Lindsay Adler is a professional portrait and fashion photographer based in New York City. Her editorial work has appeared in numerous fashion and photography publications internationally including Noise, Bullett Magazine, Essence, Zink Magazine, Rangefinder and dozens more. A clean, bold and graphic style has become the hallmark of her work, making her in-demand for clients across the world.
"On sets, especially for fashion shoots, time is money,” says internationally renowned fashion and portrait photographer Lindsay Adler. "Sometimes you’re shooting right up until the very last second that you have at this location you’ve rented for however many thousands of dollars. The second it hits three hours or whatever, you have to be out of there or else you get billed again. So at the last possible second, when I scream ‘go!’ for interns or assistants to wrap it up, sometimes they scoop things up and forget the drives are attached. The drives crash to the floor with everything we’ve shot that day. And, I mean, this hasn’t just happened once or twice. They think I’m probably going to come kill them, but I say, ‘Just plug it back in, give it a check, make sure it’s okay.’ They plug it in, and, because I use G-Technology drives, it’s always been fine. Always."
With most of the G-TEAM creative professionals we profile, storage is a necessary part of life and their businesses, but for Lindsay Adler, storage is actually the foundation for half of her career. Now 28, Adler started out shooting the usual suspects at age 15, doing sessions for friends and family, covering weddings, newborns, high school upper classmen, and so on. Soon, she asked all of the professional photographers around her where to go to college and what to study.
Adler recalls, "Every single one of them said, ‘Don’t study photography. Study business. Because anybody can take good photographs, but it takes true knowledge and understanding to run a successful business."
She took half their advice and landed at Syracuse University, where she studied both Photography and Business. However, it wasn’t until nearly the end of college that she took a class on fashion photography. The class would change Adler’s life. She knew she had found what she was meant to do. Pursuing fine art was never enough. She needed the extra challenge of starting with someone else’s vision and then combining it with her own to create something greater than the two parts.
After a stint studying fashion photography in London, Adler returned to her home in upstate New York to run a portrait studio while also working to transition into fashion photography in New York City on the weekends, spending her nights working on fashion editorials and weddings side by side. As if this weren’t enough, Adler also cranked up a second career as an instructor.
"My focus in teaching really was to help people save the time, effort, and suffering that I had gone through with whatever the topic might be,” she says. "I was trying to help people learn something quickly and efficiently so they could get back to what they loved doing: photography."
Adler’s first-ever class was titled Organization in the Digital Age and it would be the first of many courses she would go on to teach regarding digital asset management. Her mission was to keep things simple and help people to protect themselves with smarter ways to track images and protect them with backing up. Today, she offers classes at every major photography conference around the U.S., although her topics have expanded to include creativity and how to cultivate techniques for being innovative and different. The danger, she says, is complacency. People should never be complacent with their portfolios. The same could be said of their storage.
"When I first moved to New York, I was directing a few projects," says Adler. "We needed a lot of storage because we were shooting with the RED and the Phantom, so I needed a lot of storage. I was talking to some really high-end cinematographers and DPs, and I said, ‘I don’t really know what hard drives are best.’ Hands down, everyone said, ‘Get G-Tech. That’s the only way to go.’ It was unanimous. Everyone has a story about every other drive brand having issues at some point, but G-Technology has worked flawlessly for me ever since the first drive that I got."
Like most professionals, product quality and reliability are Adler’s top priorities for her storage gear. She also emphasizes capacity, laughingly noting how while the common advice is to think twice and shoot once, she tends to think twice and shoot ten times. Often, Adler will capture her best shots during those “in between moments” when the model’s hair is in mid-flip or there is a fleeting smile between poses.
The end result, of course, is gigabyte after gigabyte of raw images. For the years that she’s been using G-Technology products, Adler has typically relied on pairs of G-DRIVE slims in the field. (As a rule, she always buys two of any storage drive and makes sure that one copies to the other as soon as possible.) As of mid-2013, though, she switched over to the G-DOCK ev with Thunderbolt for image backup from her laptop. The G-DOCK ev system a pair of ruggedly enclosed USB 3.0 drives that plug into a Thunderbolt-based, hot swap-ready enclosure. The two drives can be configured for maximum capacity or data mirroring.
"It’s so easy for me because I don’t have to carry a big clunky system on location to back my data up," says Adler. "My assistants can just back up my file. When I come home and I plug it in, I have it set to mirror already, so I’m just all set. It’s portable and simple, and it essentially lets me skip a step in my previous workflow."
Following her files from camera to archiving, Adler begins by handing off full flash cards to interns for backing up to a G-DOCK ev drive, which in turn automatically mirrors to a second ev drive. Once home, she takes the G-DOCK ev content and backs that up to a four-drive, G-SPEED Q tower with integrated RAID redundancy, which, of course, backs up to a second G-SPEED Q tower. If a quadruple backup system sounds complicated, it’s actually not. All of the mirroring is automatic and managed through backup utility apps. Any shots that get selected by clients or are subsequently retouched (perhaps 2% of her total image volume) also get backed up to Amazon S3 cloud storage.
If Lindsay Adler’s methods sound a little extreme, keep in mind that she practices what she preaches. Assiduous backup has been part of her workflow ever since starting out as a teen. As a result, she is one of the "lucky" few professional photographers who have never lost even a single work image. She’s had crashes on other drive brands, but she was always prepared with backups.
Her storage strategy reflects her choice of storage brand, which in turn reflects her professional style. Look through Lindsay Adler’s portfolios and the dominant aesthetic is obvious. She focuses on a single element, one striking concept, and has it spring from the image without distracting backgrounds or unnecessary texturing. She describes it succinctly: "I like to describe my style as clean, bold, and graphic."
Adler loves the look of G-Technology drives and how they stack to keep her environment looking simple and refined almost as much as the products’ utility and reliability. She doesn’t endorse specific brands or products to her students, but she does counsel them to spend the extra money to get the right solutions.
"Especially starting out, you want to go with the less expensive," Adler says, "but it’s the same with wanting the less expensive camera or the less expensive strap. So the camera strap breaks, and then you break your camera. It’s the same thing with drives. If the drive fails, then you lose your files. That extra investment is worth having so much more peace of mind."
G-Team members are leaders in their respective fields who use G-Technology products in their day-to-day work lives. G-Team members are compensated for their participation.
G‐Technology external hard drives serve as an element of an overall backup strategy. It is recommended that users keep two or more copies of their most important files backed up or stored on separate devices or online services.