Whenever I’ve shot weddings, I’ve had nightmares about things going wrong, from malfunctioning equipment to missing important shots to losing the images I captured. However, for one couple and their wedding videographer, those nightmares became a reality.
Los Angeles couple Alejandra and Brian received a call from their videographer a day after their wedding stating that the memory cards containing the footage from their special day were stolen. According to KTLA5, the cards were with the photographer’s cameras and other gear inside his parked car when it was broken into sometime overnight.
Devastated by this unfortunate incident, the couple is offering a $500 “no questions asked” reward for the return of the memory cards. “I don’t care who you are. I don’t judge you. I just want the video,” Alejandra tearfully pleaded in front of a news camera during an interview.
While there may be a variety of reasons why the gear was left in a parked car overnight, this reminds us all of the importance of backing up our images and video as quickly as possible after a shoot. Weddings are once-in-a-lifetime events, which is why I stress so much when shooting them. If anything were to happen to those images it would be devastating, to the couple and myself.
A Few Tips
Backup immediately. When covering an event like a wedding, or any major shoot where necks are on the line, always backup your images in the field. There are many affordable image storage devices that give you portability while providing the security you need. For weddings, every camera card gets handed to my assistant who backs up the card on a portable device and gives the card back to me. If you are particularly ambitious, you can hack your own camera card backup system with endless storage, as seen here.
Keep copies in separate locations. For weddings, the original camera cards are never in the same bag or with the same person at the same time (with the exception of backing them up) as the copied files. If I have the option of traveling separately from my assistant, we each have copies of the images in separate vehicles.
And, if you are feeling VERY ambitious (and have more money than most people spent on a public university education), you can always follow a backup and storage workflow like Chase Jarvis uses.
At the end of the day…
…you want to do your best to protect those images. Not only are they important to your client, but their protection is vital to the integrity of your business.