Premiere Bay Area Wedding Photography Blog by Trifon Anguelov Photography

1090 Clark Avenue, Mountain View, CA 94040 | (650) 930-0743 | http://www.trifonanguelov.com


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Overcoming Impostor Syndrome as a Photographer


Really useful blog article about the pains of growing as a photographer and artist. Photography is a visual art and as with every art, there are doubts, desire to be perfect and have absolute acceptance.

Hope you enjoy it and find it useful.

The Daily Post

There is an unsettling, nagging worry that accompanies impostor syndrome, that somehow, someday, someone is going to find out that you’re a great big phony.

Impostor syndrome is the pervasive feeling that you’re faking your way through success, and that your achievements are attributable only to good luck. There is an unsettling, nagging worry that accompanies impostor syndrome, that somehow, someday, someone is going to find out that you’re a great big phony. That you’re really not as really good as you’ve cleverly convinced people that you are. That you’re a fraud.

In today’s post, I’ve decided to focus on impostor syndrome in the photography community, but everything herein can be easily extrapolated onto any professional field or any creative pursuit. I’ve collected some thoughts from a few of the I Heart FacesCreative Team; Amandalynn Jones and Julie Rivera, as well as Texas photographer Karyn Kelbaugh

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Using YouTube To Find Wedding Photographers


YouTube Video Sharing Service

YouTube Video Sharing Service

It is no secret, that many people nowadays search and find wedding photographers online. Thanks to Google, Facebook, Instagram, Vimeo, YouTube and many other online review sites, finding a local photographer is as simple as a click of a button.

Photography portfolios have been for years the way how photographers share their best selections of recent images. It has been the most effective way for their clients to review and get excited about their work and vision. With online portfolio and photo sharing services as Smugmug, Zenfolio (more on Smugmug vs Zenfolio comparison), Square Space, 500px and many others, it is easy to update and share new portfolio images but the use common templates also means that is getting harder for photographers to stand out from the crowd.

Presentation wise of course. Amazing portfolio images with no doubt still trump the presentation as there is nothing better than seeing a visual artist work. Images can tell a story better than thousands words, as someone once said.

Welcome to The New Frontier: Video

So, with so many images shared and available online, how one can search and find the right wedding photographer they are looking for?

One trend which has been in a raise lately is: video slideshows. With the average attention span for a web user shrinking to 2 seconds, according to the latest studies, many wedding and portrait photographers have started to post and promote their work in video slideshows or marketing videos. Blending photos with music and transition effects is just another way to present one’s portfolio. A way that can set a photographer apart from the competition and even boost the chances of being discovered and eventually hired by potential clients.

For years YouTube has been the place to go for videos: It is still the largest online video sharing service and with Google at its back, the second search engine in the world. Uploading and promoting videos is easy, including in HD quality. YouTube also features video channels which are linked with Google+ account, so sharing photos, updates and videos can be done with one single account.

Wedding videographers have used it for ages and now many wedding photographers start to take advantage of it. Which bring us to the main topic: How To Use YouTube To Find Wedding Photographers?

Harness the Power of  YouTube:

All videos on YouTube are searchable by their tags, which makes it easy to search for the type of photography into the location one is looking for. YouTube allows the photographers to specify the video location and keywords as tags when uploading the video, so the video searches can return relevant videos. Views and user likes / dislikes are also tracked so one can easily spot the popular and in most viewed / loved videos.

Once you have the list of videos and found one which you like, check the photographer’s channel for more videos and read the comments on each video. You will be amazed by how much you can learn by reading the feedback others leave in this section. And if you like a particular photographer, consider subscribing to his or her channel to keep up with their work. Weekly emails from Google would summarize all the new videos you have not yet watched.

To see some of examples of wedding slideshows and video, consider subscribing and checking out Trifon Anguelov Photography’s YouTube channel.

And why not checking out videographers, venues, wedding planners, florists, DJs for your wedding too. YouTube has it all.

