Lots and Lots of Photos

Looking back on nearly 10 years of digital photography in my own collection, for example, my hard drive tells me that I take about five thousand photos a year on average. If I extrapolate out to an average lifespan for someone of my gender and situation then we see that at the point when I am likely to die my family will inherit roughly 200,000 photos from me. This will clearly be a different experience for them than the one I had with my grandfather’s images.

Richard Banks, The Future of Looking Back, 2011

This quote shocked me when I realized how true it is. Over 40 years, we can expect to accumulate 200,000 images. This mind-boggling number tells me that unless photos are organized when they are taken, or shortly thereafter, they will probably never be organized.

Cameras will help as they include the date and possibly location with the photo, but they will never be able to record the story that goes with each photo. Somehow we need to define which photos are important and why, either in photo books or by some other means. Without this information, we will have only a morass of  uninterpretable digital files, and I don’t believe anyone wants that.

About Mark Mizen

At Creative Memories, I evaluate photographic products and related materials so that today's memories are not lost to the future and then communicate this information to Creative Memories Consultants and their customers. My interests extend from preservation of traditional photographs to the production of photo books to the expected longevity of electronic image files. My long-term objective is to direct the development of technology that meets consumers needs for high-quality products.
This entry was posted in Digital Photos, Photo Books. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Lots and Lots of Photos

  1. Alex Stork says:

    Mark,
    Thank you for raising the awareness of where most of us are headed.
    It can be an overwhelming and daunting task to organize, enhance and delete just a few thousand. Two hundred thousand is a monumental task and best not be left for retirement!!
    Alex

  2. Monicca2654 says:

    Mark,
    Thank you for raising the awareness of where most of us are headed.
    It can be an overwhelming and daunting task to organize, enhance and delete just a few thousand. Two hundred thousand is a monumental task and best not be left for retirement!!
    Alex

    +1

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