I’m devastated.
I should have been more careful.

I should have taken my own advice.

After five years, my hard drive crashed and with it, I’ve lost something so sentimental; Ella’s birth photos.

I didn’t even want the photos. I didn’t want my camera in the operating room as it hadn’t been sterlised. I didn’t want Christiaan obsessing about getting the perfect shot like he does when he gets hold of my camera. I just wanted him to be present in our daughter’s birth.
But the night before we were scheduled for her birth, I got my camera out, cleared my memory card and charged my battery. He wanted this.

That morning, I stressed to Christiaan that he must just aim and shoot. I’d crop in Photoshop. He mustn’t worry about lighting, angle and detail. If needed, I’d fix that on my computer. Just shoot.

And he did.

Blurred by tears and all the commotion, he photographed and photographed and lived in the moment through and beyond the big camera.
And not only did he give me the best gift in the entire world, our daughter that day, but he gave me the visual memories of her birth too. I loved every photo. I didn’t have to crop. I didn’t have to fiddle in Photoshop. They were just perfect.



And now they’re gone.

The two photos in this post are the only ones I had saved in my media library on my website to add to my about section.

Damaged by a stupid mistake I made, not backing up these beautiful memories that I never wanted to lose, before my somewhat aging hard drive crashed and died.
I am meticulous when it comes to backing up my client’s work straight away after a shoot. I should have saved these.

I spent hours trying to recover the photos on my CF cards, but nothing.
The technician holds little hope that the data on the hard drive is recoverable and if it is, it’ll cost R2000+ to get it back. I’m praying, by God’s grace, the photos are recoverable and it won’t cost me so much to retrieve them. I’m not bothered with anything else I’ve lost (fortunately no client work, those are backed up in different places anyway). Everything else can be recreated, retyped. I just want these photos.

For Christmas, I made a book with all these beautiful photos printed in; Ella’ s Birth Story. These are all that we have left of the photos, printed in an A4 book, with love from Ella, to mom and dad. Its worth has tripled and doubled every hour since losing the digital photos.



If you’re reading this, and have special memories captured in digital format on your computer now, please, please BACK THEM UP! On discs, USB sticks, in books, whatever.

I’m a photographer. I preach about preserving memories. Don’t make my stupid mistake.

And if you don’t have any precious photos to preserve, well, that’s even worse than my mistake and you should get in touch about a session. 🙂


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