Everyone knows that it's important to back up your photos, as it would be heart-breaking to lose the only copy of a precious photograph. Years ago, we were taught to keep negatives in a fire-proof safe, away from the originals... just in case. In the digital age, we copy photos to a secondary hard drive, burn photos to CDs, or use an online backup service. Regardless of how you do it, it is worth your time to back up irreplaceable photos.
Just as important, but often overlooked, is the importance of backing up our scrapbook layouts. Wouldn't it be just as devastating to lose your scrapbooks as it would your photos? Actually, I think it would be more devastating. I treasure my scrapbook layouts not just for the photos on them, but for the handwritten journaling, handmade embellishments, and one-of-a-kind memorabilia I used. While I could replicate some of my layouts if I had to do so, there are others that I could never recreate.
Here's one example. I made this layout when Trevor was three to document his love of mazes. For the title, I had him write his name directly on a nametag. His adorable 3-year old handwriting is what I love best about this layout.
If something happened to this layout, I could never recreate that part of it. Now that Trevor is 7, he obviously writes much differently than he did as a preschooler.
Fortunately, I don't have to worry about "what ifs" because I back up every layout I make, without fail. As soon as I finish a layout, I scan it. It's tempting to wait until there's a stack that needs scanning, but I don't allow myself to do that. I scan each layout immediately after finishing it, even if I'll be finishing up a second one 30 minutes later. If my original layout were ever ruined, I could print a high-quality copy from the scan.
I don't stop there though. Any disaster that ruins my scrapbooks could ruin my computer as well, so I immediately upload the layout to my blog. Once it's safely stored somewhere other than my house, I take my time uploading it to scrapbook.com and our personal photo gallery.
While chances are I will never suffer the devastation of something like a fire or flood, I feel much more comfortable that if I do, the contents of my precious scrapbooks won't be destroyed.
Do you back up your layouts?