Somehow people have been brainwashed into believing that digital files are the best option when, in fact, they are not. Digital images are MEANT to be is a temporary method of storage: all too many things can go wrong with digital media leaving you in a lurch with a ton of images that were never printed; images that will never be displayed in your beautiful home; images that will never be archived and made permanent. Lets face it, for many people, after you get back your disc from said photographer, the disc goes in the drawer to never see the light of day…maybe JUST MAYBE to be unearthed (if you’re lucky) in a year or two with an “I meant to print some of these…” utterance.

If I had a pound for every hard drive failure I’ve heard about I’d be at least £1000 richer.
Do the maths. That’s a lot of hard drive failures, they’re very real and scary. But you need not worry, you have multiple copies of your images on multiple hard drives scattered far and wide, right?  Yeah well… A photographer friend of mine had not printed up any images of his young children in several years.  He decided since they were taking a long trip away from home that “now’s the time to get editing and printing.” Off they went on their trip, planning on working hard on getting up to date with his photos he did the smart thing: he took his laptop, his external hard drives and the back up drives on holiday.  You know…so he could do catch up, get some editing done, get some images tuned up and ready to order. A few weeks into the trip, all seems good, right as rain, He was excited because many of these images were of his youngest when she was super little and he didn’t have any prints from this time in her life. He’s finally going to get them printed. He kept his equipment locked up and secure when they were away but somehow someone knew to break into the place where he was storing said equipment (hard drives and back up drives) and someone took it.  EVERY last bit of it.  Every drive, the laptop, everything.  Can you imagine how awful that felt?  To lose all those memories? That’s a tough lesson to learn.  I mean he did do the right things mostly, right?  he had back up drives of his images…but yet this method still failed him even without the hard drive failure! Years of images GONE.  Zero printed copies of these long gone moments.  Probably stuff like baby’s first bath, baby and big sister playing in the bath tub, playing dress up, baby’s first steps…the list of lost images is heart wrenching.  Had he had the prints at least he would still have the prints, I’m pretty sure prints are zero value to a petty thief but they are invaluable to the memory holder. That story is 100% real and it’s 100% sad and there’s a hundred more like it: hard drive failures, power surges that mess up operating systems, house fires that ruin computer equipment.  More theft (in homes).  A lot of what I’m illustrating happened to those who do and should know better: photographers!
I bet they won’t have to learn that lesson twice.