I'm trying to work out a backup strategy for my photos using Lightroom. Backing up the Lightroom catalogue is no problem but then there are the photos themselves, so I'm looking for some feedback.
Currently for me photography is a sideline to my main job, so I just take photos where and when I can, and the majority are either family photos, or interesting/documenting photos that I have no intention of trying to sell. But some I do try and sell as a form of Art Photography.
This is what I've been doing up to now.
All within Lightroom
Import photographs straight into Lightroom from my camera.
Photos are initially stored on a local drive on my laptop (laptop is connected to an external monitor etc., but has limited space)
I split the files between ones I might use commercially and family/general ones.
The commercial ones are moved to another folder (COMMMERCIAL) on the local drive.
The others are moved to a RAID-1 network drive, these are then uploaded to Flickr.
Once a week outside of Lightroom:
Copy contents of COMMERCIAL folder to a network drive as backup.
Backup the Lightroom catalog and copy to the network drive and the Cloud.
I only have a Lightroom-compatible backup of the COMMERCIAL data( by this I mean a backp of the original files plus catalog with all lightroom changes to get final processed image)
I only have an offsite backup of the non-commercial data (via Flickr), but these are the final images not the original images.
I can't keep all my originals on the laptop and just backup to a network drive because I don't have enough disk space and no space for expansion. I could have a USB drive but then I would always have to have it when I use my laptop away from the office.
I keep all files on my local computer until processed because this is quicker and more reliable.
So ideally I would just upload all my images to Amazon S3 to have an offsite backup, but it would take forever.
Currently COMMERCIAL is 10GB and NONCOMMERCIAL is 200GB, although I expect most to rise significantly because alot of the NONCOMMERCIAL is only in JPG format but now only shoot in RAW.
A broadband speed check shows by download speed is 17Mbs and the all important upload speed is 1.2Mbs
I dont use xmp or smart previews. There is no point in me using xmp as I can backup the catalogue okay its the files themselves that are the problem.
What is clear is that because Lightroom doesnot modify files it makes backups easier as I only have to backup the original files once because they are never modified UNLESS I rename them or move them, thats the awkward part.
Worth noting I categorise my photographs into folders by Year/Location. Basically I remember photos by where they were took rather than when. This is the most useful categorisation for me but because I visit some locations rather often they benefit fdrom being split by year to be manageable.