Ok, a similar thing happened to my sister. I was able to recover approx half of the photo's of their world-wide 7month trip!
I used several of these programs that I was able to download for free:
Photo Recovery Pro
If these fail and you really want the data, consult your friendly PC technician and get a quote from Disk Data Retrieval expert. They can open the Hard Disk Drive in this special air-tight room so no particles get inside and they can scrap the data off the platers. It costs several thousand - I know :(
ps now you'll always have a backup and regularly backup your data
Disclaimer: I dont claim to be any sort of expert in the data recovery field.
I've recovered my sisters HDD and I dropped a removable 1TB HDD and
the drive wouldn't spin up and got the data back.
Even if the disk was reformatted (or overwritten) some data may still be salvaged (fingers crossed for Barbs) http://easeus.com/resource/hard-disk-data-recovery.htm
Usually the data recovery experts dont guarantee being able to recover anything and that it voids the HDD's warranty.
This is also why you burn old HDD's rather than leaving them out in the street, as scammers often try and recover your confidential information.