Why A Single Memory Card Won’t Cut It…

Stay Protected

Memory card failure. You think it won’t happen to you… but it will. It happened to me which means it can happen to you. I was not going to write this blog post. I just really did not want to showcase my failure, but I have a learned a lot in this past week. It all started when I was back home in Pennsylvania for a wedding on a Friday. We shot the wedding and everything went great. The photos were shot, dumped, culled, edited, uploading and delivered by the following Friday! I left for school in Virginia Beach, VA the Monday after that wedding and I thought I had everything I needed.

Thursday came around and I had an engagement shoot… I prepped my gear about 45 minutes before the shoot. I was sure I had everything and all my lenses were already cleaned. BUT I was missing one of the most crucial pieces… a memory card. I left five 32GB cards in PA six hours away! I ran out to Target and purchased two SD cards and ran off to the shoot. Crisis avoided  & lesson learned! I had brand new cards and was thankful I didn’t find out Saturday before a wedding I was shooting on Sunday…

…I was so confident that these cards would last. I just bought them, so they must be perfect, right?


I was in shock and only 2 hours into the wedding day on Sunday when my camera read, “Card not accessible. Reinsert/change card or format the card in the camera.” Thankfully, I had another two cards with me and I kept shooting. I replaced the card in the camera with the card in my pocket and everything ran smoothly.

I came home, dumped the photos and started to try and access the card with the error. It would not be read by my computer! It was a nightmare… I thought it would have connected. I have always been somewhat optimistic, so naturally, the card would connect and it would be fine. If not, then I can just use some recovery software to retrieve the data.


That is strike 2, Josiah! I ran 5 different recovery programs for over 24 hours with no luck. It could not read the data… Thankfully, all I lost was the bride’s details (Shoes, Jewelry, Ring shots, Dress, etc.), her getting ready and half of the groomsmen portraits. Luckily, my 2nd photographer was shooting the bride getting ready and I finished shooting the groomsmen. All I really lost was Details.

I only had one option left. Call the Mother of the Bride and graciously ask her to spare my life and keep my reputation as a photographer… Just kidding, she is the nicest woman ever and I did plead for my life and asked if I could reshoot her daughters details. She understand and allowed me to reshoot.

Moral of the story:

1. Always, always, always check to make sure you have all your gear packed up!
2. Always, always, always plan ahead
3. Always, always, always have back up cards
4. Never, ever, ever shoot an entire wedding on a 32GB card (
I knew this already, but it was even clearer this week)
5. Murphy’s Law is real – whatever can go wrong, will go wrong.
6. Brand new SD cards are not 100% reliable!

And Finally,

7. Serve your client’s well & don’t risk their photos becoming corrupt!

That’s all I got for you lovely people! I hope you take this to heart! Memory protection starts in camera. It’s time to invest in a dual card slot camera (5DIII).

For Photographers

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May 1, 2015



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