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I'm a Cairns, far north Queensland, Australia professional photographer specialising in travel, editorial and environmental portraiture.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Don't lose the dreams

Travel is a dream for all of us. Although I don't look like it here as I struggle to breathe in the rarified atmosphere of the summit of Mt Kilimanjaro - I'm loving it!

Not only is this my job, it's my passion. It was my love long before it was my profession. Before I even had half a thought of making it a living. If I had to give up either photography or travel I would chuck the cameras in the bin and keep that passport full of visa stamps! Actually I'd sell the cameras on eBay to pay for another trip. :)

Heresy on a photography blog I know. Having said that though, my photographs aren't just examples of what I did and saw, they are records of a fantastic time. They are pictures of wonderful experiences in my life - as are all of our travel photographs.

Where I'm going with this is....the other day my son's teacher's computer crashed. She lost all the images she'd taken of the children in their first year of school. Hundreds of pictures which are such an important record of the life of our kids. She was devastated. As would any of us be losing a hard drive of images.

Which begs the question, are you prepared for your computer crashing? Do you have a second copy of all of your pictures? Do you regularly back up your memories. If you lose all your pictures of Africa could you afford to go back and take them all again? Not if you make as much (little?) money as me!

So I am imploring you to not lose your precious photographs - both travel and otherwise. Have at least 3 copies of all your pictures. One on the hard drive of your computer, one on an external hard drive and one on a DVD. Send the DVDs to a trusted relative so that if your house burns down (these things do happen!) you will still have copies of all your pictures.

Computers can and do fail all the time. I lost 4 laptop hard drives in two years. If I hadn't had a backup I would have lost everything. Even though if I had to choose between photography and travel I would choose travel, the images I've already taken are my babies. Precious as images yes, but even more important as memories of the experiences I've had. Do everything you can to make sure you don't lose that.

If you're searching for a good way to categorise and keep track of your digital pictures I would highly recommend Peter Krogh's book DAM: Digital Asset Management for Photographers. It will change your life - literally. I have no affiliation with the guy, just loved the book.

3 comments:

Andrew Griffiths said...

Hi Paul,

The old saying ring very true for you here - "if you love what you do you never have to work another day in your life".

Love you Blog and your passion for what you do.

Cheers,
AG

Andrew Griffiths said...

PS Sorry about the typos - hit send before checking. I am a very famous writer...........arghhhhhhh.

Paul Dymond said...

Ah, nice to see that even world-famous authors make typos! Of course professional photographers never make mistakes. :)

While I think the passion is really important, it doesn't take away from the fact that there are parts of what I do that are simply a chore. (as it is for any of us)

And I think that's the difference. You can't expect to love everything you do, but you can expect your love for what you do to be so overwhelming that it will carry you over those road humps of despondency.

For example keywording pictures is not my idea of a good time but I know that I have to do it to get my images out there. So my love for what I do, and wanting to continue to do it, lessens the hatred for the boring parts! haha