Backup, Backup, Backup

So yesterday I wrote about questions you need to ask your photographer at your initial client/photographer interview. Most of those questions revolved around backup and what backup contingencies the photographer had for your wedding day. But now for the tough question, what backup plan do YOU have? Let’s set the scene, your wedding was a huge success, you have received your images from your photographer and with the images you have a disc of digital files. What do you do? Most people will email a few around, post some to Facebook or Google+ then likely put the disc back into the drawer. Some will go a step further and copy them onto the computer, maybe into some photo management software like iPhoto or Picasa. But what is your backup plan? Don’t be fooled, those burnt DVD discs you have from your photographer have a real world life of around 6 months to a year.

This is not just for your wedding photographs it’s for all your photographs, all your important documents, your music library everything that is now stored on your computer. Are you prepared for that day that your pc won’t start or you don’t hear that start up chime from your Mac?

How are your images backed up?

I will not dwell on this too much I understand this after all is meant to be about wedding photography but I take backup very seriously. Computers fail, discs degrade and people lose important files all the time.

Backup can be very simple. If you have an Apple Macintosh you have backup software built in. Simply visit your local Officeworks or JB-HIFI and buy a 1 terabyte drive plug it in and let Time Machine do the rest. Windows PC’s also have built in backup software but to be honest my experience with it has been not very favourable. I would suggest one of the free utility’s from a third party such as Hinxsoft or Comodo Backup.

Having 1 backup is a start, but working with hard drives on a day to day basis I can tell you that they fail and quite often. I like to work by the rule unless my images exist in 3 different locations they don’t truly exist yet. So here’s how I work, I have my Mac Pro with drive dedicated purely for my image library, I have a second drive in the Mac Pro which is a backup of the first drive. I then have an offsite hard drive I bring home after every wedding, portrait session or whenever I done any shoot to update it.

My backup workflow is simple. I return from a wedding and import my memory cards into the computer. I don’t erase the cards yet but now I have 2 copies of the images, I don’t start work on the images until I have 3 copies. Once the import has finished I have a program called SuperDuper which then clones my primary photo drive to my backup drive, I also have this clone task automated to happen every night at midnight so any work I have done during the day is also backed up. I still do not erase the cards yet as I have my 3 copies but know I feel safe to start working on the images. Then within the following day or 2 I retrieve my offsite hard drive and do a final clone of the primary hard drive. I can now delete the cards and I have my 3 copies.

It may sound intense but these are people’s images and memories I am storing so as I said I take it very seriously. It also is quite simple to do and back up needs to be simple or people can’t be bothered with it.

Now I don’t expect too many people reading this to go to that length, I wish everyone would but in reality most people won’t. So what’s the minimum you can do to make your images safe and with little fuss. Well I have mentioned Apples Time machine, it works well and is simple to setup. And the Windows backup software is good as well. If you do not have an automated service like Time Machine then set a reminder on your calendar to do it once a week or once a month. Even if you did a backup once a month had your hard drive failed you have the potential to lose a few weeks’ worth of photos not everything. It’s a pain but is not a disaster.

The internet also offers some great backup services. 2 that spring to mind are Backblaze and Carbonite. These are services which copies your data to their backup servers. Both services cost $50 per year per computer and they run in the background so you don’t even have to think about it. But if your drive or computer fails you can easily login a restore from your back up.

So what would I suggest for people to do? I can think of 2 different plans of attack. First for both plans go and grab that cheap USB hard drive and start your backups today. Now depending on your budget you could grab another USDB drive and store it offsite, at your work or friends or familys place. Or instead of the second drive sign up with backblaze or carbonite. Offsite storage is the key to back up. Offsite backups protect you from fire, floods & theft. So if the worst happens and you are robbed, and they take your computer and your hard drive your images are safe on the duplicate drive off site or with the internet service such as the ones mentioned so when your insurance replaces the lost items you can restore knowing you have all your memories.

Its not just your weddings photos that need back up but all your photos.

One final note on backup, please do not forget your phone. Many of us them as our primary camera for a lot of things, but so few of us actually import the images. If you lose your phone, it gets stolen or needs to be replaced you have lost your images and videos you have taken. Please remember to plug it into your computer every month. Plug into and important your images then they too will be included in your backup plan.

