First of all: Do you even do it? Do you back up your photos and other important stuff on your computer?
Photography is my life. Not my whole life, but it is a very very important part of my life. If I was to loose it all… well, I have no words to describe how I would react.
Fortunately I don't have to worry about it. I am pretty well covered.
I have two back up systems. I use external hard drives and an online back up. The online back up is of course the safest solution. Once my files are there I will have to go and delete them myself before they disappear. My computer can burn or be stolen, it doesn't matter. Everything will still be there.
That said my online back up system is an emergency solution only. My first hand back up are my two external hard drives.
I use external hard drives for two reasons: Besides the obvious back up I also use them as my actual photo archive. I work on a Macbook Pro laptop and there is no way I can kep all my raw files on that hard disc. Well, I could but it would slow down my computer in an absolutely unacceptable way. That is why I only keep my photos on the actual computer until they have been backed up.
Basically what I do is the following:
1) I import my photos from my camera to the computer. I go through them and immediately delete all the files I don't want to keep.
2) If I have just imported a few photos then I will finalize the editing before doing anything else. If they are many then I will immediately copy all of them to my external hard drive and import them into the Lightroom catalogue I have there. Now the files are in the actual photo archive and I can start doing the online back up of the files imported into the computer. When that is done I will delete all the files from the computer.
3) But it doesn't end here. As I told you I am a bit paranoid when it comes to my photos. So I have TWO external hard drives. The second one is a back up to the first one! Am I crazy? Maybe a little, but it sure feels good to be safe.
The annoying thing is of course that you have to repeat all of these steps every time you do some editing on a photo. In fact I think the real challenge in terms of backing up is to actually do it. It is so easy to get behind (as I have just recently discovered!) so I cannot recommend strongly enough to find yourself a procedure which you follow every time you have new stuff on your computer. It is so worth it.
Now tell me: How do you back up?