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

I have over twenty years professional experience in all aspects of photography and digital imaging. I am Chair of the ISO WG5 TG2 committee responsible for physical properties and durability of imaging material and am currently with HID Global working on systems for security printing for IDs, licenses, and credit cards. Previously, I was Director of Digital Development at Creative Memories from 2009 to 2012 and was responsible for the Creative Memories digital products and services. I also established and directed the Creative Memories Technology Center, which evaluated new products prior to product introduction, assisted with production difficulties, and provided technical information to support product sales.
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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