Ahhh spring. A great time to bust out your lens pens and lens cloths and dust off your photography equipment. But don’t forget to spruce up your memory cards before heading into the summer season.
Start With a Memory Card Inventory
Take the time to survey how many cards you have and what state they are in. This is especially important if you have multiple types of cards floating around. Ensure that there are no stragglers hiding in a camera bag pocket or at the bottom of a lens case. My tip: I write numbers on my memory cards so I can double check I have all my cards before leaving a location.
Back-up Images on Your Cards
Do you ever snap a quick photo but forget to move it off the card? Now is a great time to move those images over to your computer, leaving room on your memory cards for new photos. Here is another great tip: delete images from your card in a batch. Limiting the amount of times you change data on your memory card will help extend the life of your cards. So choose to delete the images off your card in one format, either in your camera or on your computer, instead of deleting single images as you shoot. Better yet use “Format” to wipe and reformat the card in camera.
Store Your Cards Properly
All memory cards, no matter the type, have delicate parts. Keep your cards safe and dust free by storing them in a container designed for memory cards. There are a ton of memory card wallet options available. Take a few minutes to think about what your memory cards go through and then look for a container that will work for you. Do you need a waterproof case? Are you a wedding photographer who carries around more than a few cards? If so, this is a worthwhile investment for you.
Write Your Name on Your Cards
We’ve all seen the Facebook posts of an image being shared around the web off of a found camera or memory card, in an effort to return the device to its owner. Don’t let that be your photo! Write your name and contact information on your cards. Losing a memory card is a downer – they aren’t cheap and those images could be lost forever. Simply including your email address, website, or phone number along with your first name, may increase the odds of having a lost memory card returned.
Label Used Cards
Come up with a system to label used cards. It happens – you start taking photos, and forget which cards you’ve used and which you haven’t. You then have to do the classic move of putting the card into your camera to check if it is full. Skip this step by coming up with a way that quickly identifies which cards are full. If you’ve numbered your cards, you can keep track of the numbers. My personal system is to put used cards into my card wallet backwards. A quick glance tells me which cards are ready to use.
Do you have a memory card organization system? Tell us what works for you in the comments below.
Need some new cards or some accessories? Try some of these: