Protect Your Work

By Stephen M. Schaub

Every photographer knows to make backup copies of their digital files and to always put a copyright notice with each use of one of their works but what most photographers don’t realize is that the fire safes they have their negatives and CD’s stored in will not protect them from a fire. That’s right, they will melt- as they were designed for protecting paper and not your negatives or CDs.

For example: I was just reading a story on line about a photographer in California whose house was tragically destroyed in the recent fires. When he returned to his home he was delighted to find his fire safe intact… only to open it and find the negatives and transparencies inside were all melted…30 years worth of work gone!

What can you do?

Simple, buy a Media Safe. These safes are specifically designed to protect items that will melt at a lower temperature than paper will burn. Yes I know they can be expensive and quite heavy but it is the only way to ensure your negatives, transparencies and CD/ DVD’s will survive a fire. Additionally, most companies who make media safes will also give you a new one if yours was damaged in a fire- nice.

So, what’s more expensive: losing 30 years worth of irreplaceable work? Or the cost of proper protection a good media safe provides? I have had one for the last 10 years and believe me, the peace of mind is worth every penny.

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