Storing and organising data is a huge part of managing a wedding photography studio. It must seem like our work ends the moment we make the delivery to the client, but there is so much more in between this process and even after that. All the data that we have from a wedding has to be managed and stored somewhere. And this is where a data storage workflow comes in. It’s very important to have a workflow because without it you won’t know which data is stored where. A workflow establishes a uniform treatment of all data and makes sure that the data isn’t irresponsibly lost. So it’s very easy to track anything at any point in time.
We’ve spoken in detail about the importance of a workflow in our previous posts. Of course, for that, we need reliable and robust tools that can store and protect our data. It’s not a question of if, but when a hard drive fails. So having a storage device that we trust to keep our data safe is very important. As a studio, we have an average of 2 to 3TB of data per wedding. Multiply that by 20-30 weddings in a year, and that generates about 80-100TB of data. All this data needs to be managed and stored efficiently. Now we have spoken about our photography workflow in two of our previous posts. So this time around we thought we’d give you an idea of what our video workflow looks like. Let’s dive into our data management workflow and take you into our process.
The first step on the field is to copy your data from the memory cards to your hard drive. Now, this is a very tricky situation as your data is a little vulnerable until you can get back to the studio and make another copy. So the LaCie Mobile Drive helps us quickly transfer our data from the cards. It’s built for rough use and helps transfer the data quickly via USB-C while we’re on the field. It’s a high capacity portable storage device that we highly trust to keep our data safe.
The next step in our workflow is backing up the data from each wedding. Once we’re back in the studio, there’s only one copy of the wedding data and that makes us a little nervous. So the idea is to get more backups in place quickly. As we’ve mentioned in our previous posts, our mantra is “3,2,1”. There are 3 copies of the data that is transferred onto 2 mediums (hard drives and a cloud backup) and 1 of those copies is kept at a different location from the rest (say 1 at the studio, 1 copy at home). So in case there’s an accident at one of the locations, at least the data is safe at the other backup.
We have massive amounts of data, as you know, that needs to be managed, stored and archived very efficiently. This is where the Seagate Backup Hub Plus comes in. It has a huge storage space and the data transfer rate is great. Plus, it has two USB 3.0 ports on the front panel. So we can plug in another flash/hard drive in case all the ports in our computer are busy. Once plugged in the hub, the drives can be accessed as if they were plugged directly into the computer.
Of course, with so many wedding projects open at a point of time, we also need to know how much data is stored and where. So for this, you need to have a master list of all the data stored. So that if anyone needs to access anything from a wedding, all they need to do is open that master list and check where the data is kept. We also strictly make sure that only a handful of people are responsible for copying and keeping the list updated. So if one person is copying one wedding’s data on the field, the same person will also be responsible for backing up and updating the sheets once we’re back in the studio. This ensures less error and loss of data.
Once all the data is backed up, it’s time to get into editing mode! For this, we use the LaCie D2 professional. We could go on and on about the drive’s technical specifications but we’re not one to go deep into the technicalities of the product. What is of importance to us is how it functions and how it can help us work more efficiently. And the D2 does help us work faster and much much more efficiently. It has definitely made our editors’ life easier. At any given time, we have 3-4 projects open and the LaCie’s storage capacity helps keep them all in one place. The D2 also has a USB-C/Thunderbolt port and as compared to a regular hard drive, it does work with the speed of thunder. Our Premiere Pro projects run more smoothly and with less lag and waiting time. The storage device has definitely become a very important part of our workflow.
Our policy as a studio is to store all the data we’ve ever shot. Which of course requires not only a massive but also efficient and reliable storage unit. And it’s our responsibility to archive everything for possible use in the future. Or just in case a client needs it again. Seagate understands our predicament and helps us to what we do best without worrying about data loss. Once we deliver the project to the client, the updated project files are backed up in the Seagate Backup Plus drive again and the data remains stored in perpetuity.
We cannot stress enough on the importance of a good and systematic workflow. In the absence of one you can lose video data, have difficulty in locating them, duplicate data, and these are definitely not good for your business. Of course, you probably already have a system in place. Now you just have to identify the weak spots and devise a system for it. But start today, if you haven’t already!
If you have any questions about our process or need help devising one, do let us know in the comments. We would love to help you out!
Disclaimer: This post has been written in association with Seagate International but the opinions are strictly our own.