Malfunctioning Hardware

There’s nothing like a computer problem to put it all into perspective.

For nearly the last month and a half, I have been working really hard on my boutique photography business (Shameless plug… GarBaby’s Photos). I had some sessions over the weekend that really excited me and with the party I shot a few weeks ago – I was eager to finally post photos and share some sneak peaks. Everything finally felt like it was going to move forward in a very positive and successful manner.


I took a break.

I had a great photo to post for Earth Day, but when you spend your days and nights with Adobe Bridge, Photoshop and Aperture… isn’t a break allowed…

I left my desk and did some other non-photo / computer related things.

I came back to my computer to post the Earth Day photo and saw a message that the Time Machine Back-up Failed. I found this odd and then saw a yellow exclamation point on one of the photos I was going to edit. Odd. I noticed that the hard drive was that awful translucent blue/grey and then the dreaded message The disk you entered was not readable by this computer. So direct – so cold. I mean… what kind of a message is that. Seriously….

Yellow alert_2My husband, the professional IT man was equally as direct. It’s dead.

But no… that’s impossible, I thought. Because I – the non-IT-artistic-magical person want to tap my magic wand and have everything back – working again – in minutes…

There are a list of technical terms and jargon that no go with repairing hard drives: sectors, blocks, bad blocks, format… I could go on, but the words are too dry for me… So technical – not creative – MEAN!

I’ve dealt with hard drive issues before – in particular this hard drive… so I should have known. I had stopped using it once before… but now – I dumped everything on there. literally. The photos from this past weekend’s shoot that I was so excited about were on there in organized in folders for my editing delight. Talk about feeling hopeless… When all you want is to transform .ARW and .NEF raw images and you can’t – it’s an incredibly hopeless feeling. No one can do anything quickly and you have to wait… Patience is a virtue indeed, but when it’s your business and the only employee is you… this is potential panic mode.

After a melancholy dinner, I retreated back to my office in silence to plug, unplug and listen to the sounds of potential death that were emitting from my not-so-darling hard drive. How tragic this was – but why wasn’t I crying… I was sad, yes – but always hopeful…

Soon thereafter, my magical IT husband presented me with recovery software! HOPE! I smiled a larger than life smile as I downloaded it onto my computer. I read what I needed to read, all the while dreaming of my photos from upload sessions past.

The most frustrating part of this whole thing is that just when I felt like things were going to stabalize with this business and just when I felt like I had a flow going… a system in place… it imploded! It flashed a yellow alert and was over. Just like that.

The scan didn’t work. It was plugged in for nearly two days and no file was recovered. In fact, all I got was a message that MR. IT read to me this morning. It’s dead…like I said the other day.

Each night I dreamed that one file would appear— hope… but nothing appeared. My husband was obviously not nearly as hopeful.

There’s something about IT professionals. So factual. So matter-of-fact. Where’s the emotion… where’s the love…

While I was crying the tears of my soul last night over my lost photos and “failed” business, MR. IT was likely thinking of solutions… Thank Goodness for him!

The light at the other end of the tunnel was scanning my SD cards… where the photos came from in the first place… at least the ones from 2013. I had no idea how much was going to be recovered, but gave it a try!

2 disks and 2 recovery programs later, my weekend session photos are recovered.

I found a place in the city to take my “dead drive”. The commercial looks promising…

It makes me dream of the day when my lovely data is back on the sectors of another device that I will triple back-up!

For now, I will edit away and pray that recovery is possible and that the quote isn’t too high.

To Be Continued…


The American Navel

I can’t believe it’s been over a week since I’ve posted!

The past few weeks I have been hard at work on my photography business and website! It has certainly “taken over”, in addition to my other familial duties…PLUS we’ve all been ill.  With that said, I have been writing this blog post for over a week in between figuring out my packaging and pricing and all the exciting things I will be offering my photography clients!

So the week before last, while I was figuring out how I will conduct my business, I looked at many photography websites, especially those catering to newborns, babies and young children.

When it came to my bio, I debated whether or not to include a photograph of myself. When I looked around, I found only a handful of photographers without photos of themselves and thought I might as well, even though my initial inclination was not to display one on the site. I felt that I was advertising my work as a photographer – did it really matter what I looked like….?

When I showed the site to my husband, his first comment was, “I don’t think you need your photo”…

I stopped…. annoyed (not at him), that it ALWAYS seemed that when I thought something and did the opposite, maybe I should have done what I was initially going to do. I went on to explain to him that almost all the photography websites I checked out included photos of the photographers and added that it did make sense to me, that a parent would want to see who was photographing their children…. Wouldn’t I??

Maybe a note about my husband would be helpful… He grew up in France, and is for the most part, French… Culturally European (and West African… But the focus here is the European). He then made a comment about Americans…always thinking about their own navel….as if they are the center of their own Universe…. Now.. he’s not the only one who said this – I showed the site to a neighbor of mine – also European and she also asked about my photo.  I chuckled!  Now I’m really  beginning to think it’s a crazy American thing… (side note: I am in no way bashing Americans – I am only pointing out and interested in discussing cultural differences…)

So after some thought I went with my gut… and took my photo down… for now… until I have one that I’m happier with..

But what they were saying complimented each other – my husband was talking about his noticing this culture where we don’t debate topics that stray far from ourselves.  Instead of talking about “Malcolm” (his example), we focus on our lives…  I mean… could my blog be in that category… probablyuh yes… even though I try hard not to..

My neighbor’s comment was particularly concerning if one thought what the had to say was so interesting that we had to share with other people.

Now, I know many people NOT on Facebook and many not concerned with letting others know about their daily ins and outs in what others think, but I don’t know if it’s a purely American thing… It could be an artist thing…  I mean when you work for yourself and write or act or dance or promote yourself, it’s hard to stray from that because YOU are your “brand” – YOU are your own bread.  It could also be a product of our society… “iPhone” “mobile ME”…. “iPod” “iPad”… our everyday products focus on ourselves…

There’s a fine line between just enough me and too much me… but it can be annoying or frustrating maybe to meet people who are constantly thinking about me, myself and I.  We require so much attention these days.  What would be do if we shut off the twitter and Facebook… it seems so rare to have a telephone conversation these days… so much is done by text and I’m not excluding myself (although I’m working hard NOT to make this about me).

I would really like to hear what people think… Are you a perpetrator of constant navel-gazing?be honest… OR do you avoid it like the plague and attempt to participate in discussions about things other than yourself?