If you follow me here, or if you’ve watched my “Simplified Lightroom Image Management” (SLIM) System course (link) at KelbyOne (or heard me teach it live at my Lightroom seminar), you’ve heard me going on and on about how you can’t rely on just one hard drive to back up your images. I talk about how important is that and that you not only have a have a backup of your backup BUT ALSO a cloud-backup, too! Well, this week, two people desperately needed their backups — for different reasons.

If you ever been to one of my seminars, you’ve seen Dave Gales; he’s my longtime friend and moderator for the seminar tour, and he does the morning announcements, helps out front, and bails me out if one of the projectors goes down and so much more. Anyway, we were in Atlanta on Tuesday for my seminar there and he was telling me how he had backed up his family photos to one hard drive, and all his videos to another drive. He did this backup about 18-months ago, but when he plugged the two drives in last week, BOTH were completely dead. Less than 18-months ago they were brand new drives. Now they’re bricks. Thankfully, we had a cloud backup (He’s been using Crash Plan, and though they’ve stopped doing backup for consumers, he was grandfathered in when they made the announcement, so he will still be able to use them for a couple of more years). Thankfully, he had that cloud backup, or he would have lost his entire family archive.

The week before, I got this email from one of my readers:

“By the way, I now put all my pictures on an external hard drive, got a second one and also took an annual backup license with Backblaze which you recommend in the book. It was a wonderful tip, as my laptop was stolen recently and I could recover all my files. Thank you so much for the tip!!!”

Well, I’m passing this same tip on to you today. Yes, you should absolutely have a backup drive for your backup drive, but having a Cloud backup (I use Backblaze.com – $5 a month unlimited storage) where they automatically provide redundant backups for you, could be the key to saving you from the heartbreaking of losing your entire image library.

This would be a great weekend to set your three-level backup strategy in place.
You can watch my new 2018 SLIM System online course for more on all this backup stuff. Here’s the official trailer (below), and a link to the course itself is here.

Have a great weekend everybody — I’m off to shoot the Dolphins game this weekend, and then on Monday I’m doing my last seminar for the year — it’s my “Photoshop for Lightroom Users”full-day seminar – this time in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Hope you can come out and spend the day with me. Tickets and info here.



P.S. Check out this crazy deal — yesterday Dave texted me about a deal he found on B&H on a 10-Terabyte WD External Hard Drive for just $199 (that’s TEN – count ’em ‚ 10-Terabytes for $199 ($100 off). Here’s the link in case you need one. 



  1. Kelly R 26 February, 2019 at 15:10 Reply

    I always wonder what photographers do, like myself that live in a very rural area. So what do you suggest for those of us who live in a rural area and have zero access to high speed internet, nope not even broadband or cable internet. It’s 4g hotspots or really bad satellite, both options being very expensive so no chance you can use the cloud?

    I have my master external and two external backups and pray nothing happens to them

    • Rob Sylvan 26 February, 2019 at 16:07 Reply

      Keep a copy at an offsite location (such as a your place of work or the home of a friend/family member), then periodically bring the offsite drive home to update and then take it back offsite (or have a third drive that you can rotate back and forth after updating).

  2. rebecca 10 January, 2019 at 06:58 Reply


    Scott, I understand that you have an external hard drive at home and another one at your office and you sync them to keep them up to date. I’m confused about what synchronization software you use. Thank so much.

  3. Ralf 15 December, 2018 at 13:22 Reply

    Hi Scott,

    with Backblaze you can backup one Computer. What is your strategy to backup your files you keep on external hard drives, connect them all to your computer so that they get backed up as well? Can you unplug them once they are backed up?

    Thanks a lot and best regards

  4. Paul Collins 7 December, 2018 at 08:55 Reply

    Hi Scott

    I watch the tutorial n theSLIM System it was very well presented. I have adopted your system it was a revelation, and now I have got to grips with it I have come to love it!

    Thank you so so much it has been fantastic I would recommend everybody.

    All the best Paul

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