Protecting Your Digital Photos

Avoid losing entire collections of your photos to file corruption, accidental deletion and natural disasters.
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You’ve likely thought about backing up your data but didn’t know where to start. Or maybe you thought you were protected but found out the hard way that you really weren’t. It’s very easy to fall into a false sense of security about the durability of your digital photos.

If you or anyone you know has ever had a hard drive fail or a computer stolen or destroyed, you know how quickly you can lose your entire collections of precious images. As they say, electronics have a 100% rate of failure – it’s just a matter of time. If you haven’t had a hard drive fail on you, eventually you will.

In this overview class we’ll discuss how to protect your images from the dangers of file corruption, accidental deletion, a failed drive, theft, fire, flood or cyberattack. The instructor has decades of experience working with computers and photography and consults with numerous clients about their data organization and storage.

There are a dizzying number of choices when it comes to data backup. We’ll look them over to help you decide which is best for you.

Protecting files is vital whether you shoot pictures for money or for fun. Professional photos have commercial value while personal family snapshots and travel photos have emotional value which increases with time. Organizing and protecting your photos is especially important if you’re thinking about what your digital legacy will be. If someone else sat down at your computer tomorrow, would they be able to make sense of the folders of images you have?

You’ll get answers to these and other questions, and there will be time for your own questions.

  • What does it mean to do a data backup and what should be included?
  • Does this mean I have to keep track of copying files by myself? (spoiler: No)
  • How much will it cost to properly back up my files?
  • How do I get my images back if there is a disaster or loss?
  • What other ways are there to backup precious or valuable images?

We’ll also get into the specifics:

  • Should I back up to the cloud or to a local hard drive?
  • How to make best use of Time Machine or other programs if you’re a Mac user.
  • Best solutions for Windows users including built in File History app.
  • What is RAID, and how does it fit in to all this?
  • How does cloud backup work and how much does it cost? Is it secure?
  • What about Lightroom, Google Photos or iCloud?
  • Should I just save all my camera memory cards just in case?
  • Should I be backing up my system as well? What does that even mean?
  • Hints for making sure you develop good habits for backing up your data.

    This is a folder of actual images from the computer of a DCP client. This is what data corruption looks like. Its sickening to any photographer but some planning can avoid this from happening.

  • Cost per person is $55 early registration, $65 late registration.
  • Login in to the Zoom meeting at least 15 minutes before the class starts to become familiar with the program and work out any technical issues that may occur.
  • Class starts promptly at 6:30pm CDT and lasts until 8pm CDT.
  • Advance registration and payment is required.
  • Maximum number of students is 20.

This is a damaged photo opened in Lightroom.

Often corruption happens in the background. This image from a commercial shoot hadn’t been opened in several years. Somewhere along the way a hard drive had a problem.

Q: How will the online sessions be different from being in the classroom?
A: Like in the classroom, the online sessions are demonstration classes where you do not need to have any gear or software downloaded for the class.

Attendees will be on mute but can ask questions through various methods on Zoom, such as the chat feature. If there is a specific question, the instructor can answer those questions after the session has ended or by email.

We encourage you to use the video feature when you join the Zoom class! It will help us feel connected and engaged as a class, even though we aren’t all in one place. To use the video feature, you will need a webcam.

Q: Do I have to live in North Texas to take the online classes?
A: No! Have you always wanted to take a photography class with your friend or family member but you aren’t in the same location? This is the perfect opportunity to learn a new skill with a buddy near or far.

Q: Where is the class held?
A: This class will be held online using Zoom.

Q: How will I know if the class makes or not?
A: If the class doesn’t make and has to be canceled, you will receive an email no later than the day before the scheduled class date.

Q: What if I have to cancel?
A: If you cancel 3-7 days ahead of the scheduled date of the class, you will receive no refund or 50% transfer credit toward another similar class within 3 months of the cancellation date. There is no refund or transfer credit for cancellations within 48 hours of start time of the class or workshop. Full details on cancellations are on our Policies page.

Peter Poulides

Peter is the director of Dallas Center for Photography and teaches several of the classes and workshops. In over 30 years of shooting assignments for national magazines and corporate/stock photography he’s learned a few things and likes to pass it on. His favorite student review is “You remember what it’s like to not know”.

He also works one-on-one with clients to further particular shootings skills, organize their photos with Lightroom or work on projects like books and exhibitions. He still shoots occasional commercial jobs but is busy with personal book projects and running the expanding DCP.

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