Simple security for your lost camera

I was listening to one of my favorite radio shows the other day- The Vinyl Cafe with Stuart Maclean- and he had a story about a woman that had lost her camera, and it had several years of photos on it. She was lucky. A good samaritan found the camera smashed on the side of the road, rescued the memory card from it and looked at the photos for clues. She was able to identify a school in the photos, and tracked down the owner, returning hundreds of memories to her. Imagine however if there were no easily found places on the camera however, like a school, if all of the photos were inside a house or yard, or of hiking… no way to find the owner.

There’s a simple solution for this that I’ve used over the years (other than making sure you regularly download all of your photos and back them up). It is not fool proof, as it depends on the goodwill of others, but each time you format your memory card, a picture of your business card, or of a piece of paper with your name and address, and make it the very first photograph that you make. Like so-

A simple statement is all that is needed. Name, phone number, and email. If you want you can include your address too, but it can be nice not having everyone know where you live

You can also do this with your smart phones and other devices. Have a laptop? Put the information in your photo library. I also do a similar trick with all of my travel documents, whenever I am going on a trip. I don’t keep an image of them on my phone, but instead in my email. I wrote a post about it recently for Matador travel. You can read it here- Keeping copies of travel documents, even when you lose them

Again, it won’t work in every case, and it won’t always get your camera returned to you, but hopefully someone will at least send you your memory card, which can be worth so much more.

About Galen Leeds Photography

Nature and wildlife photographer, exploring the world on his feet and from his kayak. Among other genres, he is one of the leading kayak photographers in Northern California. To learn more about him, visit him on his website-
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9 Responses to Simple security for your lost camera

  1. urbanwink says:

    This is a great tip. Another one I use is cutting the email and phone number lines from my business card and taping it to the bottom of my camera where it doesn’t interfere with any functions. I also tape one to the back of my cell phone. I’ve had both returned when lost–the finders have emailed me. I don’t include my name or address lines for security reasons.

  2. mom says:

    so clever and so simple! Now I just need to take the time to do it….
    thank you

  3. Mark Goodwin says:

    Hey Galen…don’t see you or hear from you for ages and then you turn up with some great tips! Thank you my friend……thought you may have got dumped in the swampland! :-o)

    • Galen Leeds Photography says:

      Thanks Mark. I’ve missed blogging as regularly as I used to, as some other things came up. It’s always been on my mind though, so hopefully I’ll be getting back into the swing of things here pretty soon

  4. janechese says:

    good advice-and oh, I so love to listen to Stuart Maclean!

  5. I am going to St. Lucia in January and this is the best idea I have read yet. I will take a photo of where I am staying at my cousins in St. Lucia too, plus my US address. But you are right, you need the goodwill of others.

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