Photographer Finds Her Backup Drives Stolen on Christmas Eve


Christmas is often called “the most wonderful time of the year,” but for one Canadian photographer, this year’s holiday season has been anything but. On Christmas Eve, Johany Jutras returned home and found that burglars had stolen her precious backup hard drives and photo archives.

CBC News reports that Jutras was returning to her home in Montreal from a trip to Europe when he fond her front door unlocked and apartment ransacked.

Jutras, a sports photographer who shoots in the Canadian Football League, instantly checked on her hard drives and was horrified to find that the burglars had taken around 12 of her drives that contained thousands upon thousands of photos shot during her 8 year professional photography career.

The only photos from her archives she has remaining now are from the drive she took the Europe, which only contains her past month’s work.

“I feel empty inside. Powerless,” Jutras tells PetaPixel. “It’s like losing a part of yourself. And there is nothing you can do.”

“The worst are the people on social media that tell you things like, ‘You should have done this and this’,” Jutras says. “Even if some of them are right, ‘Should have’ won’t bring my drives back and it’s really not necessary.”

Jutras says that she had taken extra redundancy precautions by making backups of backups and by using RAID disks. She decided against cloud storage because she shoots over 5,000 RAW photos every week while covering 2 to 3 games.

The theft of her drives will make a huge financial impact on Jutras, as she won’t be able to license the photos or create photo books with them later down the road.

“I’m a self-employed person so it’s kind of like your investment for your retirement,” Jutras tells CBC News. “All those photos, you can do something later to make money with them.”

In addition to filing a police report, Jutras is also turning to social media in hopes of somehow recovering her precious body of work. She’s hoping the burglars see her story and find a little Christmas compassion: after all, the photos are worth much more to Jutras than the used drives are to the burglars.

Image credits: Header portrait by Chris Hofley and courtesy Johany Jutras

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