HT4623 how to retrieve data that was not backed up

SOS!  Being a novice SmartPhone consumer, I tried to safeguard my data on my iPhone 4 only to lose all the data from the date of purchase, is there any way possible that the data (pictures and contacts) are not a total eternal lose? 
Disperate in Cali

mpg320 wrote:
Today I completed a software update for my iPhone 5 without backing it up because I did not receive a warning that all my data would be erased and so, did not realize it would be an issue. Upon completing the update, I realized my mistake but figured it was too late to revert the damage and continued with the restoration of my phone to its factory settings.
After completing the update, I realized just how much data was lost (including important notes with financial information and images and videos of recent trips around Europe). Now I am desperate to try to recover the data deleted in the update. Is there any chance at all that I can recover something? The notes and videos are most important to me. I am also missing many Messages but that is less important to me.
Can anyone please help?
Any response is greatly appreciated!
Here's the official article from Apple on how to update your iOS.
Update the iOS software on your iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch - Apple Support
Before you update
Back up your device to iCloud or iTunes.
That's virtually the very first thing it says to do.
There's no excuse to not have your data backed up prior to updating.  Tell me, what would you have done if, instead of this being an issue where you updated your iOS and had an error, if instead you had dropped your iPhone and it was damaged beyond repair, or if it was stolen or lost, etcetera.
Perhaps you'd been backing up to iCloud and didn't realize it?  Maybe the missing Notes data is linked to a Mail account?  You might be able to reconstruct the data, but it's going to be an uphill battle.
Best of luck.  Make sure to backup more frequently in the future.  There are two types of people in the world; those who have lost data, and those that will lose data.  The only difference is how prepared you are for that event.

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