Another video service similar to YouTube is Vimeo, which offers similar vendor’s videos except the lack of social media (Google+) and photos (Picasa) integration which Google offers. Either way, seeing videos from the photographer you are considering is just another way to be confident you will be hiring the right wedding photographer. The one with amazing images which you absolutely love, creative and experienced to not only capture but present its work in an appealing and exciting way.

Conclusion:

Finding and hiring the right wedding photographer takes time and energy. There are so many photographers to choose from that could be overwhelming to shortlist just few. Using video search in addition to online portfolio review can help with the process. Most successful and quality wedding photographers are on top of their game because of their amazing work and knowledge of how to reach their clients.

Don’t pass on the opportunity to learn more about your wedding photographer by using the power of video and YouTube. For more wedding planning tips and ideas including How To Save Money On Your Wedding, consider reading the rest of the blog articles in our blog.

About the Author:

Trifon Anguelov Photography is a Premiere Bay Area Wedding and Events Photography business  based in Mountain View, CA and serving clients in the entire San Francisco Bay Area. To book a wedding or portrait appointment with us, visit our Wedding and Portrait Photography Site


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New Domain for My Wedding Blog


wedding bouquet at st cecilia church in san francisco

Wedding bouquet at elegant wedding in St. Cecilia Church in San Francisco, CA

I have great news to share with you. The new sparkling domain name for my wedding photography blog is now active.

It was long overdue but as the traffic to the blog increased over the last year and more and more readers started to find it online, it became necessary to provide an easier to remember and type domain name.

You can bookmark and share the blog’s URL with your friends if you have enjoyed reading it. The new domain name is: http://www.weddingphotographyblogger.com . I hope it is easier to remember than the old one, although both are still valid so you don’t have to change any bookmarks to older posts you already favored.

It has been more than a year since I published my first blog post (or 17 months to be exact) here and I really enjoy sharing knowledge and experience with my readers. Wedding photography is a vast photography niche and there are so many blogs online already but having different points of view and sharing experiences from a different prospective is what makes us better wedding photographers.

There are so many topics and information to be shared, so stick around and come back to read the latest stories. You can also share and recommend the blog to your friends if you think they will benefit from the information here.

I am currently working with clients from the entire San Francisco Bay area as well doing destination weddings to selected locations, so there are a plenty of experience and insights I can share. It makes me happy to hear back from clients who found my blogs online and found it useful, or someone shared with them. The more future brides, grooms, their families or fellow wedding photographers know, the better they will be educated and prepared for their weddings.

Well, that’s all for this week’s announcement. Thank you for reading my blog and feel free to suggest a topic or provide feedback. You can reach me at: info@trifonanguelov.com

About the Author:

Trifon Anguelov Photography is a Premiere Bay Area Wedding and Events Photography business  based in Mountain View, CA 94040 and serving clients in San Francisco Bay Area. You can follow him on social media (links in the top right side block of this blog) or check his latest photography projects on his Wedding and Portrait Photography Site


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50 Money Saving Ideas for Your Wedding (Part 1)


Wedding Details at Cinnabar Hills Golf Course, San Jose, CA

Wedding Details at Cinnabar Hills Golf Course, San Jose, CA

Weddings suppose to be fun. But ask any bride and you will hear about the frustrations they have experienced while planning their weddings. The reason: Hard to stay on budget.

Only if every bride could have unlimited budget for her wedding to fulfill the dreams of the most spectacular and perfect wedding. Wouldn’t be great to get all a bride might wish for, without having to think about how much would it cost? Not having to make any trade offs.

Sure. It would be great, but the reality is that almost every bride has a wedding budget. Which means hard work is required to plan and have a wedding that stays on budget. So now we know what causes  the frustration many brides have.

As a San Francisco Bay Area wedding photographer, I talk to many brides before and after their weddings. The ways how they all approached and solved this problem are different but a common theme emerges: Almost all of them found a way to compromise on one or other item, some on all items, for their wedding. And the most common way I heard over and over was: money saving ideas.

