Welcome to the official photography tips website by photographer and TV personality Justin Mott. 

A Photography Archiving System For The Future

A Photography Archiving System For The Future

I typically travel 3 weeks out of the month for work, mostly all around SE Asia. My business has grown quickly in the last 5 years from just 2 of us working out of a cafe to 3 offices and 10 employees. I have an archive of images that spans almost 10 years of working in the region and that adds up to a ridiculous amount of memory.

We shoot video and still photography so you can imagine how quickly we burn through hard drives.

The great thing about photography, especially editorial photography is that after your pictures are published you as the photographer still own the copyright to your images (unless you’ve sold your soul to the devil). Why is this important? Well, editorial clients don’t often pay a lot but you can offset the low payment with reselling your images through your own archive or through a stock agency.  I do a little bit of both.

Often after I shoot for the New York Times I get calls from other publications shortly after inquiring about buying my images directly from me.  In other cases a magazine will contact me for more options of images I sent months ago or perhaps they can’t find the images I sent. It’s rarely the case that you send your images to the client and all is done. This is the nature of our business but when I travel constantly this presents a problem because I don’t travel with my giant archive, it’s impossible. Or at least it was impossible until now.

Last month we received the WD MyCloud DL4100 Business Series 4 drive bay system with customizable RAID options at our office in Hanoi.  We’ve got 24TB on this bad boy. This piece of technology is a game changer. This drive gives me access to my archive wherever I am. Not only that, I can grant my staff access to it as well from multiple offices. This is a powerful piece of hardware with some sexy software to go along with it. I can share files directly with clients and I can even access my archive on my phone with their mobile app.

I have an office admin that handles my archive no one knows my images like I do because I was there on the shoot.   I first got to use and appreciate the system last month while I was shooting a wedding in France and a client wanted to purchase a specific image I shot form 3 years ago on an editorial assignment. Instead of going back and forth with my admin with 10 emails trying to locate the specific image I could just log into my archive remotely and find the images instantly and the sale was made and the client was impressed.

For our wedding photography we get clients that lose their photos or that want an extra picture so now I can just log in and find that image instantly.

In today’s day and age clients expect speedy service and if you can’t give them what they want instantly they will find someone who can. Now I can respond instantly, no matter where in the world I am.

Sometimes it’s just a matter of posting an image on social media platforms related to what’s going on the world. When Vietnam had the anniversary of the fall of Saigon I wanted to dig up old images I had related to this story for my Instagram account but unfortunately I was in Singapore on an assignment so I had to wait until I returned back to Vietnam and by then it was too late to be relative.

The MyCloud DL4100 is easy to use with their own software making my life easier and my business more streamlined. I love that I can grant access to clients and my team, customizing my archive and securing it at the same time. An archive needs to be secure and reliable and this product checks both boxes while also adding the best feature of them all,  global accessibility in a speedy manner. I highly recommend this product to any professional photographer no matter what they shoot, it will change your business.

Click here for all the tech specs and pricing…

Check out more photography tips! Look for #AskMott across social channels and tag your posts with this hashtag to ask me any questions you have about being a better photographer

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