Don’t Lose Your Precious Memories–How to Backup and Recover Your Photos.

File storage is not the fun part of taking photos.  It’s just one of the mundane tasks that I don’t look forward to but is HAS to be done.

Please, please, please, please, please back up your files.  I’ve lost (via a hard drive breaking, a card error, and computer crashes) files 3 or 4 times in my business and if they hadn’t been backed up they would be gone forever.  The thought terrifies me and breaks my heart.  If I lost all of the pictures of my children, I’m not sure what I’d do…so…I have taken some special steps to be sure that never happens.

You, of course, don’t have to use the same system I do, but just do something that is secure.  🙂

I am going to go over exactly what I do for my personal files.  (Business stuff would be a little more extensive.)  

 Step 1

First I take the memory card to my computer and upload the files. I do this as quickly after taking the pictures as possible.  Memory cards can corrupt fairly easily so I try to rely on them as little as possible.  (If you’re having problem with your memory card, skip to the end of this post for some help.) I upload them straight into a program called Lightroom but you could use any program or just create a folder on your hard drive.  (DO NOT delete the files off your card until you have completed the backup.)

My files are stored on an external hard drive (ex. pictured below) since I have so many photo files that are RAW (large, space hogs) and if I put them straight onto my computer, I would be out of memory way too quickly.  You can choose to store files on your computer hard drive or an external hard drive.  

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Step 2

I then have a second hard drive that I back up those same files to.  In other words, after my files are on the first hard drive, I then copy them to the second hard drive.  This ensures the files are in two places before deleting the memory cards.  

(Note: Hard drives are fantastic, time saving, super helpful, etc….etc.  BUT they fail.  And they fail kind of frequently.  You must be careful they don’t get dropped and they need to be plugged into the computer every few weeks to keep them in good condition.  I love them and use them all the time but I don’t trust them completely.  You shouldn’t either.  This is why we back everything up.)

Step 3

Online backup is my third step and final step.  There are a few options out there but I would recommend Dropbox.  Depending on how many files you have, you may need to pay a bit, but the peace of mind makes it worth it.

For a few dollars a month, you can backup everything on your computer and/or your hard drives.  Having an offsite backup system is the only way to ensure your photos aren’t lost if there was ever a fire or theft.

Some people choose to use their photo lab’s free account to save all of their pictures.  This can be problematic for several reasons.  If you ever want to use a different lab there isn’t always a way to get your photographs back “out.”  

Google Drive is another option but Google Drive does not save the highest resolution for an extended period of time.  In other words, your photos will lose quality.

If a Memory Card Fails (or has been accidentally deleted)…

Last of all, if you ever have have a memory card (or external hard drive that you’ve accidentally deleted or has failed (photographs won’t load, photos look corrupted, etc.) DO NOT USE THE DISK.  Immediately use a program that will help you retrieve photos.  My favorite is Stellar Data Recovery. 

My sister accidentally deleted an entire year of photos off a memory card a few years ago and this is the program I used to get them all back.  It is very simple to use.  First, select the location of the missing or corrupt files, in this case your memory card.  Hit Scan.  It may take some time but the program will give you a preview of any files it has found.  When the scan has finished, hit Recover and choose where to save the recovered files.  Voila!  You just saved your photos.  

Stellar Data Recovery reached out to me and offered me a license if I agreed to review their product.  Since I’ve been using it for years, I was happy to comply!

There are some affiliate links included in this post but only for things I use and love in my own business.  If I wouldn’t spend money on it–I wouldn’t ask you to!




Why a Boring Headshot Isn’t Enough Anymore

Why a Boring Headshot Isn’t Enough Anymore

Years ago, you needed one nice headshot.  Put it on a business card and call it a day.  Now, your photographs are needed everywhere. LinkedIn.  Instagram. Facebook. Some days it seems that every platform is asking for more photos.  And not just one…dozens each month.

Brand photography is an often overlooked investment for businesses. One of the main reasons brand photography is so important is that the majority of people are visual learners. Rather than read or hear about a business, most people prefer to catch a glimpse of what is offered through photographs and video. Our brains process photographs exponentially faster than words.

Have you tried posting a photograph of yourself on your social media channels?  Most people get anywhere from 50-100% more engagement when they use a photograph of themselves!  That’s HUGE! People want to do business with people.

As a small business owner, one of my favorite sessions to photograph are brand portraits.  I love learning about my clients, their businesses, and what they want to portray in their photographs…and then best of all, MAKING IT HAPPEN!

Here are two recent brand sessions I did and a little about each of them:

Meet Mapi Byler, a Beach Body Coach who radiates freedom. In a time where social media is dominated by people claiming to be “real,” Mapi brings the kind of presence that is truly relatable. During our brand photography session, I wanted to capture the strength and dedication I see in Mapi so that when paired with her words, Mapi’s brand photos would offer her followers a window into the type of Coach she is. 

It’s probably no surprise that Calleiah, Owner of Manifest Haute Style & Home, arrived in style for her brand photography session. (She even brought her full length mirror on location–which I LOVE!) The urban environment Calleiah chose for her session highlights the bold, fashion-forward nature of her work. Calleiah’s brand photos show her off as an artist who thrives helping women de-clutter their closets and build a wardrobe that complements and flatters their unique selves. 

Both of these business owners know the value of photographing their unique brand and including photographs of themselves on social media. Mapi and Calleiah’s individual approaches to empowering their clients shine through their photos, don’t you think?  Potential clients who discover both of these entrepreneurs online will find themselves more likely to trust Mapi and Calleiah’s services because they can see a glimmer of who they are as people and because they have a quality visual associated with their product. 


Akron Food Photography | Wally Waffle – New Gluten Free Waffle

Akron Food Photography | Wally Waffle – New Gluten Free Waffle

Akron Food Photography | Wally Waffle – New Gluten Free Waffle

Sharing a meal has been one of the most common ways people have connected for centuries. I can say personally that some of my loudest laughs and most meaningful conversations have taken place across the table from friends and family. Those of you who have been following Amy Lyn Photography on social media for a while may remember that unfortunately, gluten and I are frenemies. This gluten sensitivity can be frustrating for me because it changes how I relate to friends and family over meals by limiting my menu and restaurant options. 

While several restaurants and stores have begun to offer gluten-free options, it’s still rare to find foods that compare to the local options I’ve grown accustomed to having. I had pretty much given up on finding anything close to the favorites that I once enjoyed. With that in mind, you can probably imagine how happy I was to learn that Wally Waffle –one of Akron’s favorite breakfast stops, has added a gluten-free* option to their waffle menu!

During one of my recent food photography shoots, I had the chance to photograph several of Wally Waffle’s menu options. I’m thrilled to hear of another restaurant in the Greater Cleveland and Akron area that’s offering a gluten-free version of one of my breakfast faves! I think one of my favorite things about the food photography portion of my business is how much more I’ve learned about the restaurants near me and the people that run them. Local hidden gems like Wally Waffle’s gluten-free waffles and the entirely gluten-free menu at Jilly’s Music Rooms are just two of many fantastic options I’ve found on my Cleveland/Akron food photography adventures.

What about you? Do you have a favorite local, gluten-free menu? How about a favorite brand of allergen-friendly food? Share yours in the comment section below!


*Always be sure to discuss food allergies and sensitivities with your server. Amy Lyn Photography does not guarantee allergen-free conditions for any food establishment.


Branded Jump Drives

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