Back is serious business for me. My backup plan ensures I never have to tell a bride I lost her images but what people do with the images once I hand them over is up to them. Please make sure you backup.

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Again if you have any questions shoot me an email at enquiries@warnockimagery.com

Please if you like this article follow us facebook and twitter

And even better if you want to see more of our work head over to Warnock Imagery

Jeremy

Do you own your wedding photographs?

So here’s something a little more controversial, do you own your wedding photographs? For a lot of couples out there the answer is no. You have paid a lot of money most the time in the excess of $2000 and in some cases a lot higher and you don’t own your images, does that seem right to you?

I’m not going to come out and say who is right and wrong, many of today’s wedding and portrait photographers are just following an industry trend that was set many years ago and hasn’t really updated with today’s trends of sharing and viewing items online and on devices.

I can’t tell you how many times I see photographers using marketing tools such as Facebook or Google+ to post images of couple/family/new born etc with the tag line “Do not crop or alter our images in anyway” then with a big water mark across it, it kind of reminds me of a chef not allowing you to use salt and pepper on your meal you just paid for. Now if this was just to protect the client I could totally agree. I do this myself; all images I post on public forums have a watermark. This is to add in advertising as well as let everyone know that in this context of the post or update the image with the text do belong to me. However all my clients have access to full size high resolution unmarked images that they can do with as they please.

I know the arguments other photographers have and many of them are very valid. One which I complete agree on is the reproduction of the work. Photographers have spent many years learning their art. They fine tune there images on colour balanced monitor’s they have the “eye” and know how they would like their images to look. They have spent years developing relationships with printers and labs a like who they can convey how they want their images to look. And I can guarantee an image which the photographer has printed either themselves or at a lab will look better than any image the client prints at home of their personal printer or at the 1 hour minilab.

This too works for both the photographer and the client. The client gets the very best image they can have hanging on their wall, and when people visit they say “WOW, who took that photo?” On the other hand if a photographer is seen by the industry as a “shoot and burn” photographer there is the chance that you’re amazing wedding photograph is printed on a printer that just isn’t up to the task. The reaction from the guest is “Ohh who took that picture?” is not something that photographers want to be associated with.

It is something I have personally weighed up many times. Yes I want all my images to look the absolute best they can. But I also want my clients to have and own their images. As I mentioned in a previous article I come from time before digital cameras, when a lot of professional work other than portraits was shot on transparencies (Slide film). Having worked in as a both medical photographer and advertising photographer, the idea that you owned the work that you have just produced was laughable. Try telling any advertising house that the image you just shoot for their campaign is yours and they can’t have rights to it would have been impossible. And as for medical photography well it goes without saying that any image you create belongs to the hospital and is part of patient records and confidentiality. So why is it the case that the wedding and portrait industry have such tight control over your images?

I have been on the receiving end as well. In recent years we have taken our 2 young’s kids along to a studio to have nice family photographs. We actually wanted the 4 of us in the photographs and have a third party do it to try to help capture some images where the kids weren’t pulling up for dad as is the case now when they see me with the camera. We went to the studio had our 30 minute shoot; they made us coffee and 20 minutes later called us in to sit and view the images. The images where great, no doubt about that. It made me so happy that I had someone else shoot them so we could relax. Them the studio went on to go through the images which as a parent you love all of them. They then show you their price list which until this stage was still not available even though I had asked a few times. Then the horrible realisation sinks in. First this is the one and only time I will see these images unless I pay addition money for an extra viewing session before 6 weeks after 6 weeks the images are gone for good. Second the prices the studio where charging for a simple 10x8 was incredibly high, and third there was no option to have the images at a high resolution on a disc to keep.

It felt horrible. It’s such an emotional and dirty play. But it worked. Ok I would never visit such a tight lipped studio again, but I walked out having ordered over $900 of images which equalled 3 10x8 prints. The other 25 or 30 images of my kids, who were 1 and 3 at the time, I will not see again. It was after that experience I decided I will never keep a client’s images from them.

