHIFT + F - FULL SCREEN MODE
I prefer to use my Lightroom screen to it's fullest capacity which means I do not want to see my menu bar (For Mac Users), my dock, the clock or any other apps while I am editing. So I love the SHIFT + F keyboard shortcuts. They allow me to toggle my screen from being able to see my menu bar, to completely hiding it. It's a great shortcut to help you max the screen space that you have.

There you have it! My favorite Lightroom Catalog tips and setup options I use just about everyday. I hope they were helpful and will save you time and peace of mind in the future. What are some of your favorite Lightroom Tips and Tricks? Any keyboard shortcuts you want to share? Please leave them in the comments below!


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3 Tips How to Avoid Client Negotiations About Pricing

Over in the Tea with Jainé Facebook group, I received a question about what to do when a potential client starts to negotiate about your prices while you are already in a meeting. Ummmm, can we say awkward? This person had two potential couples start to haggle with her at the very end of their meetings and she was beginning to feel discouraged. She wanted to know if I had any tips to help avoid this from happening again. Boy, do I! This is such a great topic that I recently posted my thoughts over on my Instagram IGTV channel and wanted to follow up with a more in-depth blog post. Here are my top three tips how to avoid awkward client negotiations about your photography prices.

No. 1 - Make Your Wedding Packages SIMPLE - I think the biggest "A-HA" moment for myself was when I started to reflect on what my couples were booking vs. what I was offering. When I first started out, I had several collections with all sorts of options that frankly, were VERY confusing. Every couple wanted something different and I was tired of making "custom collections" so I decided to update my wedding packages to what my couples really wanted and go from there. I created three collections and I made my base collection the minimum I needed to do my job of capturing a wedding from start to finish. This way, there would be no more negotiations about what to "take out" because there was literally nothing to take out. For myself, my base collection will always include 8 hours of photography, a second photographer and the digital files. Once I decided that this was the right formula for me, I built my next two collections on top of this base collection so when someone asks to take out the engagement session or remove the albums, I refer them back to the base collection. I will not remove anything items or services from the base collection because it's the minimum I need to do my job. I wouldn't take a job that wanted me to do less (unless it was a small wedding or elopement which would have separate pricing all together - see my note below). 

So, how do you do this for yourself? I would figure out what is the minimum you need to cover your weddings or events and start from there. It won't be the same as mine but knowing what your base collection is will stop clients haggling over your services because if they can only add-on, they won't be able to take anything away. 

Also, I would recommend having a different collections for the different types of weddings and events you photograph. If you specialize in small weddings and elopements, having different pricing for those types of events will alleviate the frustration of creating smaller collections from your full wedding day services every time someone inquires. If you are a destination wedding photographer, having separate collections for your destination and local weddings is a great way to minimize any type of price negations as well. Only send your potential client the pricing information for their type of event. 

No. 2 - Share Your Prices In Advance - I cannot stress this enough but no one, I mean, NO ONE wants to be surprised especially when it comes to talking about money. They want to know in advance how much your services cost (if not start at) and you should tell them well in advance to ever meeting them in person. As I mentioned in my blog post about Ghosting, one of the biggest reason people ghost you is because they have complete sticker shock. I strongly suggest listing your starting price on your website contact and investment pages. When I first reply to new inquries, I always reiterate my "starting rate" and I ALWAYS send my pricing guide before each phone call.

What should you do? I would create your own process where you will send clients your full collection guide prior to any phone call or meeting so they have time to read and review it. They'll be able to see your wedding packages, prices and be able to ask any questions specifically related to your prices during your meeting or phone call. No more awkward conversations about "asking for a discount" or "what can we do to lower the cost" when you are already in a meeting. Phew!

No. 3 - Get Comfortable With The Word "No" - I know, no one likes to be the bad guy and say "No" to a potential client but to be a successful business person, you have to learn to say the word "No" and for the right reasons. However, with that said, I do have a twist on the way you say "No" without really having to say it. When someone asks for something that I'm not comfortable doing or I don't want to "swap out" to lower the price, I always suggest something else that could possibly be a better solution and benefit both of us. How you ask? Let me explain...

Let's say someone is asking for a discount on an album and I already know that don't offer discounts on albums. How would I answer them? I would say is "Unfortunately, I don't offer discounts on my albums but if you choose to add and album to your collection, I would love to gift you additional spreads as my way of saying Thank You". I'm saying "No" but in a positive way and offering something of value to my client vs. taking money away from my profits. Offering your client something of value such as additional hours of coverage, more pages in their album, an engagement session, etc... is inherently more valuable to them then lowering your prices for your services.

Being able to confidently explain and defend your pricing will lead to less haggling and negotiations during your client phone calls and meetings. I truly believe streamlining your pricing structure for your photography services, being up front with your prices and able to politely (but firmly) say "No" is the best way to avoid awkward negotiations and book the perfect couples just for you.  

What are your thoughts? Have you ever had an awkward conversation about your prices with a potential client? What did you do? I hope these tips were helpful and I'd love to hear from you in the comments below. 


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Tea with Jainé Podcast is LIVE - Subscribe NOW!!

I'm so excited (and a bit nervous) to let you know that the "Tea with Jainé" Podcast is now LIVE!! That's right, we've started a podcast! I wanted a place where I could chat and interview my friends, industry peers and amazing wedding vendors and share their advice directly with you. Everyone has so much to share and this podcast will be another place where you can grow, expand and develop your knowledge. I'm so EXCITED!!!

So, how can you hear the latest episode? You can listen on just about any podcast platform including Anchor, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Breaker, Castbox, Pocket Casts, Radio Public, Spotify, and Stitcher. I am using Anchor to create and distribute my podcast and it's so easy and free. 

I'd love for you to stop by, listen and hit that subscribe button and if you like what you hear, please leave us a review. It's the best and fastest way for new people to hear our show and discover us online. We'd really appreciate your amazing support and kind feedback!!
 

Tea with Jaine Podcast Cover Art

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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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