When selecting a wedding videographer, one of the critical but often overlooked considerations is how they handle and protect your precious memories. Beyond artistic talent and technical expertise, a robust data protection strategy is paramount. This is where data redundancy comes into play—ensuring that there are multiple copies of your wedding footage to safeguard against data loss.

Why Data Redundancy Matters

Data redundancy means having more than one copy of your data stored in different locations or on different devices. This practice is vital for wedding videography for several reasons:

  1. Hardware Failures: Hard drives can and do fail. Without backups, catastrophic data loss, while not guaranteed, is possible.
  2. Human Error: Accidental deletion or file corruption can occur if someone makes a mistake while handling files (unlikely, but it does happen).
  3. Natural Disasters: Fires, floods, and other unforeseen events can destroy physical storage devices.

A reliable videographer should have a comprehensive data redundancy strategy to mitigate these risks.

My Approach to Data Redundancy

In my practice, I adhere to the principle of having at least three copies of all client data post-wedding. Here is how I ensure your memories are safe:

  1. Unraid Server: All raw files are stored on an Unraid server equipped with 10 drives, including 2 parity drives. This setup not only provides ample storage space but also adds a layer of protection against drive failures. If one drive fails, the parity drives allow for data recovery without any loss. another bonus of unraid vs say the ZFS file system, is that a even if we lost 3 drives in quick succession, both data redundancy drives, and one of the primary array drives, you would only lose one of the 8 primary drives data. With ZFS, you have redundancy but you also have a potential for catastrophic failure of the entire array if you lose too many drives.
  2. SSD for Editing: A second copy of the footage is kept on a high-speed SSD, which is used exclusively for editing. This ensures that the editing process is smooth and efficient, while also maintaining a separate copy of the data.
  3. External Hard Drive: The third copy is stored on an external hard drive. This portable drive is kept in a different physical location on site, further protecting against data loss.

On-Location Backup Strategy

On the wedding day, I implement an additional layer of redundancy. While we record to a single card at a time, we back up the footage to a second drive at incremental points throughout the day. We use a device called ClouZen TAINER Portable, which is a self contained data backup unit with an internal SSD, you put a card into it, and it backs up all the card data automatically in just a couple of minutes, creating two copies on site. We also use multiple cards to minimize the risk of total data loss, switching out frequently throughout the day. If one card fails before its backed up, we only lose a small portion of the footage, not the entire day. Its important to note we have never lost any data, card failure is unlikely when your windowing the statistical window to just a few hours per card, before its backed up.

Choosing the Right Videographer

When choosing a wedding photographer or videographer, it’s crucial to ask about their data protection strategy. Here are a few key questions to consider:

  • How many backups do they create?
  • What measures do they take to protect data on the day of the event?
  • What measures do they take to protect your data after the event?

A professional videographer should have a clear and comprehensive plan for data redundancy. This ensures that your wedding memories are protected against various risks, giving you peace of mind.

In conclusion, while the artistic capabilities of your videographer are essential, their approach to data protection is an important consideration. Ensuring they have a robust data redundancy strategy is something worth considering in a videographer, or photographer.  It’s worth putting it on your list of things to ask your image acquisition professionals while vetting who you want on your team for your wedding day.