I met with three clients this month and all three expressed essentially the same thing. It was such a strange coincidence that a similar sentiment was repeated three times, and by people who obviously care deeply about their photographs. I decided to share their wisdom in this newsletter.
I am helping a mom with three young boys organize her 30,000 digital photos. She said “I’m so glad we’re doing this now instead of a few years ago. In the moment you think every picture is important. Now with the perspective of time I can appreciate that less is more. I only need a few pictures of my son’s first birthday party, not a hundred, to remember the day.”
My second client is working with me to create an album for her son’s Bar Mitzvah, which was in 2009. After reviewing over a thousand pictures from the event she said,
“With the passage of time it is easier to let go of photos. I looked at all of them, I reminisced, and then I selected the ones I want to keep and realized I didn’t need to keep most of them.”
The third client is preparing for her daughter’s wedding and I’m helping to create an album of pictures from her daughter’s childhood and a slide show for the rehearsal dinner. The first step is sorting through bins and bins of disorganized print pictures. After doing some initial sorting, I asked for feedback on the amount I was saving and organizing versus “recycling.” She expressed “I’m able to look at pictures more objectively since so many years have passed. It’s better to pick just a handful from each vacation instead of the rolls and rolls I took. Please throw out the ones we’re not keeping.”
If you’ve been meaning to get your print and/or digital photo collection under control, take the advice of these three wise women. Start with pictures from at least five years ago. Enjoy the trip down memory lane, pick the best pictures that tell your story, and allow yourself to recycle the rest (I know for some this is difficult!).
Make this the year for Fewer but More Meaningful Pictures.