Professional photo and video workflow on a semi-pro budget

Written by iwanvdschoor on July 1st, 2010

I am one of those photographers that wants to grow to the next level, do things right, and make sure I have the backup strategy  like the big professional guys, but I am a bit more restricted by budget than they are. This article explains how I implemented it like Chase Jarvis, but on a more affordable (for me) budget…

After watching Chase Jarvis in this video, and reading the related blog post: Chase Jarvis TECH: Complete Workflow and Backup for Photo + Video ,  I got inspired to jump on this and work on a project to turn my old Linux box into a super duper Mac file server…  Yes, this blog explains how I now use my old Linux machine as a full blown Mac file server!

So if Chase Jarvis ever stops by to see how I do things.. it looks like I have a totally fancy Apple XServe raid machine running in my shop, until I show him the closet…

I followed this article to get my Linux box up and running and looking like an Apple XServe server:
HowTo: Make Ubuntu A Perfect Mac File Server And Time Machine Volume

After setting all this up, I added more space to the server (it only had a 40Gb harddrive, used for small development projects, and staging area for my website) and I created a couple of additional volumes that would be mountable from my Powerbook.

I added the following components to my server (an old Sony Vaio Pentium 4 PC):

Promise SATA 300 TX4

– 2 Seagate 2TB drives

Now my workflow (using Mac OS X 10.4.11, so no Time Machine) is:

– Import the photos into the Aperture 2 library (using referenced files)

– Before making ANY changes, backup the library to the server

– Make a backup to an external harddrive

After working on the photos on my computer, I back them up to the external harddrive, to a seperate Working folder, and this folder gets backed up to the server as well, so at this point I have multiple copies of the same images:

2 copies of the originals (1 copy on the server, 1 copy on the external harddrive) that are not to be touched anymore

3 copies of the working files (1 copy on my laptop, 1 on the external harddrive, 1 on the server)

After I am done working on the files completely and the project is delivered, there will be 2 copies of the final files, 1 on the external harddrive, one on the server, and 2 copies of the original files (1 on the external harddrive, and one on the server)

The laptop will be cleared and prepared for the next project!

I am still working on a budget, but safe solution for offsite storage of the files, and I’ll post another blog whenever that comes up.


1 Sony Vaio PC running Ubuntu Linux with 4TB of storage (only 2Tb gets actively used, the other 2Tb is an exact copy in case of harddrive failure)

1 External Harddrive (Seagate 1TB firewire drive)

1 Powerbook G4 15″ (yes.. she still gets the job done very well!)


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