How I organize my SD cards as a wedding photographer (post-wedding)

Keeping SD cards organized as a wedding photographer over the years has definitely been a…. we’ll call it a journey.

I have tried at least a dozen systems and I finally found a system that works for me when it comes to keeping SD cards organized.

Which SD Cards I purchase – brand & size.

First of all, I exclusively use SanDisk Extreme Pro high speed SD cards.

I get the 5-card multi-packs from Amazon, and every single wedding gets a new set of cards.

Writing speed matters, especially because my style of shooting involves a lot of movement. Not to mention if you have a slow-writing SD card during the ceremony, you have a higher chance of missing the shot. These cards write at 150-170 MB/s which gives me all of the confidence in the world that I’m capturing the milestones and the moments in-between without having to preview and scroll through in the moment.

I also never shoot on any higher than a 64GB.
I don’t re-use cards for weddings because I’m a little extra.

Is this necessary? Probably not. But I would rather be safe than sorry! When you shoot entire weddings or multiple events on say, a 128GB, you’re essentially putting all of your eggs in one basket. If that one basket breaks… well you’ve lost your eggs. In this case eggs are moments in time that you can literally not get back, even if you have a great recovery software, so it’s just not worth it to me. I would rather swap out cards between the ceremony and reception if I need to. Also, it helps me to not overshoot.

Post-wedding SD card organization

After backing up all of my files to two external hard drives and Backblaze, I label and store the SD cards in a 40-Slot Water-Resistant Card Holder. Then the case goes into a my fire-resistant case.

I like this case because it’s under $20 and comes with numbered labels and a corresponding numbered list where I put my client’s names.

I have one case for weddings, one case for couple sessions, and one for boudoir sessions!

I love this method for a few reasons:

  1. The number label goes on the top edge of the SD card, so I can still stick it in the SD card slot of my MacBook Pro (or any SD card reader) without any issues, meaning I never have to remove the label!
  2. It’s really easy to re-use these cases. I use white-out on the paper list and re-write over it.
  3. When I am ready to re-use the SD cards, I know I’m using the card from the oldest delivered session first because they are numbered. This ensures that the rotation is pretty consistent!

Overflow/ready to format cards

Because I’m a little extra… I also have a case for overflow cards from previous years that are ‘ready to format’

These don’t need to be labeled, but I know they are okay to format and use for future sessions!

Like I said, I’ve tried SO many different systems and products, but doing it this way makes my life SO much easier and I know exactly where my cards are at any time if I need to go back to them for whatever reason.

If you are a photographer looking for ways to be more organized with SD cards, I hope this was helpful!

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