Back Up Your Photos & Your Actions Too!

Free Photoshop Actions and Lightroom Presets by MCP™

Back Up Your Photos & Your Actions Too!

My daughter came home from school the other day and had lost her gloves. Wonder if I can go back to Target and ask them for a new pair?

I left a phone charger in a hotel room.  Maybe AT&T can “give” me a replacement?

A hula hoop got left in the snow and cracked, wonder if Toys-r-us will replace it for me?

My car ran over a big rock, and did $3,000 worth of damage. Wonder if GM will just fix it at no cost?

The answer to all of these questions is NO. Stores do not replace lost goods.  Yet in the digital age there is a sense of entitlement.  People feel as if digital products should be replaced at no charge.  I am guilty. As the digital “store,” I have always re-sent out actions free of charge.I get between 3-6 emails daily in recent weeks, asking or even begging for actions to “please be resent” usually do to hard drive failure. I should have created a policy from the beginning, but I never knew it would get this out of hand.  It may be due to a larger customer base, or maybe because people are just not backing up their actions.  Or maybe computers are not being made as well as they use to be, which is not saying much.

I want to help my customers.  But I am torn.   Maybe the best way is not to re-send.  Maybe the best way is to teach a lesson – learning the hard way…  Most photographers back up their photos. If they do not, ouch! But some skip their plug-ins, photoshop actions, and other digital products.  YOU NEED TO BACK THESE UP TOO!  You paid for them.

Imagine if you could back up your gloves, toys, car, etc. Imagine if you could duplicate items so if something happened, you would have a fall back?  Well in the non-digital world, you cannot.  But in the digital world you can.  Do not take that for granted.

At this time I have decided institute the following “actions replacement” policy:

– Resend actions for free only if you can provide me your receipt – either a paypal receipt, credit card receipt, etc.

– It is time consuming for me to look through hundreds of transactions to locate your purchases. If you cannot provide a receipt, I will discount previously purchased actions at 50% off current website prices. I will need to be able to verify your past purchase.  You will need to provide me the following: month/year each set was purchased and email address used for payment.

– My upcoming site will allow you to re-download products up to 5 times (must be products purchased on the new site). You will just need to remember your log on info. This will help alleviate these issues going forward.

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  1. Rae Higgins
    May 1, 2012 at 12:13 am —

    Seems like a fair solution!!

  2. December 14, 2009 at 2:52 pm —

    I always back up my actions as soon as I purchase them. I have a desktop folder for actions that I save a copy to, then I can pull the file right from my desktop to copy them to a dvd.
    I wouldn’t know where to begin to find all of the actions I’ve purchased over the past years.
    Thanks for the reminder/tip, Jodi. I think your policy of requesting the receipt is fair, which also brings up that you should save a printed copy as well and keep them in a folder somewhere.

  3. December 14, 2009 at 1:16 am —

    As a consumer, I can understand the feeling that you as the store can just “re-send” them, but I think your policy is fair. I do have a back up on my EHD, but that is the only place I have them other than that they are installed on my program. (I also back up all the free ones I have as well, I don’t want to have to search out all the actions I’ve got!!) I also probably wouldn’t mind having to pay a small fee to replace them, but providing a receipt for free replacement is fantastic!

  4. December 13, 2009 at 4:39 pm —

    To backup your actions you have installed, you just need to copy the “Action Palette.psp” file to a USB flash drive, another hard disk, etc. On a Windows PC, this file is located in C:Documents and Settings\Application DataAdobePhotoshop8.0Adobe Photoshop CS SettingsActions Palette.psp . On a Mac, it is located in /library/Preferences/Adobe Photoshop CS Settings/Actions Palette.psp . I got this info from the Outback Photo website at Keep in mind that only backs up the “installed actions”. If you purchase or downloaded free actions that have not been installed, then you need to copy these to a USB flash drive or external hard disk drive. These files have a .atn extension. Hope this helps!

  5. December 13, 2009 at 2:32 pm —

    One tip is to use an alternate web-based email account. I use a Gmail account specifically for software registration numbers and installer programs. Those are the only things that go to that email address -as I forward them myself so that I have them in my regular email account but also a duplicate copy on Google’s server.

    Using a service that allows 5 automatic downloads is a good idea but I can guarantee that many of those people won’t remember their login information and won’t have any idea when they purchased what action set.

    Just my $0.02

    Delane Rouse

  6. December 13, 2009 at 1:08 pm —

    Wow! That is really generous of you to offer this to your clients! I luckily have my actions saved on my external hard drive AND on discs. It’s still scary though because over time…. NOTHING is guaranteed to keep working. My hard drive could crash, discs get worn… etc. I just try to continue to back up… back up… back up!!! Anyway.. I really think you are one of the FIRST (if not, very few) to be this gracious. That says so much about you girl! :O) I’d feel a lot safer if all of the vendors I purchase my actions from offered the same “warranty” or “guarantee”. I realize it’s time consuming and probably a pain in the bum for you to do this and you do not have to…. but it’s so amazing that you do! So… THANKS!!!! <3 <3


  7. December 12, 2009 at 10:30 pm —

    We learn from our earliest years to take care of our belongings, put them away, and make sure we don’t take them for granted. I’ve been on this end of a couple of computer crashes, and know what a sinking feeling that is. I’ve also been on the other end, where expectations of others run high.

    Good for you, setting up a policy and sticking to it. Sounds reasonable and generous at the same time.

  8. December 12, 2009 at 1:19 pm —

    Good idea! Also something I never considered. Now, for a very silly question… how does one go about backing them up? Just copy them to a disc? This coming from somebody who backed up her website for the very first time (in over a year) just the other day. LOL

  9. December 12, 2009 at 12:19 pm —

    I think you are exactly right in your new policy and agree with you 100%. However, its really going to bite me in the butt because guess what? My hard drive crashed last week and I am one of the obnoxious ones who never thought to back up actions …. it just didn’t occur to me. I am hopeful …. I had a computer service guy back up my entire hard drive before I had to have it replaced. Maybe I’ll get lucky and he’ll be able to reinstall my actions as well as programs and the other stuff. If not, well, lesson learned the hard way. Despite that, I do not blame you ONE SINGLE BIT. Your time is money ….. we would all do good to remember that about others.

  10. December 12, 2009 at 12:07 pm —

    Good set of rules. I think I might try something similar.

  11. December 12, 2009 at 11:12 am —

    I think this is very fair, Jodi. We photographers know the risks of not backing up important data and need to remember that actions we purchase are just as valuable as the photographs we make. When I sell a digital collection to a client, I tell them to make a couple of backups because if something happens to their images, I cannot guarantee that I will have them available to give them again.

    Sorry you’ve been overwhelmed by requests like these and I think this is an incredibly reasonable policy to institute!

  12. December 12, 2009 at 10:49 am —

    I feel your pain here! I have customers asking me to do this quite often too. I’m sure they are only thinking that you aren’t loosing any money in materials. And not thinking about how much time it’s costing you.

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Back Up Your Photos & Your Actions Too!