April 12, 2017

Automatic Back-Ups, keeping your stuff safe

Recently I was talking with a friend about my photo collection and how it has continued to get larger and larger over the years. These days in addition to shooting personal projects, I actually have a couple photography businesses where I shoot weddings and real estate properties for paying customers and I need to make sure my photos and files are safe. The way I do it is to keep copies on several hard drives in case of disaster, and the program I use to do my heavy lifting for me is called Second Copy.

I’ve been shooting totally digital since 1999 and I’ve got a lot of images on my system. I also have other important files and documents, PDF’s, videos and things I can’t afford to lose, so I need backups. Face it, storage these days is in Terabytes instead of megabytes and is very affordable. 

Create a New Profile
Over the years I’ve also converted a lot of my film work to digital and created thousands of composites, graphics, web designs and other digital stuff. Granted, I don’t go as crazy with a camera these days when I go out shooting, but most of my cameras are at least 20MP and my Photoshop files and videos can get really large. I don’t have time to sit in front of my computer copying and pasting. With Second Copy, once you set it to your liking, you can have it do this for you with a couple mouse clicks. Face it, if you own a computer and use it for more than just an Internet connection, you’ve probably got all sorts of important things stored on it. How about the images you’ve taken with your smart phone, do you have them backed up anywhere?  You have to be realistic, computers crash, iPhones get lost or stolen and accidents happen. Every PC or hard drive will eventually go to the infamous PC graveyard someday. 

How to copy your image
If your computer died tomorrow, what would you lose? Most of the time your photos can’t be replaced, reshot, or pulled back from oblivion. I‘ve had several hard drives die over the years and because I have my back-up plan in place, I have always had multiple back-ups. SecondCopy will let you make a copy of its set-up files, so that when disaster hits, I can reload it on my new drive with a couple clicks. Being safe pays off. To use Second Copy you create simple profiles and just tell it what you want copied, how you want it copied, where to copy that file to, and how often you want to have it done for you. Creating a profile takes about a minute and you’re done. Easy right? 

These days there are many different methods and programs on the market designed to help you back up your collections. My home computer has two internal hard drives, plus I have an external hard drive connected to it. I also have my Laptop, a Tablet, and my Smart Phone and I needed a program to do all of my heavy lifting for me.  I’ve been using Second Copy for many years and have never had a problem. It’s a great little program and can be set up to copy your files from one location to another automatically, on a set schedule, or it can be set up to do everything  manually, which I prefer personally.  You can even set it up so that when you make changes to an original file, it can automatically update all of your back-up copies for you at the same time. Nice huh? 

When to Back-Up
There are many uses for Second Copy, but the most important is copying your files to a reliable backup. If you have ever lost your photos, you know how devastating it can be. Don’t let this happen to you. You can also use the program for transferring files between your laptop and desktop computers, copying files from the local hard drive to a network drive or even for transferring or copying files to a Dropbox folder so you can work on them from other locations, like when your on the road or traveling perhaps.  The program is very simple to use and has an easy user interface that you can view in various modes so it can be set up to fit your own individual needs.  So if you need help making simple copies or need it to synchronize entire drives, this could be a program that could work for you. For me, it was the best thirty bucks I could ever spend to help me know my important data and images are always safe.
I hope you find this article useful. Remember, as always, keep shooting and have some fun!     
© D. Gould Photography