Hard drive crashed, wedding photos gone! Help!

Megan

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Hi everyone,
My wedding photographer had some of my wedding photos in Lightroom and her computer crashed (they were deleted from SD card and thery were not backed up). So, we paid $800 to have the hard drive recovered and none of the Lightroom catalogs were recovered. I am devestated so wanted to reach out to you experts to see if there is anything at all I could possibly do here or am I out of luck? Please note I have never used the program so don't know anything about it. It just seems odd to me that if you import files, they aren't recovered. I'm willing to pay whatever it takes to get them back. I'm so sick over this. Thank you for your help!
 
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Lightroom stores all of its information in a Catalog file. The Original images are only referenced by the catalog file and are stored separately. You need both the catalog file and the image files that were imported (referenced) to the catalog file. If you were able to recover all or some of the image files, then you or a professional photographer could import these into a new catalog file and reprocess them. Any professional photographer can take these image files and process them using Photoshop even if they are not a Lightroom user.
 
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Hi Megan, sorry to hear about your troubles!

The problem you describe is not actually a Lightroom issue.
This is a data recovery problem.

I were you I would approach other individuals or companies that are skilled in data recovery.
It can cost a lot but it seems as if you prepared to pay a fair amount to get these images back.

Your reference to the Lightroom catalogs is a bit enigmatic.
To enlarge on the explanation that Cletus gave - no images are actually stored in a Lightroom catalog.
The catalog is nothing more than a database that stores metadata and links to imported images that are actually stored elsewhere on the hard drive.
If one uses Lightroom to edit images then those edits are stored as metadata (as a list of instructions).
If the hard drive crashed while Lightroom was open and using the catalog in question then even if the catalog file can be recovered there is a good possibility that it will have been corrupted by the crash and so may be unusable.

The key issues are this:
1. If the original images that were shot can be recovered then nothing, apart from the time and effort put into editing those images, has been lost.
2. The loss of the catalog is a bigger loss for the photographer than for you, provided the above point holds.
3. For now the key is to recover the original images.
4. If the catalog can also be recovered, in a usable state, that is the cherry on the top.

Tony Jay
 

Ian.B

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umm, maybe get divorced -- get married again -- choice another and proper photographer . sorry
sort of annoys me thinking this still happens with such important photos

tony and clee would know more about this than myself --- i'm just hoping the files are still on the alive hard drive and all is not as bad as it sounds

I would be asking for a full refund --- I personally would refunded without being asked --- and have every right to ask the photographer to re-stage to day as much as possible


Backup your important photos folks
-- don't format the card until you have 2 copies on two hard drives
-- s*** does happen but this should not happening 2017 .
-- make sure your contracts covers such horrors

Hope it works out OK Megan
 

Cerianthus

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It seems a very unprofessional way of dealing with anything as precious as wedding photographs by the wedding photographer. Not doing any backups and then having the client pay for a recovery. To me it looks almost like a scam. Hopefully most of the original pictures will be found back.


Verzonden vanaf mijn iPad met Tapatalk
 

Jimmsp

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It seems a very unprofessional way of dealing with anything as precious as wedding photographs by the wedding photographer. Not doing any backups and then having the client pay for a recovery. To me it looks almost like a scam. Hopefully most of the original pictures will be found back.

This was my first thought as well when I read about your situation. It was the photographer's HD -- he is the responsible party.
 
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I'm going to guess it wasn't a professional photographer, right? I'm so sorry to hear about the disaster.
 

Megan

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Thank you all. It was my secondary photographer and it was only 1 SD card but it had all my guests as they entered the reception and the front side of me walking down the aisle with my 90 year old grandpa. They ended up paying us back the $800. They have the hard drive back and she can see some catalogs for other pictures she edited but not mine. Aren't there files not in light room located somewhere else on the computer? Even the PDF version?
 
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Aren't there files not in light room located somewhere else on the computer? Even the PDF version?
Megan, as was explained, the images never were in Lightroom.

They had to be stored elsewhere - either on the hard drive that crashed or on another storage device.
Worrying about Lightroom catalogs was just a red herring!

Tony Jay
 

Megan

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Yeah so that's where I'm trying to help tell her where to go because she is only looking in Lightroom.
 
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This is why someone who actually knows and understands computers in general needs to take a look.
As I emphasized in my first post - this is not a Lightroom problem!

I reckon someone who does know computers and data recovery may well be able to get the images themselves off that disk.
I am sorry to echo what others are saying about this situation but it really seems the individual who took the images is a rank amateur (not belittling the skills with a camera BTW) who knows nothing about computers in general or Lightroom in particular.

Bottom line: forget about Lightroom - get someone how knows what they are doing around computers to find and recover the original images!

Tony Jay
 
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Have the SD cards been reused? And where they erased or formatted? There is a possibility that some files could be recovered from the cards.
Given the updated information about file recovery efforts and this person's lack of understanding about the relationship between LR and your files, I would still see if the SD cards have the images. It may be less of a headache.

--Ken
 
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