So how do I manage the make sure that my images are displayed the best they can be will ensuring my clients have high resolution images for their own use? All of the packages we offer at Warnock Imagery have a printed component. It some cases such as our cheapest package it is simply a 10x8 print and a photobook while in our most expensive package we have large canvas gallery prints and printing credit for more work to be done. I see this as a best of both world solutions. Our couples can still get their images printed themselves but at least they have a professionally printed item of some sort to hang on their wall.

It’s an important question to ask when you’re shopping for your wedding photographer; do we get a copy of the images? Please don’t let the photographer dictate to you, if you are told that they retain copyright and that a the image is theirs just remember their business doesn’t exists without you so go find a photographer that will give you want you want. But please also consider using the photographers knowledge and experience to have some images printed you won’t regret it.

Again if you have any questions shoot me an email at enquiries@warnockimagery.com

Please if you like this article follow us facebook and twitter

And even better if you want to see more of our work head over to Warnock Imagery

Jeremy

Engagement sessions why they are great

When shopping around for a wedding photographer, there are a number of things to consider; in what they offer; who they are; and if you like their work. But one thing which is becoming a bit of a standard offering for photographers now is an engagement session. Many couple didn’t even think about engagement photographs but here is why they are a great idea. Now when I am taking about engagement sessions, I am not taking about photographing your engagement party. An engagement session is a private portrait session with you and your loved one. The engagement session is second only to your wedding photography when it comes to uniqueness and personalization.

There are a number of reasons to have an engagement session. First it’s quite likely no matter how fit you are normally you have been putting in an extra special effort before your wedding day. Having professional photographs taken a month or 2 before can be a real confidence boost and reward to all the hard work you have put in.

The engagement photos also act as great stress relief. Weddings are big days to plan. It can be very draining organising all the little details that are required to bring your day together. Having 1 hour off with just ourselves with no work and no wedding planning can be a very welcome change to many couples. It is also a lot of fun.

With engagement sessions couple can use the opportunity to visit a location that just isn't possible during the wedding.

The engagement shoot can also act as a test run for the both of you. This works in a couple of ways, first it allows you to see how your photographer interacts with you on the job not just in there salesmen routine. For many couples it can be the first professional photo shoot together so it helps you interact with each other when being directed by a third party. And finally it gives you an opportunity to see your photographers real work not just the best pictures that they display when you visit them. While unlikely but possible, if you really didn’t like the work produced from your engagement session you might have enough time to find a different photographer to save your wedding day.

Another great reason for an engagement session is for location suggestions. Some couples may like to visit some locations the photographer has suggested for their engagement photos so they can really see what they turn out like before their big day. It’s also very probable that you have just too many locations or a location that is just too far to visit on your wedding day. The engagement session is a great way to have professional photographs in the locations that you just can’t get to on your wedding day.

A final reason for an engagement session is that some couples like to use these at the wedding. We have done several engagement photo sessions for couples only to turn up to the wedding reception to see large prints made of the session on the wedding day. It’s a great personal touch.

There are not lot things to keep in mind when planning an engagement shoot, after all it’s meant to be light-hearted and fun, but please consider your clothing choice. Whether it is an engagement shoot or a family session or any professional photography shoot for that matter keep you clothing simple. Some simple dos and don’ts – Do bring your

With engagement sessions choice elegant clothing that doesn't distract the viewer from the real subject

favourite outfits, if you feel nice in them you will like the photographs more; don’t wear things with large logos or that are distracting. Guys are the worst for this, sorry guys no surf shirts, band shirts, or funny shirts keep it simple and let you be the main attraction in the photograph. Try to stay away from strips, dots and lines etc. anything that will draw the viewer’s eye away from your face to what you are wearing. Try to complement each other in colour and simplicity. Clothing really is an area where something understand and elegant can go a long way to making exception photographs. Always take a couple of outfits and talk with your photographer about which would be best. And when all else fails simple white/black/grey t-shirts and jeans can be a great choice.

The engagement session can be very personal and a lovely memento to keep as a reminder for couple before they were married but it can also be more. Today’s weddings are often a coming together of 2 families. The engagement shoot can be a wonderful time to have all the family involved and get some lovely images of kids as well being themselves.

