Today we celebrate Abi and James’ love story. I believe every wedding I photograph has a special story, but today’s story isn’t just special, it’s a miracle. Something you only hear in fairy tales.
As a photographer, I understand the importance of backups and saving your files on different hard drives. As a matter of fact, I have three different back ups while I’m editing photos, just in case something happens. As soon as the couple receive their photos, I back them up on two hard drives for storage. (In South Africa the internet speeds don’t allow us to back up online yet. Something I’m dreaming of for the future) Unfortunately, I never thought someone will break into our house and take all my hard drives, especially not in a security estate! (For those of you who don’t know, you can read more here.)
As I’m typing this blog post, my eyes want to fill up with tears, just because I know it is an absolute miracle that I have the privilege to blog Abi and James’ wedding today.
After the break in, the most devastating thing to do, was to tell Abi and James that their photos were stolen, amongst other things. Every single photo was gone. I knew that some day, Iaan and I could replace our computers, tv etc, but wedding photos, those I could never replace.
I really didn’t know how to break the truth to them, and before I had the words to tell them, I received this amazing, understanding email:
We are so sorry to hear that you have been cleaned out – how terrible and how sad in your new home.
We appreciate you have so much to think about and so much going on. We are also so worried that all our wedding photos have been lost.
Do you, by some miracle, still have them?
Thinking of you both
James and Abi
After their kind email, I found myself in a place where I simply couldn’t believe that their photos were all gone. I replied with the sad news, but still told them that I have hope and believe we will find the photos. Even though I had no idea how this would happen.
To cut a long story short (the long story will follow in the next blog post), none the hard drives or computers were found. But by the grace of God and a very, very huge miracle, 7 of my 14 CF cards were found by the police, amongst some other things.
I remembered that I used 9 of my 14 cards on Abi and James’ wedding, so there’s a little bit of hope…As soon as the police found the cards, I entered them into my computer and then the disappointment.There was nothing. The cards were formatted.
Then I took my last option. I ran the cards through Stellar Photo Recovery Software, recovery software I once used to recover photos from a corrupted card. This was my last option. I ran the software on all the cards, and then the miracle, I recovered 80% of Abi and James’ wedding photos!
So today we celebrate love, but also the huge miracle that this couple have some photos to relive their special day.
A very special thanks to the Somerset West police department for their amazing work on our burglary case. (More about this story in the next post) And also a big thank you to Abi and James for being so understanding, supportive and very patient in this process. You guys are amazing! And I was honored to be your wedding photographer. Enjoy your photos and happy valentine’s Day!