Business Clean Up – Day 6 – Format SD Cards

The F Word.


I can’t tell you the amount of heartbreak emails or stressed out video chats I have with new photographers who lost images, or freak out at a wedding because when they look back on their card, they don’t see the images (they then open card on a computer and see the images in a new folder and cry from relief). 

You need to be formatting your SD cards. Here are some best practices in formatting:

1. Format instead of “deleting”

Simply erasing, or deleting, images on your memory cards doesn’t fully clear the cards of leftover data. Formatting is a more complete way of clearing old files from your card and can reduce the risk of data corruption. Note: Formatting is typically irreversible, so always be sure all of your images are backed up before doing this. Watch this Reel for my creative back up system. 

2. Format SD cards before using in any other camera

This is just another way for your cards and camera to be “friends” I seriously imagine them shaking hands and promising to protect all images. This leaves less chance for past data to get in the way of writing files.

3. Format new SD cards

When you buy a new memory card, it’s always good to reformat in your camera before using it. This ensures the card is ready for that particular camera.

I like to got through all my SD cards and clear them during my slow season, that way when I get busy again, I can ply one in, format it, capture memories and be confident in my file management. 

If you love what you are learning, be sure to share the graphic below by pinning it, or sharing in your social media stories! 


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