Frankly, bride’s ingenuity is impressive. The creativity deserves to be shared, so here comes the GUIDE! I hope many brides and their families would find it helpful. The following Part 1 of this guide, is the first part I am publishing to present 50 money saving ideas. The rest of the two parts would be published soon so be sure to subscribe to my blog and come back to read the rest of the ideas. If you would like to learn more about the topic, consider reading my other guide: How To Spend Less on Your Wedding

So let’s get started.

1. Get All Inclusive Venue:

Search and pick a wedding venue that has tables, chairs and linens all included into their price. This way you don’t have to rent these from another company. Prices for all inclusive venues is much cheaper than renting the venue and the chairs, linen and tables separately.

2. Spend Less on Shoes:

You can find cheap wedding shoes instead of going for high-end designer shoes. Chances are not so many people would see them anyway under your long wedding dress. Apart from saving ton of money, picking shoes which are more comfortable to wear would also save you from sore feet and blisters at the end of the wedding day.

3. Skip The Garter & Bouquet Toss:

Gone are the days when people believed in getting a piece of the wedding dress would bring them good luck. It was popular in the 14th century, but in today’s 21th century many couples choose to skip this part and save money. Both are basically throw away money.

 

Wedding Decoration at San Mateo, CA

Wedding Decoration at San Mateo, CA

 

4. Borrow a Veil:

Have a friend who got married recently. Ask her if you can borrow the veil for her wedding. Many would be happy to let you use it for a day and would even offer you once you share the big news with them. Don’t be shy. Ask around.

5. Shop Aboard:

Next time you visit Mexico or other foreign destination, check out anything you might need for your wedding. Shoes are less expensive there, so why not combine fun (vacation) with saving money. Store the shoes in your closet until your wedding and use the cash you would save on your honey moon vacation.

6. Save on Taxes:

Many wedding items can be bough online from states which don’t collect sales tax. Every dollar counts, so look online for deals that would save you money. Minnesota does not tax clothes, while in California you are expected to pay up to 9.5% sales tax. If you wedding dress costs $1,000 for example, this is $95 for you to keep.

7. Be Your Own Florist:

Using seasonal flowers and ribbons for a hand-tied bouquets will reduce your floral arrangements bill. Lots of ideas online, plus any craft store in your area would have the materials. Recruit someone crafty to help you with this or do it your self on the day before the wedding. You will be surprised how easy it is.

8. Use Flowers Wisely:

Feel like killing fresh flowers by trowing them around is a waste of money. You don’t have to and would save you money if you use fake flowers to make your bouquets. Fresh flowers from your local grocery store can still decorate your tables and cake.

 

Wedding Desert at Saratoga Country Club, Saratoga, CA

Wedding Desert at Saratoga Country Club, Saratoga, CA

 

9. Trim The Guests List:

A seat and meal for every single guest on your wedding costs your money. So be smart and practical. Cutting down your guest list to your immediate family and close friends would make your wedding more intimate. Not to mention the savings you would get. This is by far the biggest saving you can get for your wedding as accommodating, entertaining and  providing meals for your guests is the largest expense you would have.

10. Tie The Knot Off-Season:

Many wedding venues are in high demand and command higher prices during the wedding season (June – September). Having an off season wedding off season translates into immediate and significant savings. Venue prices are up to 50% cheaper off season compared to the pick time of the wedding season. On a $10,000 venue, this is up to $5,000 of savings.

11. Buy and Resell Instead of Renting:

Renting linens, centerpieces, flatware, plates, paper lanterns and lighting, and spotlights for uplightingcan cost cost you lots of money which you will never get back. Some brides buy all these for a reasonable price and then resell them to revover most of the value. It will save you lots of money which you would otherwise be giving to the leasing company. Buy and resell, instead of renting everything.

12. Skip The Extra Fees:

Many stores would have an extra “convenience” or “delivery” fees. Be careful and plan ahead as this is just another way these stores are making extra money from you.  If your wedding cake store adds a delivery fee for just few miles from your venue, opt to pick it up by yourself and save on these fees.

