You’ve got a location wedding?! Go you!
But you’re a bit paranoid about getting those precious RAW files back home? Wondering what those horrible x-rays will do to your beautiful images? Not surprised! (Quick answer is nothing – x-rays will damage film, but not memory cards) Lost luggage? Pocket pinched in the airport? It’s all risky stuff.
Backing up to a cloud service seems the obvious solution here. You upload your files after the wedding, they’re stored on a nice secure server somewhere until you get back home, just in case the worst should happen on your journey. However, there is one major flaw with backing up RAW files online and that is their size.
Assume for a minute that you go through 4 16GB memory cards whilst you’re away (possibly a conservative estimate). That’s 64GB you need to upload before you leave. Hotel Wi-Fi is not known for being the best, so lets guess that you have a 500kb/s upload speed (which is generous). Napkin calculations show that you’d need over 290 hours to upload it all.
That’s 12 days.
Even fibre broadband at 10Mb/s would take about 14 hours. Better – that’s a good nights sleep, breakfast and dip in the pool. But that’s assuming you’re not sharing the connection with anyone.
So at that speed, it’s not really worth it. Your best bet is to take a few backups while you’re there. Backup onto your laptop, and backup onto a USB hard drive (or even memory stick). Distribute it – keep one in your hand luggage, one in your normal luggage and possibly one in your pocket.
However, you might be able to get a good upload speed. So there are places that will let you upload that amount of data. Google will now provide you with 100GB of storage for $2 a month (they’ve just dropped their prices), Dropbox will give you the same space for $10 a month. It’s small money to pay for the convenience it offers.
To summarise – your files should be safe. They’re not going to be wiped by evil rays at the airport, so it’s just a simple case of looking after them and not letting them out of your sight (like a regular wedding).
My advice? Make a few copies while you’re out there on different devices – a copy on your laptop, on an external hard drive and on a couple of memory sticks should be more than enough.
Oh, and enjoy the sun!