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John’s Foolproof CF Backup Method for Weddings

My heart always skips a little when I read on a forum about someone who lost images from a wedding. Usually, the problem isn’t with the CF card or the equipment, it’s with the photographer’s system for downloading cards to the computer. It’s not too hard to get confused and overlook a card when downloading CF cards after a wedding. Usually the photographer doesn’t realize this until weeks later though at which point the card has already been overwritten and the data is irrecoverable.

But, wait, there’s a solution! This video shows my process for making sure that everything you’ve shot safely makes it onto your computer. The last thing you ever want to do is tell a client that you lost their wedding photos so here’s a little help.


8 Responses to “John’s Foolproof CF Backup Method for Weddings”

  1. jay Says:

    thanks john, i seem to be doing everything right for once ;-) curious the size of cards and the format your shooting, just to get an idea of download time and all that good stuff, thanks! jay

  2. Tim Whitley Says:

    John, thanks for sharing this important part of your workflow. I’ve just started following your Photographer’s Toolkit series and simply can’t thank you enough for this valuable resource. Looking forward to the day when I can constructively give back to the photographer community. Best regards.

  3. John Says:


    I shoot with 4 gig UDMA cards. I’m using the 5D MKI so that give me about 200 images per card. I use a Firewire 800 reader so the download goes pretty fast. For the video, I only had two or three shots per card so the download would go quickly. I used a USB reader for that - that’s actually not my desk. Mine is way too messy to show in a video. =:-o


  4. Jacki Says:

    I’m a fan. I think you’re the greatest ever, my favorite photographer of all time, and want to say thanks for what you do to help others. You are loved in TEXAS!
    Jacki :)

  5. Nate Kinnison Says:

    John, Thanks for taking the time to make the video and discuss things.

    What about importing into lightroom or other software from your multi-folder system? does it create problems?

  6. Leslie Kim Says:

    Cool tips! I posted the link up on Twitter!

    Just received your Photographers Toolkit Issue to my inbox today. Great work! :)

  7. Daniel Says:

    Great info. A little different from my workflow, but I learned something here!

  8. kwong Says:

    Thank you to share your knowledge and you are so talented. always bookmark your work for references.

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