Image Recovery & Shooting Outside your Comfort Zone

I’m pretty strictly a studio photographer. I like having full control of the entire set and lighting. But there were a few pictures on my ‘to do ‘ list that just seemed to be begging to be shot outdoors.

My sister came into town to visit and needed some beach shots for her blog. That was the final ingredient I needed for an inevitable outdoor shoot. So, armed with her shoes, and my toys, off to the beach we went.

Honestly, it wasn’t the best beach day. A bit too windy and chilly. But we stayed for just over an hour. I photographed seagulls and I photographed toys and I figured all the photos would be crap, because I was out of my comfort zone.

That night, I popped my SD card into my computer to see just what I had gotten. And to my horror, there were no new images on that SD card. I put the card back into my camera – gone there too. And this isn’t the first time this had happened. I calmed myself down, thinking they probably weren’t good photos anyway. But the next day I bought a new memory card.

Image recovery software came free with my new card. I’d never heard of such a thing but I went ahead and downloaded it. Free’s free. I decided to try it out with my old card, figuring the software would only recover items you had deleted and such. Nope, it showed everything I had ever taken with that card. I mean years worth of images. And, the cherry on top – my beach shots were there too…and I liked them.


  1. If you’re ever in this situation, don’t panic. Image recovery software exists and it’s awesome.
  2. Every now and then, shoot outside your comfort zone. You may be pleasantly surprised.

Have you ever lost your images? How often do you push yourself outside of your comfort zone in your photography? Let us know in a comment below.

~ Jennifer Nichole Wells


  1. Jennifer all I can say is you must read yesterdays post if you want to see someone stepping outside their comfort zone! Lol! It was so far outside what I would normally do, I think that is why I took on the project. It would have been easier to pass and keep doing what I love. But I knew I need a deadline to move the needle into another direction. Ive been so inspired by the work that you and aliceincleveland are doing, that I’m gathering the necessary props together to doing something complete new. Who knows if it will be any good, but thats not really the point, is it?

    While Ive not forgotten an SD card I was with someone who did last year. I gave him the keys to my car and sent him to the nearest store to get one. Luckily some problems can easily be solved. Im super happy you didn’t lose your images. That always sucks. 🙁

    • Shelly, I’m probably repeating myself from my comment on your Lego City post… However, I was actually thinking how perfect of an example of getting outside your comfort zone it was and your shots turned out wonderfully! I’m so excited to see what your new project brings and flattered that you’ve found inspiration in my work.

  2. YES! I love the idea of stepping outside your comfort zone, it’s something I’ve written about myself for the blog. It’s really a fun, though nerve-wracking, way to grow and learn new things.

    And I’ve totally been in your same boat when it comes to a) shooting in a new setting and b) then losing or coming close to losing that work. It can be pretty discouraging, so I’m glad you lucked into that recovery software!

    The images you got are fantastic, so I’m glad they were saved!

    • Thank you! I had to go back and find your words on this. A wonderful post and I’ve commented there separately.

      I am learning that pushing yourself in this way is such a great way to grow. I still see myself shooting indoors more, but I want to work in some outdoor shoots every now and then. And this experience, combined with the encouraging words of you and others are definitely helping me get there.

  3. Wow, if you found years worth or images on your card then likely you would do well giving the card a low-level format and it will probably work for you again without incident.

    Glad you found them again. Thankfully I’ve never had to recover images, fingers crossed I never have to, but great to know there is a solution. Thanks for sharing your story.

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