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By Kalvin Subbadu, Sales Manager, Storage Technologies at WD South Africa

As we move towards the warmer months of the year and into the ‘wedding season’, many photographers receive an increasing number of requests for wedding photos to be taken. Creating an album of photographs is an integral part of any wedding and as we see the steady uptake of High Definition (HD) and Ultra HD photos, providing a new level of quality, photographers face the challenge of where to store these Gigabyte (GB) hungry files. Furthermore, digital cameras, battery backups and extra memory cards make it easy for professional photographers to take even more photographs than before with greater ease, all which require additional hard disk space.

The challenge for these professionals today is how to store all the wedding photos taken. Literally thousands of images simply cannot be printed and put into albums, which is the old fashioned way of keeping photographs, and optical media like CDs and DVDs have limited storage capacity and a limited lifespan. Network Attached Storage (NAS) offers the perfect solution, with a host of other benefits such as increased storage capacity and additional backup through redundant storage.

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Digital has revolutionised photography, not only from a technology perspective, but also in terms of the sheer number of images we can now capture and store. Wedding photographs are no longer constrained by the cost and limited number of frames on a roll of film. The problem is what to do with the thousands of images, not to mention video.

As the resolution of our cameras keeps getting better, especially with the uptake of HD and Ultra HD, the resulting file sizes also increase which makes media like CDs and DVDs unsuitable. Flash drives present a similar issue – limited storage capacity and an unknown lifespan. Even external hard drives may fail at the worst possible moment, and without a backup these photographs will be gone for good. Imagine the consequences of losing a client’s wedding photographs before they are edited or delivered?

In addition, many photographers turn to cloud storage such as Dropbox to create shared folders for clients to download and share their images. This is a convenient solution, however, the challenge is that these free providers offer a limited amount of storage before users have to pay. Paid storage can amount to a significant monthly fee when considering the file sizes of each photograph and users will only have access to it, and their files, as long as they keep paying. Not to mention the fact that public cloud storage has proven to be susceptible to hackers, and many people do not want their personal lives stored who knows where in a potentially unsafe way.

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Thankfully, NAS storage offers the perfect solution for each and every one of these challenges. A NAS enclosure offers a number of bays in which hard drives can be installed. For the professional user, this is typically up to eight bays. The storage enclosure, once populated with purpose build NAS hard drives, is then connected to your home or office network via an Ethernet cable. This provides a central repository for all digital content, including wedding photographs. In addition, users can create shared folders on their own, secure hard drives, and give a link to this folder to clients, who can then access the folder and download their photographs.

Because the NAS enclosure has multiple bays for hard drives, it provides larger, aggregated storage capacity. In fact, utilising 6TB hard drives in a five bay drive will give you 30TB of storage. This can be used as one large centralised hard drive, or it can be configured to duplicate content across more than one hard drive. This reduces the capacity, but provides extra backup in case one of the drives fail. Setting a NAS enclosure up is also easy – simply insert the drives, plug it in, connect it to your network and you are ready to go.

The enclosures typically come with software that makes using and managing them intuitive and quick to learn, and they can be shared wirelessly with all devices in your home, including smartphones, tablets, smart televisions, media streaming and more. You can even buy them pre-populated with hard drives to make installation even easier. However, it is worth bearing in mind that NAS is a specialised application, and will only work efficiently if you use hard drives optimised for NAS environments, such as WD Red drives. This will ensure your content is safe, secure and can be accessed easily.

With NAS storage, it has never been easier to keep wedding photography secure. The features of NAS make these devices the ideal solution for photographers, allowing you to store masses of digital content, share it, access it remotely and from multiple devices, and make sure your photographs last a lifetime.

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