Have you ever had a card fail you?
Let me just set the scene for you …
You’re on your way home from a successful photo session, even worse … a wedding you shot.
It’s time to back up all the images and even edit a few sneak peeks.
Getting ready shots √
Bridal portraits √
Family portraits √
Ceremony … what the hell just happened … the memory card says “card failure”
[Insert panic mode here!]
This is the moment your successful business may take a nasty hit.
Unfortunately, sometimes this card failure means that the files are gone forever and there is no way to recover them.
Corrupt (aka deader than a door knob) cards can wreak havoc on your sanity & success.
What can you do to ensure this doesn’t happen to you?
#1 Use dual card slots
One of the best ways to ensure that this doesn’t happen to you is to shoot with a camera that has two slots that you can put two cards in. These types of cameras allow you to set them up as a backup of each other. It creates a copy of the file on both discs. yes this means you are buying more cards but it certainly is the safest method.
#2 Use cards with less memory size
Some photographers may find it annoying to change cards every hour but to me this is security at it’s finest. If you lose a card that has 8gb vs a card that holds 64gb, your window of lost images is smaller. For wedding photographers this can be the difference of losing an entire ceremony.
#3 Import images to your computer using the cord that comes with your camera
The truth is, the more a card is pulled out of a camera and put into a third party reader, the more possibility for damage to occur.
#4 Do a proper card format before every session
Prior to every session, before I even leave the house, I prepare all my cards. I format each card IN CAMERA! I put all those formatted cards into my pelican (card holder) and I know during the shoot that it’s a clean card. When I fill one up I put it in a bag that I have labeled “DO NOT FORMAT. SESSION IMAGES”. This protects me also from any accidental formatting that could occur if I was doing in on shoot. Important: only format cards at home prior to a session, never during one! This way you don’t accidentally format one you just shot. Note: before formatting make sure you have exported all the photos and backed them up.
#5 If you notice card errors happening stop using the card immediately
Sometimes during a session you start to get errors in camera. If any of these relate to the card immediately take it out and use a different card. Any hints of an issue are your lucky sign to major loss if you had continued.
#6 Give your cards an expiration date
This can definitely be costly but I certainly do not prefer to use a card until it dies & potentially makes me lose a session. Yes, a card can go bad right after purchasing but honestly the most nightmares come from a card that has been in the loop for years. I write the date on each card that I buy. Every card gets the boot after two years of use. This doesn’t mean you have to throw it away, you can give it to a friend who isn’t a pro, you can keep it for personal projects, but the bottom line is to always have working equipment. Remember, cards are a business expense.