Upgrading to Excellence
Perhaps coincidentally, João found himself chatting with fellow photographer Lucas Gilman not long after Hurricane Sandy. After so many accidents and failures, João was open to advice from a famously adept digital workflow wizard like Lucas. Lucas convinced João to give SanDisk Professional a try. João began with some of the company’s mobile drives, then migrated into the dock-ready Evolution Series.
Once he was sold on the reliability and performance of SanDisk Professional for handling field backups, João started to think about how upgrading his storage might impact other facets of his work process. The situation came to a head after a recent weekend of filming for an advertising campaign. The job spanned twelve shoots across four video formats and generated 6TB of raw data. Not only was João a bit stumped on where to put it all given his recently adopted triple-backup policy, he knew there would be similar jobs coming as the demands of his craft grew in size and scope.
In the early days, João began his RAID journey with the G-SPEED® Studio XL, an eight-bay, Thunderbolt 2 interface with up to 64TB* of capacity and sustained transfer rates of up to 1350MB/s**. Almost immediately, Joao went from 3 dozen individual drives to a single, easily transported RAID tower that could store huge projects while out on assignment, that same storage would offer the throughput he needed for real-time multi-track multimedia project editing and RAID protection for extra data integrity assurance. Today, Joao now utilizes the same shuttle system with G-RAID SHUTTLE 8 with Thunderbolt 3, which offers up to 144TB* of capacity and transfer rates of up to 2000MB/s**.
"I'll do a whole shoot, but usually only one image ever goes into print," João says. "Usually, I'm never going to use any of that what's left over. But I’ve got stock agencies that want to work with me, and now it’s like, ‘Wait a minute. I have an awesome archive of stuff that I need to go through and start using.’ With all of these other drives everywhere, it’s been too much of a mess. But with this one Shuttle, I can consolidate everything. It’s helped me organize myself so much better."
Why Storage Matters
For a guy who started off dedicated to analog photography (and painting before that), João has done a solid job of reassessing priorities as his career grew. He now recognizes four qualities that must be present in his digital storage solutions: capacity, durability, reliability, and speed. The first three will seem intuitive to most people. Anyone shooting more than a minimal amount of content will need spacious storage that can be counted on not to fail. However, speed may be less obvious. For João, it was a priority born out of growing experience and mounting professional demands.
"Speed factors in when I'm on the job and I'm backing up," he says. "I’m not just shooting regular stills anymore. We’re doing a lot more video and these 3D images to create fantasy and impact. At the end of the day, after I've been shooting for eight hours and I've got terabytes and terabytes to back up and double-back up, everything still has to get ready for editing and going to print. There are no extra hours."
João defines himself as a storyteller, whether those tales are told through still images or motion. Too many of his early stories are irrecoverably gone, so he is now ardent about demanding the best protection possible. Yes, storage is a part of his live workflow, and now it’s becoming part of a new revenue stream. But more deeply, it’s about preserving his stories, his art, for the future. Disaster can strike randomly in many forms, and he refuses to leave his legacy to chance.