13. Skip The Limo Drive Home:

If you must have a limo to bring you to the ceremony and to the reception venue, consider skipping the pick up from the reception to your home. The limo service charges by the hour, so one more trip would cost you more. How hard would be you and your husband to get ride home but your friends or designated drives.

14. Simplify Your Invitations:

Skip the extra ribbons, belly bands or anything excessive in your invites. This just adds extra weight which means more postage to mail them. For a 200+ person wedding, this extra postage you have to buy adds up quickly. Settle down on a simple invitation only.

15. Make it Simple Rehearsal Dinner:

If you must have a rehearsal dinner (many couples choose not to and rather save the money for as well), consider ordering pizzas instead of catered meal. Save your money for the wedding day meal instead.

 

Bridal shoes at intimate DIY wedding in Benicia, CA

Bridal shoes at intimate DIY wedding in Benicia, CA

 

16. Consider Used Wedding Dress:

Instead of buying a new dress consider getting your dresses at a wedding consignment store. You can find a quality dress which can be cleaned and altered to fit you perfectly for almost 1/3 of the original price. Look around and see what’s available in your area before you visiting a bridal dresses store.

17. Choose Non Bridal Salon For Your Dress Alteration:

If your wedding dress needs alterations, look for an independent seamstress instead of a specialized bridal salon. In most cases they would do the alteration for less money than a specialized bridal dress store. Remember, all specialized bridal stores overcharge for their services, just because they can and there is so much demand. Be smart  shopper and save your money for what matters more to you.

Conclusion:

This is the end of Part 1 of the 50 Money Saving Ideas for Your Wedding guide. I will be post the remaining two parts to complete the overview of all 50 ideas. You can access the rest of the parts, from the links I will post in each guide (yet to come…). Consider reading this guide, for additional ideas on Wedding Tips for Brides From Photographer’s Point of View.

Weddings are expensive and takes a lots of efforts and planning to have the perfect one. There are simple tips that could help you to stay within your budget. Most of these tips were collected by talking to brides about the ways they saved money on their wedding and how they managed to stay within their budgets. I am sure there are so many other ways, so if you have a tip, any comment or a feedback, feel free to drop me a line or two into the comments section. I would love to hear from you on how you managed your wedding budget.

About the Author:

Trifon Anguelov Photography is a Premiere Bay Area Wedding and Events Photography business  based in Mountain View, CA 94040 and serving clients in San Francisco Bay Area. You can follow him on social media (links in the top right sideblock of this blog) or check his latest photography projects on his Wedding and Portrait Photography Site


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How To Reclaim Disk Space in Adobe Lightroom


adobe lightroom digital editing software One of the most used management and editing software for digital images is Adobe Lightroom. Surpassing Apple’s Aperture, ACDSee Pro and PaintShop Pro competitive products, it gained popularity for its easy to use interface, intuitive controls and features rich capabilities. Some even consider it, Photoshop trimmed and affordable version.

Lightroom allows professional photographers and almost everyone to import, catalog, edit, print and share their digital images. For the purpose of this article, I will focus just one capability of Lightroom: cataloging and organizing of digital images. Lightroom catalog contains an index of all digital files imported and organized into the catalog by adding tags, flags or collections.

One of the problems when working with Lightroom catalogs is that when files are deleted from the catalog, they might not always be deleted from the hard drives or disk storage. In other words, the RAW files already imported into Lightroom catalog can remain on your hard drives and only the Lightroom catalog (think of it as index or a pointer to the files) can be updated. This leads to wasted space and digital images hard to determine if they are part of the live catalog and therefore should be archives and retained.

Sounds like a thing we should be aware and fix. But before I give you the solution to the problem, let’s first understand the problem so we can prevent it in the future.

So, how all this happens:

It all starts with the delete images dialog in Lightroom. When you select images in Lightroom and hit the Backspace buttona dialog window would pop up with two options:

  • Delete from Disk
  • Remove from Lightroom
Delete photos from Adobe Lightroom catalog

Delete photos from Adobe Lightroom catalog

The first option would remove the photos from your computer hard drive and also would remove them from your Lightroom catalog. This is the best and preferred method to remove photos from Lightroom. However this is not the default option in the delete dialog and many times when a hurry, one can chose the second default option.

The second option, simply removed the pointers for the photos from Ligthroom catalog while leaving on the files untouched on your hard drive. It is the safest option and it is default because it can do less damage if executed by mistake. But unfortunately, the user might not even realize he is only updating Lightroom catalog and not delete the photos.

So next time your hard drives fill up at 95% or more, check if any orphan files are at fault before forking over more cash to upgrade your drives. The solution might be easier and less costly than you think.

As with every destructive action you take on your computer, a work of caution is advised. Please, make sure you have backup and double check the files you have selected. WARNING: the steps below, would delete photos from your computer permanently!

1. Check The Current Space Usage:

First thing first. We need to measure how much space we reclaimed so go ahead and check how much storage Lightroom uses for your photos now. If you use Windows OS, navigate to the folder, right click and click on Properties. You will see the total storage used by all files in this folder. For Mac and OSX, once you navigate to the directory, hit Cmd+I keys or right click and click on Get Info option.

 

Check  used disk space by photos

Check used disk space by photos

 

2. Navigate to Your Images Library:

In Lightroom, click G button to go to Library mode and select the top level folder which contains all your images. If your photos are stored under multiple drives or folders, repeat the steps starting from Step #3 till Step #6 below for each hard drive or directory.

3. Synchronize the Library Folder:

Now that you are in the Library mode and in the folder where Lightroom thinks all yout photos are, go ahead and right click on the folder and pick Synchronize Folder menu option. Lightroom will visit the folder you selected and will check if all files in this folder already exist in its catalog. If any discrepancies are found, Lightroom would update its records. For large number of files this might take a while, so be patient. Grab a coffee or a snack while you wait to update.  The wait would be worth it. Lightroom after crunching the numbers would show you how may files in the folder doesn’t exist in the catalog and therefore can be deleted.

 

Sync catalog  in Adobe Lightroom

Sync catalog in Adobe Lightroom

Confirm the catalog  sync in Adobe Lightroom

Confirm the catalog sync in Adobe Lightroom

 

4. Import All New Photos:

Now that we found which orphant files we need to deal with, let’s take some action. First, we will import these into Lightroom so we can delete them later. Go ahead and click on Synchronize button and Lightroom would import all the orphan files into its current catalog. And not to make things confusing, but you will have two options: Add and Copy. You need to select Add option as the files already exist and all we need to do is to add them to the catalog. If you select Copy, Lightroom would try to copy the files in addition to additing to its catalog.

And here is the option Lightroom gives us to deal with this files. Every time you import files into Lightroom, it created new view called Previous Import into the Catalog panel, so we would have the list and preview of all orphan images available to us. I can almost see the sparkles if your eyes. We can then go ahead and do what we have not done before. Delete instead of Remove these files and get rid of them forever.

5. Delete The Orphan Files:

Please, go ahead and scroll through the images in the film strip to make sure none of these images is something you actually need. CAUTION: The files you select would be deleted forever, so if you think you need any of them, backup before proceeding with the next step.

Now go ahead and select all pictures from Previous Import, hit the Backspace which is the shortcut of deleting images in Lightroom and click on Delete from Disk option. Lightroom will now delete the photos from the hard drive and also from its catalog. If you make a mistake, not to worry, go to your recycle bin, restore the deleted files to their original locations and import them back into your Lightroom catalog.

 

Delete photos from Adobe Lightroom catalog

Delete photos from Adobe Lightroom catalog

 

6. Check The Disk Cleanup Savings:

Now that we have actually asked Lightroom to delete the orphan files and Ligthroom did such a great job, it it time to check the space savings. First, go ahead and empty your Trash (OSX) or Recicle bin (Windows). Then check the disk spaces used by the same folder you started working on. If you have photos to delete in Step #5, then you should be able to see less space used.

7. Backup Your Photos:

Last step. Take a fresh backup of the remaining files on the hard drive you just cleaned and if you backup this drive to second or third hard drive, you can not go ahead and sync them up so you have the disk savings on the backup drives too.

Conclusion:

Archiving and maintaining client’s digital files is part of every photographer’s workflow. Although the price for disk storage has declined significantly for the last 5 years, it still makes sense to maintain your Lightroom catalog and digital files archive and keep it well organized and clean. Smaller volume of digital files makes it easy to archive and restore, it also frees up space for new images. And we all know how much images a wedding photographer can bring home after each wedding. So be smart and keep your hard drives clutter free.

About the Author:

Trifon Anguelov Photography is a Premiere Bay Area Wedding and Events Photography business  based in Mountain View, CA 94040 and serving clients in San Francisco Bay Area. You can follow him on social media (links in the top right sideblock of this blog) or check his latest photography projects on his Wedding and Portrait Photography Site


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3 Reasons Why Photographers Don’t Give RAW Files


Bridal Flowers Photo by Trifon Anguelov Photography

Bridal Flowers Photo by Trifon Anguelov Photography

Welcome to the digital imaging age. No longer one has to buy rolls of films, load them into their camera and later wait for them to be developed before seeing the final images on prints. The digital revolution made all this obsolete. The age of instant gratification started long time ago and there is no way going back.

Nowadays clients expect to receive and see their images few days after the portrait or events sessions (for weddings few weeks). And many photographers share the digital images with their clients, enhanced and ready to print. But still, there is one questions which I hear from my clients: Can I have the RAW files from my portrait session?

Although the short answer is: NO, the fact that the clients are asking the question deserves a reasonable explanation. Portrait, Event and Wedding Photography, in which Trifon Anguelov Photography is specializing, is a service based business and a photographer cannot expect everyone to known the RAW files details.

One way I try to explain to clients is that asking for RAW files is the same thing as going to Ihop for breakfast and instead of ready to eat pancakes, the waitress brings the clients bag of flour, eggs, milk and mixing bowl and expecting them to cook their own pancakes instead of enjoying the weekend and time with their families. Not to mention that the reason they came to Ihop was because of the ready to eat delicious pancakes only Ihop can make.  

RAW files by itself and the intermediate step for photographers to capture, process and deliver the final ready to view and print images to their clients. It’s not the end product and therefore sharing them doesn’t make sense.

1. RAW files are not the final product:

They are like a granite boulder, the sculptors use to carve a beautiful statue, or a canvas, brushes and oil paint the painters use to pain their master pieces, or the ingredients master chefs use to create the delicious dishes for their restaurants. As the raw ingredients are not enough to create the flavor, taste, presentation and experience we get from restaurant to restaurant, so RAW digital images by itself don’t provide the entire experience.

As such, all the enhancements and creativity a photographer does on top of the RAW digital files, cannot be presented and provided to the clients unless these changes are captured and saved. The process of enhancing the RAW files and saving all the changes a photographer does, is possible by creating a JPEG, TIFF or PNG file and sharing it with the clients.

2. Hard to View and Share:

Most commonly used image viewer applications don’t understand and can open RAW files.

Photo sharing websites, which make sharing and viewing images very easy, also cannot handle RAW files. To see an example of shared images online, take a look at Trifon Anguelov Photography’s Portfolio.

3. RAW files are huge:

They contain lots of information which cannot be easily displayed on a computer screen. Because the RAW files very large  sharing, downloading and uploading them is a time and network bandwidth consuming process. RAW files contain information which is used for enhancing the images, but once the look and feel are finalized, the RAW files are exported into compressed and more manageable digital image formats as: JPEG, TIFF, PNG.

Think of the RAW files as video footage captured during filming the latest movie blockbuster. The same way as the raw video footage is then edited, certain scenes are selected to implement the film director’s vision, audio and video effects are added to come up with the final movie we all see in the movie theaters, the RAW digital files are being processed and enhanced by the photographers. The final results are much better version than the original RAW files.

Conclusion:

I hope this blog article explained what digital RAW files are and why photographers don’t share them with their clients. It’s not that they cannot or simply don’t like sharing them, but it has more to do with the customer experience the photographers are trying to provide to their clients. The digital images shared with the clients in JPEG format are the final product of photographer’s talent, creativity and experience. The RAW files are simply the raw material, the photographers use to craft the beautiful and stunning images their clients hired them to do.

About the Author:

Trifon Anguelov Photography is a Premiere Bay Area Wedding and Events Photography business  based in Mountain View, CA 94040 and serving clients in San Francisco Bay Area. You can read more about the author and follow his work on his Bay Area Wedding Photography Site


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How To Repair Your Corrupted USB Flash Drive


Wires by Trifon Anguelov Photography  As a wedding and portrait photographer, I have been using DVD disks the last few years to deliver the final images to my clients. It was a convenient way to store up to 4.35GB of digital images and mail them. But as with technologies which change overtime,  DVD disks soon became obsolete.

With the price of USB Flash Drives dropping significantly and becoming more affordable and widespread, many computer manufacturers nowadays don’t simply add DVD disk drives to their laptops anymore. The trend has been to store and share data (including digital images) between computers with flash memory instead.

Using USB Flash drives is also more convenient. These drives are small to carry around and very sturdy in comparison to DVD disks which scratch and break easily. Not to mention to copy and read from USB Flash drives is much faster.

Recently purchased a batch of USB Flash drives for the 2015 Wedding season and after formatting and verifying all the memory sticks, found two with problems. Both were not recognized on my Windows 8 workstation so I decided to try to fix them on my MacBook Pro laptop. If you are also looking for information on how to prevent SD or CF memory cards corruption in your digital camera, this article explains in details: Five Easy Steps To Prevent Memory Card Corruption And Losing Your Photos

Here are the steps I took to repair and format them. Both are usable now and I can copy and erase digital images just fine.

First, you’ll need to figure out the disk number of the USB Flash drive. Go ahead and plug it into your Mac laptop, open new terminal window and check if the drive is recognized:

# df -k
Filesystem    1024-blocks     Used Available Capacity  iused    ifree %iused  Mounted on
/dev/disk1      117190724 50159960  66774764    43% 12603988 16693691   43%   /
/dev/disk2s1       983148      844    982304     1%        0        0  100%   /Volumes/USB #6

In this case the new device /dev/sidk2s1 has been recognized and available. In case df 0k command doesn’t give you any input, open Disk Utility application and disk out the device number for the USB Flash drive.

Next using the Disk Utility command line tool, try to verify and repair the drive by using these commands:

# diskutil info /dev/disk2
Device Identifier:        disk2
Device Node:              /dev/disk2
Part of Whole:            disk2
Device / Media Name:      General UDisk Media

Volume Name:              Not applicable (no file system)

Mounted:                  Not applicable (no file system)

File System:              None

Content (IOContent):      None
OS Can Be Installed:      No
Media Type:               Generic
Protocol:                 USB
SMART Status:             Not Supported

Total Size:               8.2 GB (8178892800 Bytes) (exactly 15974400 512-Byte-Units)
Volume Free Space:        Not applicable (no file system)
Device Block Size:        512 Bytes

Read-Only Media:          No
Read-Only Volume:         Not applicable (no file system)
Ejectable:                Yes

Whole:                    Yes
Internal:                 No
OS 9 Drivers:             No
Low Level Format:         Not supported

# diskutil verifydisk disk2

Nonexistent, unknown, or damaged partition map scheme
If you are sure this disk contains a (damaged) APM, MBR, or GPT partition
scheme, you might be able to repair it with “diskutil repairDisk disk2”

