Canadian photographer’s life’s work goes missing from burgled home on Christmas Eve

Dec 26, 2016

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

Canadian photographer’s life’s work goes missing from burgled home on Christmas Eve

Dec 26, 2016

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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Coming home to find that you have been burgled is devastating. It’s a sad thing to happen to somebody at any time of year. For it to happen on Christmas Eve and find your entire life’s work missing must be absolutely soul destroying. But, that’s exactly what happened to sports photographer, Johany Jutras, upon returning home on Christmas Eve after a European vacation.

CBC reports that after arriving home, she found the door unlocked. After stepping inside she quickly realised the place had been ransacked. As she surveyed her apartment, she noticed that her television and several bottles of wine were missing from her collection. Her thoughts then went to her hard drives, of which were 12-15 were now also gone – including all her backups.

Jutras posted this tweet explaining what happened, and what is missing.

Translated by Google, the attached message reads…

Merry Christmas to everyone.

For Christmas, everything I would want from my hard drives as well as my backup disks. Yesterday, on my return from a trip to Europe, I noticed that my apartment in the Hochelaga-Maisonneuve neighborhood in Montreal had been burglarized while I was away.

Thieves have taken some valuables, but the hardest part is that they have steal all my hard drives. The main ones, the second ones, and the backups. On these discs are found all the photos that I took since the beginning of my career of photographer. All my archives.

It’s a bit like seeing me open, share this message, if you hear about deal on large hard drives, make me sign. If you have the chance to spend close to a pawn shop in Montreal, it does not cost anything to go and see and inquire. I do not care who got this, I just want to get my records back.

List of Missing Main Disks:

My book Duo 12TB
WD My Cloud Ultra 4TB
G-Technology 4TB G-Drive (twice)
G-Technology 1TB G-Drive ev ATC with Thunderbolt
About ten small 1TB-2TB WD My Passport and Seagate portable external drives.

Thank you for your help.

It’s a heartfelt plea, and I think it really will be a Christmas miracle if she manages to get them back. But, miracles can and do happen, so I’m keeping hopeful for her.

Jutras photographs 40 games a season, and shoots around 2,000 photos per game. Her contract with the CFL stipulates that she owns all of her work. So, this is not only a huge sentimental loss of the record of her time as a sports photographer, but a potentially massive financial loss, too.

It’s a sad story, but it’s also a lesson to us all.

The obvious solution is cloud backup, but with around 30-40TB of data, that isn’t easy, or cheap. There are, of course, other forms of off-site backup, and events like these just prove their importance. Even if you have two copies of everything, it doesn’t offer much protection if they’re all in the same place. Cloud backup might be fine for smaller users. But, when you’ve got many terrabytes of data you might need to pull down at short notice, cloud storage with only remote access is just not practical.

Personally, I keep a system at a remote site and live-backup using Resilio Sync. If anything happens at either location, I still have a safe copy of everything at the other. It’s also a location I can physically go and access if needed. So, if I’ve got a massive project I need to back up (which can happen easily with video), I can just copy the whole thing to a fresh drive and take it over myself. Or, if something does happen here, I can go over there with a set of fresh drives and pull a copy to keep working.

For archived work, even if you don’t need continual access to everything, I suggest duplicating it and storing it at another location. Safety deposit boxes for storing media are relatively inexpensive amongst the other costs of running a business. Or, you can store it at a family member or friend’s home if they’re willing to let you. The cost of extra drives, and even a safety deposit box is nothing compared to your life’s work.

We wish Johany well in recovering her work. Hopefully, the thieves will see Johany’s plea, and realise that this is about much more than the cost of a few hard drives. If you live in Montreal and happen to come across any drives that might be part of those missing, please do reach out to her and let her know.

Do you backup your work? How about off-site? Do you use cloud storage? Or do you still just keep a single copy of everything on one drive? Will you change the way you backup your work now? Let us know in the comments.

[via CBC]

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John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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3 responses to “Canadian photographer’s life’s work goes missing from burgled home on Christmas Eve”

  1. moonshin Avatar
    moonshin

    besides the backup i keep at home (in a safe) i have a second backup that i keep in a safe deposit box at a bank. that only gets updated every quarter or so but even so,in the worst case i only lose a couple months of stuff that way

  2. Micky Channon Avatar
    Micky Channon

    i know what thats like, it happened to me 4 years ago although not on Xmas Eve, you cannot recover when your works gone.

  3. Gregg Bond Avatar
    Gregg Bond

    Amazon Glacier, best buck-per-byte on the planet at the moment. Sadly it takes something like this for people to realise “If your data doesnt exist in three places, it doesnt exist.”

    But then I am coming from 15+ years in the IT trenches desperately spending every day trying to avoid this sort of chaos.