Over on our educational blog we have a post for our readers on a recommended data management strategy. It then got me thinking that I should probably write something for our couples to give a bit more details about how we ensure your day goes well and how we ensure nothing goes wrong later.
THE DAY ITSELF
Let’s start off with the wedding day itself. Lots of things going on and a very busy time for us. We ALWAYS without question shoot the day with 2 of us. There is simply too much going on to have any single person taking responsibility for everything. On the larger days we have 3 or more. This is our first backup, people. Not only do you have 2 people on the day to cover every aspect of your wedding but we also have the rest of the Minty team available to step in should your two assigned shooters be unavailable to attend. This has yet to happen but if Julie were to wake up with a broken ankle then Alex, Nathan, Gavin or any of out other team members could fill their place and thus not compromise your day.
The next level of backups we have is in our gear. We have at least two of EVERYTHING… OK, not everything. We only have one Steadicam but that is the only exception. We attend every wedding with 2 wireless mics or more, our 2 main shooting cameras as well as our spares. 2 telephoto zoom lenses, 2 audio recorders, 13 batteries, 17 memory cards and even more stuff.
On the subject of our spare cameras. Our spares are not some lower grade fill in either, they are the same make and model we use to film the rest of the day as we have had on the day failures. But not to worry, we simply pull out the spare and carry on exactly as we were. It’s a situation where many others would simply panic and be quickly looking up on the internet on how to fix their only camera. For us, I think when we have had a camera fail we simply say “Meh!”.
So, the day is all done and we have some memory cards with all of your precious, once in a lifetime memories. What do we do now?
The first thing is we copy all the memory cards onto our little network storage unit. That’s it on the left, 12TB of lovely, fast, reliable network storage. Here is where the first level of protection comes in. This unit uses some fancy technology called RAID 5. This means that if a single hard disk fails (and there are 4 of them) then nothing is lost. We keep on running as normal.
That’s not enough for us though. What then happens is we immediately backup everything to an external hard drive. This protects us if we delete something by accident or have the little black box fail completely on us.
So now, we have your memories in 2 places. That still isn’t enough for us. We need another one! So we backup everything AGAIN to another external drive which is then kept off-site in a secure location. This ensures we are protected against theft or fire or if a squirrel breaks in, chews through the wires and causes a massive electrical spike…
Actually, even a squirrel couldn’t cause problems as the entire storage and backup system is connected to a UPS. A UPS is a big battery that powers everything in the event of a power spike or failure. This protects us against data corruption that can occur if we are accessing our little black box and the power goes.
All this backup and redundancy is standard in all of our collections and just part of the bespoke service we offer. Having a failure, theft of fire is never an excuse to lose your memories or fail to deliver the quality you expect on the big day itself just to save a few pennies.