After your Wedding Day what do you do with your photo CD

So imagine this, the wedding day is now a distant memory, the dress is back from cleaners and you have tried out all your wedding gifts and you still have that CD of wedding photos you paid a lot of money for sitting in a draw. Many couples are opting for a CD only wedding photography package these days.  But even if you have your album printed but still have hundreds of photo not used why not bring your wedding day back to life and print some images !

The best tip I can give you is print your photos as soon as you can with a good printing lab.

Do Not go to Boots or some other high street Kiosk as these prints will fade over the years and you are very limited on the size you can print. If you have bought a wedding album they are usually sqaure format so have a look at someone like Photobox or where I print most of my images is www.simlab.co.uk. This is slightly more expensive than the high street because you are paying for postage and packaging but if you are printing a lot of images it will work out cost effective. Also SimLab guarantee their prints not to fade for 50 years in daylight and 100 years in the dark.

The other point about keeping your images on disk you need to know is a CD is a very fragile thing and can easily get damage and will in time expire. CD manufactures will never state how long they will last but the standard length of time is 10 years. It sounds a long time now but time does fly and when you most want your images back they could be lost forever.

Do keep copies of your images on a hard drive or online but again this is never guaranteed. How I store images for my wedding clients is I copy images for the camera to my computer and create a second copy on an external drive as a master copy. Once I have reworked all the images they are saved again as the final cut and hosted to my online storage system provided by another company. Once the project is finished I burn every thing to a DVD so there are always multiple versions of the same files in 3 locations at anyone time. It sounds over the top but I hate loosing images and before becoming a photographer I worked in IT for what is now called Symantec one of the largest backup software companies and have seen large businesses disappear over night after loosing their company data.

Storing files of a USB stick is much more secure than a CD but be aware as technology changes so your USB may not work in years to come.  If you are old like me then floppy disks don’t seam so long ago.  I had an experience with a USB stick that I used on my old PC for many years and when plug into another machine it wiped the whole thing clear without asking me.  Thankfully there was nothing on the stick I needed but it has worried me every since. So I never delete images on my camera memory card until I have created at least two copies of the files.

For my last tip is be sure to rename your image files so you can find them again. Everyone is a photographer these days and we have 100s or 1000s of images on PCs, phones, CD etc. Nothing drives me more crazy than when I can not find a file, so a full proof way if you take a lot of photos is rename them with the date and place/event or peoples name with a sequential number. For example I use the format 120930 Smith Wedding 001. The date is reversed so when looking lists of images by file name they will follow the date order. Also put your images into folders and in this example I would create a folder called 120930 Smith Wedding. To make life easier I create and new folder for every month and year so searching is a simple matter of know the year and month to quickly narrow down the list of images you are looking for. If like me you are more advanced then look at purchasing an image management. I use PhotoMechanics to sort my images, rename them and add keywords / phrases to images on mass so I can find all sorts of thing if needed.

So hope this helps you keep you wedding memories alive forever and if you would like any advise then I am always happy to answer your questions.