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Back Up Your Photos & Your Actions Too!


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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. Andrew on August 16, 2013 at 9:44 am

    Hi Erin,What happens if you move the original photo file to a different location? For example, if I wanted to do a re-org of my photo library. How would that effect the saved data in the Lightroom catalog?Thanks,Andrew

    • Alberto on August 17, 2013 at 2:15 pm

      It won’t effect the saved data but when you try to develop the image or to export it with the saved data on it, it will prompt you that it won’t find the location of the file and you will have to choose the new location where the images are.

    • Erin on August 22, 2013 at 9:23 am

      Andrew, if you do all of your moving and reorganizing from within LR, everything will be fine.

  2. Linda on August 16, 2013 at 4:03 pm

    How to you call up the backup dialogue when you want to backup at a non-scheduled time?

    • Erin on August 22, 2013 at 9:22 am

      Linda, you can just change the backup schedule to “Everytime LR exits” and then quit LR.

  3. Mike on October 10, 2013 at 12:37 pm

    I backup all my image folders to an external hard drive. When I’ve finished editing the images in Lightroom and Photoshop I do another backup. I’ll usually delete the image folder off my laptop tomake room for new images. If I ever need to revisit and edit prior images I use this trick. If you keep the same folder names (as in 2013CarShows) and move it back to the original sub-folder on your computer, your Lightroom catalog will recognize those photos the same as before they were moved.

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