The trials, triumphs, and tribulations of
(awesome) wedding photographers worldwide

Culling be like…

Many moments of…

… and a bit of this when you find the one where you missed the focus …

… and probably some of this when you realize what you could’ve done better…

… but it’s worth it for the good ones.

When I finally quit the day job

When I’m going to do a ring shot on a flower, and the bride goes: “Oh, you’re gonna stick it right up in there?”

So I’m all:

And then my clients are all:

When I’m trying to rename my business

When the bride’s “dancing” face looks like an “angry” face

Allllll night long.

When I sell a piece of gifted jewelry to buy a L lens

When I see yet another news report of a photographer losing a couple’s images


Seriously, people, this is basic stuff. There is NO EXCUSE for not backing up your images!! This is BIG DEAL.

I know that this can be a little intimidating when you’re starting out. <3 So, here’s some easy steps to how to avoid ruining your business- and someone’s wedding day:

1. Never reuse a card on a wedding day. NEVER. Get enough cards to cover MORE than enough so that you can get home and do multiple backups right away from the original cards.

Better yet, get enough cards so that you don’t even have to reuse them until you’ve DELIVERED the files to the couple.

I use Trancend cards (yes, they are reliable), and they are only $32 for a 32GB CF. $32!!! (here’s the SD versions)


Seriously, a handful of those could save you thousands in legal fees. If you haven’t got enough cards, don’t buy anything else until you buy these!

2. Never let your cards out of your sight on the wedding day. This is why I use such large cards- the risk of a card getting lost (or damaged by repeatedly being inserted and removed, which is a leading cause of card death) is MUCH smaller by simply leaving the card IN the camera. 

If you’d rather use a number of smaller cards instead, that’s fine. Just make sure that they are SECURE. Personally, I feel better having them on my person at all times- so if I were to use smaller cards, I would keep my card pack in my waist bag. In a CLOSED or zippered pocket.

For example, here’s the case that I keep my extra cards in. It folds up tight and velcros shut.


3. After the wedding, do NOT stop along the way and leave your stuff in your car- you are asking to be robbed. (same goes for leaving gear in your car any other time!)


If you MUST stop (for example, if it’s a out of town wedding and you’re staying at a hotel), KEEP YOUR CARDS ON YOUR PERSON. Preferably, bring along a laptop or some such to backup the images at the hotel so you have at least one copy.

Obviously, gear and liability insurance is also a HUGE protection for your business and absolutely is vital. But bear in mind that many insurance companies will not cover theft from a car- and almost none of them will cover theft from a car left unlocked.

4. Back up those images the MOMENT you get home. To MULTIPLE places. 

I use external HDs with docks, so that while I edit for the next couple weeks, the images can be on:

  1. My computer’s local HD
  2. The two external HDs (one of them then gets stored outside of my own home, in case of a fire) 
  3. The CF/SD cards themselves (until the wedding is delivered to the couple)

By the way, if you use LR, be sure to also backup your LR catalog, so that your editing is backed up. That way, if something happens to your original HD, you’ll have all the photographs AND your edits and you won’t have to start all over. (this is partly why I have a separate LR catalog for each wedding- so that I can store that catalog file with that wedding’s images on all my drives)

Here’s the $25 Plugable docks that I use. They are super simple, just plug in the USB to a PC and off you go.


Here are the $100 Seagate HDs that I use. I choose $100 3TB drives to accommodate my 20 weddings a year, plus various sessions. (There are also smaller drives if you prefer- a 1TB one is $50 or so)


5. Get one of those backups OUT of the house. As I said, I do this to prevent loss of image due to fire or theft. It’s like grandma told ya- never keep all your eggs in one basket! 

A good option is to simply keep a HD outside your home- for example, in a safety deposit box or with a trusted family member or friend. I keep one at my mother’s home. 

Another option is cloud storage. Zenfolio, Dropbox, and Google Drive all offer JPEG and RAW storage- Google Drive being the cheapest of the three. Personally, I use Zenfolio, simply because I also use their print sale feature to sell prints to my couple’s family and friends.


(if you’re looking into Zenfolio, you can get 10% off any plan with this code: T5M-EEF-1N8)

6. Speaking of cloud storage… Even if you go the route of having all the RAW backups being on physical drives, please consider at LEAST having the finalized and delivered JPEGS in cloud storage. This assures that even if the couple lose their USB/DVD, you have a easy way to get those files to them quickly.

File types and storage options will continue to change, and online backups to the cloud are a great way to make it easy to keep up with those changes.


(^——- BTW…i that not the cutest gif EVER!?!? :D)

7. One final note on slots and cameras… although it may not financially be an option now for everyone (believe me, I 100% understand that!), I urge you to consider saving up for a dual-slot camera your next upgrade. 

Although it is rare, card corruption while shooting DOES happen, and you can double your chances against loss by having a camera that records to two cards at the same time.

Additionally, with a dual slot camera, you can use both large and small card “methods”- one large card as a backup that stays in the camera all day, and many small cards to divide up the days so your eggs are split into many baskets. :)

Personally, I use the 5dmrkiii.


I’m not going to lie- at $3,300, it took a loooong time to save for it- but I love knowing that I have the safety of the dual slots (not to mention, the awesome ISO range and autofocus improvements!).

Many cameras now offer dual slots, and I encourage you to make sure that your next camera has this vital feature

(If you already have a dual-slot camera, PLEASE be sure to USE this option. As long as you’re recording the same type of file to both slots (for example, M RAW to both) you shouldn’t see ANY slowdown in record time. There is no reason NOT to use this important feature!)

KEEP THOSE IMAGES (and your livelyhood) SAFE, MY LOVELIES! <3 


Please, fellow photographers, please share this with EVERYONE you know who shoots weddings- especially new photographers.  Shout out this message to the photography forums and groups, e-mail it to your interns, and share it to your wall. 

Make this message heard.

Let’s end the madness!

(as a note, please bear in mind that the above links a affiliate links, so WHWCWP does receive a portion of sales from those links. However, all of the items I’ve listed here are ones that I personally use and 100% believe in, and I am sharing this information to help fellow photographers, not to make money)

When my car gets smash-and-grabbed and I lose 3/4 of my camera gear at the beginning of the wedding day

At first…

and a bit of…

Then realizing all you have is a 35 and 85 prime and you still have a wedding to shoot…

But then rocking the wedding anyways, because this why people hire professionals…

Can’t you just give us the Unedited Images and we will Instagram them?


My head the morning after a russian wedding