Engagement session can also include the family to make them even more special

When all said and done it is possible that you just don’t want the engagement session but it is part of your wedding package. See if your photographer will allow you to gift it to a family member. At the end of the day it’s just a portrait shoot. In the past we have had couples that give the portrait session to a sister with a new born and also to parents to have family session done. Your photographer should be fine with this but it is worth asking if you simply don’t want to use the time.

Engagement shoots are great fun and something I really recommend so defiantly think about it!

Again if you have any questions shoot me an email at enquiries@warnockimagery.com

Please if you like this article follow us facebook and twitter

And even better if you want to see more of our work head over to Warnock Imagery

Jeremy

New things to come....

Well to say that this blog has been shall we say forgotten could be a slight understatement, but that's not to say I have not wanted more from it.  There is a definite balance of time, resource and dedication required and I mostly have two out of three of those.  But over the last few months I have worked on the redesign and bringing items over from the old blog to this new one. I have plan for this so lets see if I can stick with it.

Starting today I hope to bring tips and techniques, software guides and reviews, books suggests and interviews and hopefully some really great images for everyone to see

Please if you like this article follow us facebook and twitter

And even better if you want to see more of your work head over to Warnock Imagery

Jeremy

Maternity Sessions: By Warnock Imagery Perth Wedding Photography

To most expecting mums pregnancy is a pretty special time.  A time which mum and baby create there first bonds, usually bond that only the teenage years can stretch.  Its also a time that most mum's are also thankful to see the end of when the end does finally come.  Being a dad in a young family I can remember this time and trying to be part of it where I could.  The one thing we did to try to capture the time was take photos, lots and lots of photographs.  Being photographers we had some nice ideas for these images and where able to share them with family, it is because of these images Natalie & I have decided to start offering our own Maternity Sessions.

For our Maternity Sessions we have teamed up with Make Up artist Jana-maree, from Jana-Maree makeup http://www.janamareemakeup.com.au and are offering a great package that involves the expectant  mum being pampered having her hair & make-up done followed by a 1 hour portrait session that can also involve the dad to be and any soon to be big brothers or sisters.

Its a great opportunity and one that Kara, Carl and little Milo loved.  We took great care to include Milo and because of that feel we got some very precious images and was so much fun to do.

So if you or someone you know is interested in a Maternity drop us a line.

Gear Used: Nikon D700 & D300; Nikon 24-70mm F2.8; Nikon 70-200 F2.8; Edited in Aperture

Maternity Sessions By Perth Wedding Photographer Warnock I magery
Maternity Sessions By Perth Wedding Photographer Warnock Imagery
Maternity Sessions By Perth Wedding Photographer Warnock Imagery

Models

During the winter we like to try different things. Landscapes, HDR, anything and everything that looks good but is different to weddings. Last year I was introduced to a website called Model Mayhem A place where models, photographs make artists etc can come together and trade time for time. True some people charge but we use it as a place to find models so we can try out new ideas are try photographs we also wanted to do. Last year we met Adele who was great to work with and had a unique look about her. It was a lot of fun. We are currently organising a new model shot for a few weeks time soo stay tuned

Gear used; Nikon D300, Nikon 50mm F1.4 edited in Aperture

Adele

Introducing a new star...

A new star

The purpose of this blog is really just a place where I can post updates, projects and fun things that do not really relate to the business of Warnock Imagery.  While we take photography many weddings and happy couples what do we do in our off season?  That season is now and hence the birth of this site.  The idea here is to post pictures and updates, successes and failures of things, photography related, I want to try/learn or an just interested in.  And with that in mind I would love to introduce Caleb!  Being 2 photographers first born he will grace this pages as will his younger sister as she be more and more the subject of the lens pointing.

I do truely love this image of our little guy.  We were away for a weekend in Albany West Australia last winter in was cold it was miserable and poor Caleb had such a bad cold, you can see it in his eyes.  But each day as I got to get the camera gear ready I would here " I come too, Dad" and he did. He wouldn't leave our side.

Gear used: Nikon D700, Nikon 24-70 F2.8, edited in Aperture