# diskutil repairdisk disk2
Nonexistent, unknown, or damaged partition map scheme
If you are sure this disk contains a (damaged) APM, MBR, or GPT partition map,
you can hereby try to repair it enough to be recognized as a map; another
“diskutil repairDisk disk2” might then be necessary for further repairs
Proceed? (y/N) y
Error repairing map: POSIX reports: Input/output error (5)

In my case as expected, both verify and repair command options failed, so it was time to bring the low level tool: gpt. This is a nice utility which will modify and recreate the disk partition table. The following commands will rewrite the partition table for /dev/disk2 to near-default (possibly a little bigger primary volume). You will need to change the /dev/disk2 with the disk number for the USB Flash drive you have before running the commands:

sudo dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/disk2 bs=512 count=10 conv=sync,noerror
sudo gpt destroy /dev/disk2
sudo gpt create /dev/disk2
sudo gpt add -i1 -b40 -s409600 -tC12A7328-F81F-11D2-BA4B-00A0C93EC93B /dev/disk2
sudo gpt add -i2 -b409640 -t48465300-0000-11AA-AA11-00306543ECAC /dev/disk2

Then use Disk Utility (or preferably Disk Warrior) to repair the directory structure.

Here is the output of the above commands for my USB Flash drive I was trying to repair:

# gpt recover /dev/disk2
gpt recover: unable to open device ‘/dev/disk2’: Device not configured

# diskutil list
/dev/disk0
#:                       TYPE NAME                    SIZE       IDENTIFIER
0:      GUID_partition_scheme                        *121.3 GB   disk0
1:                        EFI EFI                     209.7 MB   disk0s1
2:          Apple_CoreStorage                         120.3 GB   disk0s2
3:                 Apple_Boot Recovery HD             650.0 MB   disk0s3
/dev/disk1
#:                       TYPE NAME                    SIZE       IDENTIFIER
0:                  Apple_HFS Macintosh HD           *120.0 GB   disk1
/dev/disk2
#:                       TYPE NAME                    SIZE       IDENTIFIER
0:                                                   *8.2 GB     disk2

# dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/disk2 bs=512 count=10 conv=sync,noerror

10+0 records in
10+0 records out
5120 bytes transferred in 0.012109 secs (422825 bytes/sec)

# gpt destroy /dev/disk2
gpt destroy: /dev/disk2: error: device doesn’t contain a GPT

# gpt create /dev/disk2

# gpt add -i1 -b40 -s409600 -tC12A7328-F81F-11D2-BA4B-00A0C93EC93B /dev/disk2
/dev/disk2s1 added

# gpt add -i2 -b409640 -t48465300-0000-11AA-AA11-00306543ECAC /dev/disk2
/dev/disk2s2 added

# diskutil repairdisk disk2
Repairing the partition map might erase disk2s1, proceed? (y/N) y
Started partition map repair on disk2
Checking prerequisites
Checking the partition list
Adjusting partition map to fit whole disk as required
Checking for an EFI system partition
Checking the EFI system partition’s size
Checking the EFI system partition’s file system
Repairing the EFI system partition’s file system
Creating a new EFI system partition

 

Viola. The partition table was recreated and the USB Flash drives are again usable. After that you can unmount the USB Flash drive and mount it again, then use Disk Utility tool to create partition or format it.

Conclusion:

I hope you found this article useful and helpful to solve USB Flash drives problems you might have experienced. A word of warning: The above steps would erase all data on your flash drive and would format it blank, so make sure you are OK with losing all the data before executing the commands. This approach is also not guaranteed or recommended by all USB Flash drive manufacturers, so please check and confirm before using it. I will not be liable for any lost of data or damages you might experience by using the above steps.

If you USB Flash drive contains data and you are trying to recover digital files from it, but the drive cannot be recognized at all, then consider these memory card and USB Flash Drive recovery tools and services: How To Recover Photos From Memory Card

About the Author:

Trifon Anguelov Photography is a Premiere Bay Area Wedding and Events Photography business  based in Mountain View, CA 94040 and serving clients in San Francisco Bay Area. You can read more about the author and follow his work on his Bay Area Wedding Photography Site