Yesterday was all about your old photos. Today: digital photos.
Let’s be clear: digital photos haven’t made life that much easier. Yes, it’s easy to share photos online but if you’re like me organizing and culling digital photos is a lot of work.
It’s too easy to take photos now. There was something handy about having to pay for prints and film. It made you selective.
Now we just snap, snap, snap, snap and tell ourselves we’ll pick the best from the bunch and delete the rest. When we get around to it.
My digital downsizing of photos is an ongoing project. I still have lots of work to do in my archive of photos. It’s too big a project for me to set a deadline for so when I find a bit of time, usually just after uploading new photos to my computer, I go through and delete digital photos.
The first rule of paring down digital photos: upload fewer photos.
I’m much better about deleting photos off of my camera before I upload them now. I have a point and shoot Canon Digital camera and it’s easy to look at the photos on it and delete the ones that are obviously not keepers right away.
Then, after I have uploaded my photos to my computer, I take another look at them and delete a few more.
Here’s my other tactic: I take fewer photos. One of the reasons I take fewer photos is that I no longer have an iPhone. I have to remember to bring my camera along with me to document events. The other reason is that I want to enjoy the moment instead of being behind a camera documenting it.
Compared to most parents my age I don’t have a lot of photos of my son. Compared to parents a generation ago, I have a lot of photos of my son.
Less can be more for childhood photos in the digital age. Can you imagine your child at the age of 30 trying to sort through 20,000 photos of her childhood? Yuck.
I also think that having photographic evidence of absolutely everything can impact story telling. Story telling is such an important part of family memories. Growing up in a large single parent household without a lot of money meant that from the age of five to fifteen (when I started buying disposable film cameras) I didn’t have a lot of photos taken of me. There are large gaps of no photos of Christmas or sporting events. That’s okay. When I’m with my siblings we can reminisce and tell stories about our odd childhood all evening. No photos needed.
So maybe I won’t have a video or 100 photos of my son’s first soccer/football goal. Maybe I’ll just have a photo of him in his uniform and he’ll know the story of the goal.
On our recent trip to the Dominican Republic I took roughly fifty photos which I then edited down to 20. I also took two short videos of Henry in a little musical number that they put on with the kids.
While viewing one of the videos, the one where he spotted Chris and I in the audience and started yelling “Mommy!” and trying to run off the stage, I accidentally deleted the video. I was really upset about this but have since realized it’s not a complete loss. When we were talking to family about the trip we got to tell them the story of Henry’s first time on stage. And how he saw us in the audience and wanted to run to us. Sure, they could have seen it on Facebook if I still had an account and hadn’t deleted the video. But telling the story was more fun than getting some likes and comments on it.
How do you manage your digital photo collection?