A reader pointed out recently that I have never written a post on the topic of doing backups — both backing up your Lightroom catalog and your images. I was surprised by this since I agree it is a very, very important topic. I checked back through the archives, and indeed, he was right.
Have you ever thought (as I did today) that you would burst into tears or have to break open a bottle (before noon!) if you lost Lightroom work you did or images you captured? If so, you are going too long between backups.
Let’s first go back to a public library analogy for Lightroom: if the stacks of books burned down but the card or web catalog was saved, could the library function? Could it function if the stacks were saved but the catalog was destroyed? Of course the answer in both cases is no. It is true that it would take less time, expense and effort to recover from the catalog destruction, but both are critical pieces to the functioning of the public library. With Lightroom, your images are like the stacks of books and the Lightroom catalog is like the card catalog in the library. When you think of backing up your photo library, you need to plan to back up both the images and the Lightroom catalog.