Archive for December, 2014
Dec 24, 2014
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As technology advances, our storage mediums continue to change.  I remember soft and hard floppy disks, and still find them every now and then.  Others remember further back.  Most of us still have CD’s and DVD’s full of files from years ago.  But are CD’s and DVD’s still a safe and secure way of saving your files?

While I was shooting weddings, it was common for clients to purchase the printable files, and it still is for those in the industry.  So when I did, I wanted to make sure I gave the best I could, which meant I invested into special gold archival discs, and I eventually gave two copies.  These discs are supposed to last like 100 years or more, but will they really?  I had an experience recently that makes me question it.  But regardless, the best practice is to never rely on only one means of storing your files anyways.

As I’m wrapping up my government job I’m working on transferring thousands and thousands of images into an electronic archive system.  Everything I’m pulling is either from discs or film.  Obviously we’re focusing on the discs.  We had close to 600 discs, all CD’s, and a small handful were gold CDs.  These discs where from between 2000 and 2006 roughly.  I think we averaged about a 5% failure rate in these discs, including the gold discs.  These were successfully burned and verified at the time of creation, and extremely well preserved, yet some (including the gold discs) failed to last 10 years or so in untouched storage.  This made me think about some of the discs I had at home from years ago.  I only had about 32 discs at home, all DVD’s, but I think they were all generic.  I had two or three of them with problems as well.

If you look at the numbers, then it doesn’t look that bad, but it does show that even archival discs are not completely reliable 100% of the time.  I’m not saying don’t use them.  They’re still a great storage, but with the size and affordability of electronic storage, I’d suggest making sure you have all the content on those discs copied to other electronic storage so that you have everything in more than one place.

The best practice really is to have any important files kept in multiple storage locations because everything has a 100% rate of failure.  That’s also another good reason to have printed displays made with your photos instead of only getting the electronic pictures.  About the only things a professionally printed display won’t survive is fire, theft, and flood.  So print your pictures and backup your discs.



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Post by  at Brandon Malone Photography

In all our going thru boxes of stuff as we’re slowly moving to our new home in TN, I found an old box of pictures.  You know, back when we actually printed all of our pictures.  LOL.  Now we just download everything, post a couple online, maybe print one or two, and then forget about them in cyber storage.

As much as I’m guilty of this, I also hate that we do this, and I didn’t realize how much so until I spent an hour looking at an entire box of old pictures.  When is the last time any of us put pictures into a photo album?  I still love looking thru old photos!  Of course I also prefer reading printed books instead of ebooks.  It’s an emotional experience holding and looking thru tangible printed memories.  Yes, you can flip thru pictures on a computer or device, but it’s NOT the same.

It seems like society is trained these days to ask for all their pictures on a disc.  What is the percentage of people that actually copy those images to their computer or other storage for safe keeping?  What is the percentage of images off of those discs that will actually be printed?  And what’s the percentage of those discs that will just be stuffed away and forgotten and never have anything done with them?

We are busy people and so it’s no surprise that almost every time we postpone doing something that we’ll never end up doing it.  For example, couples that don’t get a wedding album as part of the services with their photographer, putting it off till a later time, almost never get a wedding album ever.  We did the some thing in our house in MD.  There were things from day one that we wanted to do, but just never did.  It took me ten years to finally put in the dryer vent for goodness sakes!

So here’s my point: when I provide photographic services, people love what I create for them, and I want them to have printed copies of everything!  I know they can’t afford everything, but I want them to have everything.  But everyone is so trained on just asking for a disc, which is such an injustice to both of our time invested to create what we do.  And it was going thru that box of my own old photos that gave me the realization that I needed to create archiving collection options.  And so I did just that.

I put together three different photo archive collection options for clients that are only available after satisfying a minimum investment level.  Depending on which one is chosen, there’s options like having your images put on a customized USB drive, or by having them sent via online transfer.  All collections include both printable and Facebook (non-printable) files.  There are also options for having loose prints only, or having them put in a photo box, and even having them mounted for greater protection.  Either way, clients will love having physical professional prints from their session that they can look through, even when they are grandparents themselves decades from now.

If you have tons of pictures on your computer that you care about, then print some out and put them in frames or photo albums.  Use online labs and get calendars or goofy things made.  Just be sure and get them printed so they’re not forgotten.  And if you get professional photos created, then get professionally printed images made.  Don’t invest all that time and money into only getting electronic images that will probably be forgotten, if not lost as well.  Your memories are more important to you than that.


photos sitting on hay


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Post by  at Brandon Malone Photography



After much delay I have finally wrapped up my video project for Corey Jackson Horsemanship.  This was a VERY involved project, but I loved every bit of it.  Corey is actually the one that helped me realize my new focus on equine owners for my photography business since I stopped doing events last year.  I still have a lot to learn ahead of me about doing pictures with horses, but working with Corey was important to me.

As someone that provides services to others I can relate with Corey.  When you watch this video, you will hear his passion for both the horse and the owner and realize that that passion is first and foremost.  We both believe in being there for our clients and their best interests more than we care about making them a client.  We are there to help, and Corey expresses that very well.

Amanda asked me recently if videos is still something I want to add to my services after all I went thru with Corey’s project.  It’s true that I did spent weeks of time and fought my way thru some mistakes that I couldn’t resolve, but the biggest part of my job is to help others tell their stories and I love being able to add video to my work to help do that.  I have some great photos of Corey both with his own horse and working at clinics, and they all tell a story about him.  But the video captures so much more, giving a different type of emotion and depth.  Not that either medium is deeper emotionally than the other, but they’re different in how they speak to the viewer.

Videos cannot replace photography.  You’ll never hang a video on your wall as a permanent display.  It’s not something that you’ll randomly stop and stare at as you pass it by from time to time, letting your heart be touched by the memories it recalls for you as you would with a printed display.  Videos are keepsakes though, kept safe on a shelf with other videos or on a computer, ready for you whenever you want to see again the moving expressions and the changing tones in their voice as they are alive again in that moment.  It is for this reason that I think video is the perfect complement to photography.  Videos speak but come to an end, and photos are silent but are always there for you.

So what are my plans with video?  I want to continue doing videos for professionals, whether in the equine industry or other areas such as real estate.  I also want to continue getting clips from photo sessions, but I also want to get more personal messages from my portrait subjects as well.  I’m sure I’ll come up with different ideas as time goes on and I get more hands-on with it.  Everyone has a story to tell, including you who’s reading this post right now.


cowboy and horse


walking a horse


cattle herding


lunging a horse


walking a horse





If you found this post helpfully in anyway, please let me.  Please Like and Share this post so others can enjoy it too.  Thanks for reading.

Post by  at Brandon Malone Photography