Protecting your images at destination weddings

 (Washington, DC wedding)

We are back with more Q and A and today, we are taking a question from Walter from Walter E Homan Photography!


He asked: “I know my back up process when shooting local weddings, but we have our first destination wedding coming up, so how do you protect the images when your away at destination gigs? Also, we get to spend 2 nights in a nice hotel and I’d like to take my wife out and enjoy the town a little the day after. What do you do with your gear? Just leave it in the room? What do you do with the cards?”


Back it up baby!








When shooting destination weddings, we always bring a back up USB 3 hard drive and do a back up of all the images the night of the wedding in the hotel room. We ONLY take out the SD card from our camera and leave the CF card in the camera. We also make sure that we use a high quality card reader and are careful to not damage the reader or the cables. A damaged card reader or cable is one of the top reasons for a “card failure.”


 Back up while you shoot!

We shoot with the Canon 5D3 which allows you to shoot with two cards at once and mirror the images. This means that each time you take a picture, the camera can record it in two places. We use the 64 gig Extreme Pro SD card, and the 64 gig Extreme Pro CF card simultaneously in our cameras and shoot them mirrored. These cards are water proof and have the lowest failure rate in the industry. When everything depends on those images being there, we only want to shoot and use the best. We NEVER want our images in only ONE place at a time. That is just asking for a problem.



At this point, we now have 3 copies of each image we shot; one on the hard drive, one on the CF cards, and one on the SD cards. Then, we just make sure to keep them separated. We carry on our camera gear when flying, and we make sure that the hard drive and CF cards are separate just in case we lost a bag or one somehow got damaged.

If we have the chance to spend an extra day at the location we shot at to hang out, then we just make sure we bring one copy of the images with us in a protected case and we leave our gear in our room. That way if someone stole our gear from the hotel, we still have the images. We don’t worry too much  about things that can be replaced like a camera (be sure to have everything insured), and make sure we take good care of what can’t be replaced like images from the wedding. Then we follow our standard 5 back-up routine when we arrive home.

With that system, we have never lost one image from any wedding to date, and during the last 3 years of our wedding career, about 40 to 50% of our weddings were destination gigs.


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Learn how @zachandjodyphotography protect their images at destination weddings on their blog at