weddings and hard drives

Last year was the year of weddings.  And I don’t just mean photographing weddings, but attending weddings.  I’m not even sure I could count the number of weddings we attended, between the ones we photographed and the ones we attended.  It seemed like every weekend we went to one, if not two!  Not to mention our own wedding, and my brother’s!

And don’t think I’m complaining…I love weddings.  And that’s an understatement.  I love the incredible opportunity to share in a day, so incredibly significant in the lives of others.  The love, the joy, the people, the decorations, the emotions…all of it!  It’s an honor to do what we do!

So in the midst of lots of travel (last year we photographed weddings in Costa Rica and Guatemala, within 2 months of each other), work, and wedding planning, my external hard drive ran out of space.  No big deal.  I bought a new one, and immediately put family sessions, the Guatemala wedding, another May wedding, and my brother’s June wedding on it.

Oh, did I forget to mention what an amazing day that was?  A year ago today, actually (Happy Anniversary, Byron and Brit!), a lovely balmy summer evening in a national park, overlooking a lake and surrounded by forest…it was wedding perfection.  An evening filled to the brim with celebration (that my big brother got such a ridiculously awesome girl and that she said yes!).  And I had the uniquely wonderful opportunity to photograph the day…not as the official photographer, as they kindly hired someone, but as a sister.

I pinned on my brother’s boutonniere on him just before his bride walked down the aisle between the empty chairs at their first look.  I fluffed her dress and arranged her train seconds before she saw him.  I toasted champagne with them, and photographed as they awkwardly tried to intertwine arms and drink their champagne, both using their left arms!  I teared up as they had their first dance, but later joined Britney and her girls in the Cha Cha slide (sometimes you just have to give in).  Then I hugged them goodbye at the end of their grand exit line of friends and family making a beautiful arch with sparklers, just after shooting a few of them running out.

It was so so incredible.  To experience the wedding so intimately, as a sister and a photographer.

I highly recommend it.

And I was so excited to share those images with them!  However, in the midst of an insanely busy summer, filled with pictures and planning, I dumped the pictures onto my external hard drive, and left them for another day.  When I had time to take a deep breath, sort through them, and begin my edit. Sadly that day never came.  My Seagate hard drive had a fluke.  And it died.  Just like that.  Out of nowhere.  And it died the bad kind of death.  The kind that makes it nearly impossible to recover that data.

And so I lost it forever.

And it still kinda makes me want to cry when I think about it.

But please, please learn a lesson with me.  Always, always always back your pictures up in more than one place.  And I say that not just to photographers, but to friends.  You’ll never value a picture more than when you’ve lost it.  So, do yourself a favor, sign up for Carbonite online or buy yourself a Western Digital Passport hard drive and get to backing your memories up.

And though I regret not having a picture from their wedding, here is one of Byron and Britney at the photobooth at our wedding (by Catana Photography).

Happy Anniversary to my wonderful brother and the world’s greatest sister-in-law!

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