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Five reasons backing up on location is a must

If you’re shooting on location, a cast iron back up strategy is essential. Losing work due to hardware failure can happen to anyone, and even the best equipment is liable to fail. This is why your first back up should always be done on location. You need a system in place so that you can shoot all day, with your back up slowly ticking away in the background. An effective strategy will save your precious footage from disaster and stop you filling up your SD cards while on location.


Conal Siddall
The nightmare scenario

When you work with video, audio or photos on location, there is danger lurking from the moment you capture the media. If after a few hours disaster strikes – maybe your camera breaks, or a storage drive corrupts – you could lose irreplaceable assets. Without on location back ups, your clients are going to be unhappy, you’re going to be unhappy, and it could affect your business.

Five reasons you need a robust back up strategy


1.     Even the best drives won't work forever

If you buy a brand new Ferrari, eventually it will need to go into a garage! It's the same with your hard drives – the constant reading and writing of data will eventually lead to drive failure, due to mechanical failure or drive degradation. Even with well-trained staff using the best kit available, you could still lose important data because of simple hardware failure. No back up strategy is completely bulletproof, but you want a system in place that gives your data the best chance of recovery. This is why backing up to multiple drives on location matters, as you want to reduce the risk of data loss as much as possible.

2.     Location shooting is unpredictable

Locations are risky places to work, with various dangers threatening your equipment. Creatives can be on location for long periods of time, far away from the safety of their onsite servers. You never know when the weather will change or someone will knock over your equipment, so good mobile backups for when you’re on the go is essential. Losing a full day’s work because you kept your back up drive and SD card in the same bag, is as bad as not backing up at all.


3.     Clients will want to see you do it right

You’ll want to show a client you take the necessary steps to protect files and data. Not only is your professionalism on the line, but you also may miss out on repeat business. Some clients will require a certain level of data back up as standard, and you can fail some insurance requirements if you don’t do it right. With a lot of competition in the market, having the right system and tools in place to get the job done is a must for standing out from the crowd, and complying with your obligations to the client.


4.     You can work all day long

With great quality video and audio taking up more and more space on our storage drives, capacity is becoming a bottleneck and you’re going to be swapping cards out more often. So when you fill an SD card, you need a hands off back up solution, so you can get back to work as soon as possible. The less time you can spend playing around with laptops and peripherals the better.


5.     Data loss horror stories

Think we’re just talking up the potential of data loss? Now for the agonisingly real examples of data loss horrors:

“I was using my store management software on a computer that was equipped with two hard-disk drives working like mirrors. The idea was that if one drive broke down the data would have been safe on the other one. The problem is that one drive became faulty and its mirror drive simply read the faults and duplicated them becoming faulty itself, years of accounting data were lost!” Lorenzo on Backblaze

During the creation of Toy Story 2, ‘…they discovered that the movie was being deleted off of the company’s servers after an erroneous command was executed, erasing two months and hundreds of man-hours worth of work.’ The Next Web

‘A court in Spain has ordered that a photographer pay €8,000 (~£7,100) to a newly-married couple after he lost their wedding photos and couldn’t deliver what they paid for… After the event in Seville, the photographer somehow deleted the photos without making any back up of them.’ PetaPixel


How on location experts are backing up effectively

DroneHeroes knows better than anyone how to deliver great results, regardless of the conditions you are working under. This Dutch company started out as an Instagram community for sharing drone-generated images. As creative photographers who are always in the wild, their back up solution has to be solid and ready for any challenge.


“The back up process starts immediately after shooting the images – on location, we always use LaCie Rugged drives. These are disks that can withstand even the roughest conditions. We also always carry a 5TB Rugged disk and a 1TB LaCie Rugged SSD with us. This allows us to store our critical images in at least two places. External disks ensure extra peace of mind. They include the unique LaCie Data Rescue Service, such as the Ruggeds, as well as the new DJI Copilot.”

“As soon as we get back in the studio, the back up speed shifts to a higher gear. We copy all images to our LaCie 6big, which contains 48TB of hard disks in total. They are configured in RAID 5, preventing data loss should any of the disks be broken. We edit the images out of the 6big using the lightning-fast Thunderbolt 3 connection. As an additional security measure, we also store the source images on separate 5TB LaCie Rugged disks. These are never deleted and so serve as the ultimate back up.”


Where is all this wonderful kit?

There are loads of quality storage options available, for a variety of different purposes. Like DroneHeroes, one of our favourite storage manufacturers is LaCie, because they are one of the only companies to offer options for the entire creative workflow. LaCie has been in the storage business since 1987. As the premium brand of Seagate Technology, they design world-class storage solutions for photographers, videographers, audio professionals, and other power users across the world. LaCie have leading technology, performance, quality and customer support, and stand out because of their focus on design, unmatched technical performance, and long-term reliability.


Rugged drives

LaCie Rugged portable hard drives thrive where only the toughest survive – the film sets, photo shoots, and music studios of the world’s most influential creative pros. LaCie’s Rugged products are shock, drop, pressure and rain resistant, which is why they’re one of the most trusted ways to capture and transport data in the field. LaCie Rugged RAID and Rugged RAID Pro drives also includes options for RAID protection, by connecting multiple disks via Thunderbolt, USB-A and USB-C connections.


Big Family

LaCie’s ‘big’ drives offer up to 120TB (12big), 60TB (6big) or 20TB (2big) on your desktop, so you can safely store massive amounts of ultra-hi-res footage at your desk. With speedy Thunderbolt 3 connections and RAID 5/6, you get both high speed performance and data protection. RAID is more secure storage, as the data on the array can withstand the failure of one hard disk (or sometimes more) without any data loss, and without requiring any data to be restored from backup.


DJI Copilot

LaCie’s DJI Copilot is a BOSS drive (Back up On-Set Solution), and has an SD card slot and USB port to copy files directly from devices, with no laptop needed. Plus, you can sort and manage files on the go with the Copilot BOSS app, so there’s less to do once you’re at your desk.


Porsche Design

The LaCie Porsche Design Mobile Drive welds forward-thinking technology from LaCie with immaculate style from Porsche Design. These drives hit the perfect medium between quality, style, portability, speed and capacity, they’re a great general drive for everyday use. And for under £100 for 4TB of quality storage, they’re nothing to be sniffed at.


Would you would benefit from a chat about making your back up strategy cast iron? Get in touch with our experts now so we can match the right products for you. Contact us via phone 03332 409 204, email or visit our webpage

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