If you were to lose your camera today, would anyone who found it be able to get in touch with you? If not, it might be a good idea to put a couple “digital dog tags” on your camera’s memory card. First, add a photo with your contact information onto the card so that anyone looking through the photos on the camera will come across it. Next, add a series of text documents to the root directory of your memory card (the first directory that appears when you access the card on a computer). Give these files names that both attract attention and contain your contact info. Open up these text documents and add your full contact details. This way, anyone who opens up your card on a computer will (hopefully) see your info as well.
These tips are especially useful if you’re traveling with your camera, since you might not be clearing the data off your card very frequently and may have a higher chance of losing your camera.
Recovering your camera after losing it is one of those things that most people don’t really think about until the situation actually arises. If you were to lose your camera today, would anyone be able to return it to you?
Andrew McDonald‘s solution is to always keep his email address in a photograph that never leaves his camera.
In fact, he keeps a whole series of photographs that help him “speak” to the stranger (or thief) that found his camera.
It’s a pretty clever idea, since someone who finds a camera is bound to look through the photographs stored on the memory card. You don’t even need to take a fancy photograph – a simple hand-written note should suffice:
The reason you should save your contact information as a photo on the memory card rather than as a text file is because the text file won’t show up when viewing the photographs using the camera. Even if the person who finds your camera is tech-savvy enough to browse through the card using a computer, they might not see a text-file intended for them no matter what you title the file.
A problem with this simple approach is that simple altruism isn’t enough of an incentive for some people to return the camera rather than to keep it or sell it. Thus, the following “digital dog tag” might have a higher chance of success:
Notice how the prize is completely ambiguous. This might be a good way to get the finder to email or call you so you have some tangible link to your camera. What you choose to offer them as a “prize” is up to you. How much is your camera worth to you?
For the rest of Andrew McDonald hilarious set of images, check out the following link:
A Pictoral Guide to Avoiding Camera Loss