I cannot stress enough the importance of backing up your Lightroom catalogue.
Just think about, if you loose your catalogue (for any reason), you loose all the changes you applied to your images and all the metadata. However, if you have a back up of your catalogue, you can easily restore it.
I so often work with clients, or talk to delegates on my Adobe Certified courses, and hear that so many of them ignore the importance of creating backups. And it is so easy because Lightroom will create backups for you, you just need to tell Lightroom how often you want to do it.
You can do it in Catalog Settings dialogue box:
I would strongly recommend saving your backups to a separate location like a separate hard drive. The way I organise it is I have an external hard drive (a USB 3.0 one) that I use for all my backups – Lightroom backups and documents backups. This hard drive is separate from another hard drive I use for Lightroom images, so if anything happens with one hard drive I have another one with backups.
Remember that when you create a backup, Lightroom will only back up your catalogue, so remember to back up your images as well. Remember that your catalogue doesn’t contain images.
And finally, make sure you have at least two copies of your images and catalogue. The way I have it worked out is:
– one hard drive with images and Lightroom catalogue,
– another hard drive with backups of images and Lightroom catalogue backups.
Quite a reasonable solution would be to keep one backup in different location (not at home, maybe in your office etc.).
I hope you’ll start backing up from now on if you haven’t done it before.