Will using a Network Attached Storage device (NAS) help your creative workflow?
Photographer and Filmmaker Michael Rubenstein says yes.
If you’re in the field of professional photography and filmmaking — or heading toward it — nailing down a seamless data management system is crucial.
After years of collecting at least one hundred external hard drives, Michael Rubenstein decided to add the simplicity and power of Synology NAS and Seagate IronWolf Pro drives which are purpose-built for NAS with enterprise features not found on other drives.
Now his work is available to him and clients 24×7 — from anywhere in the world.
In the interview below, we asked Rubenstein to tell us how he became a photographer and filmmaker, and offer some tips for creative professionals about how to manage data.
What got you into photography?
I was working for a small environmental group in Vancouver, Washington and I kept hiring photographers to head out into the woods and take photos for us. It seemed to me they were having much more fun than I was, so — I quit my job and decided to become a photographer.
How would you describe your style?
After I “became a photographer,” I realized I wasn’t a very good one. So I went to grad school at Ohio University’s School of Visual Communication (VISCOM) and studied photojournalism.
Visual storytelling, journalism, is what I’ve been trained for and always been drawn to — and now it’s what my career is based on.
How do you ingest and archive all of your digital content?
I use Photo Mechanic, which is a super fast media browser, to ingest my cards, caption, and keyword them.
Lastly, I use my stock agency, Redux, and PhotoShelter to archive and sell my finished images on the cloud.
How has NAS improved your workflow?
Once upon a time, all of my images were backed up on individual hard drives or bare 3.5 inch drives — and I would make several redundant copies of each. One copy would stay in my office and the others would get boxed up and kept in separate locations — my images and films were spread out over probably 100 drives in a few different drawers. It wasn’t an efficient system.
Last month, I started organizing all my images, raw footage, and films into the Synology DS1817+. It’s got huge storage. I think I have about 50TB so far with the IronWolf Pro drives.
Once I have everything backed up to the NAS box, I’ll get a second one, back them up to each other and then keep the second one in a remote location. Then they can just back up automatically.
Are IronWolf Pro premium NAS drives worth the investment to manage your image and film content?
The fact that they come with a two-year Data Recovery Plan is huge. Then, there’s IronWolf Health Management software — which essentially monitors the health of your drives and lets you know if preventive action or intervention are ever needed. You can even set up it up so that you receive emails and texts warning you when something isn’t right.
So are they worth the money? The Data Recovery Plan alone is worth it, and with all the other features in mind — absolutely, every penny.
What will your data storage look like in the future?
With Synology NAS, all my images will be in three places — one NAS in my office, one remote NAS for backup, and lastly, in the cloud for sales and a third backup. This gives me the extra peace of mind that I won’t lose my data in case of theft or natural disaster.
Even though my data is in three places, I just use the DiskStation Manager OS to access it as though it were in one centralized spot. The NAS, my main storage, is attached to the internet so I can access my images from anywhere in the world.
I can also give clients access to their own folders so they can easily download and upload images from me. That’s huge.
Find out more about Michael Rubenstein online at: