Eight months ago this was my mentality. Photographer, documenter, memory HOARDER. Takes photos of everything because “yOu cAn’T hAvE tOo mAnY pHoToS!”
Old Sam is an idiot. You absolutely CAN take and have too many f*cking pictures.
I’m sitting here with an eye headache emptying my boobs before I take my vitamin and go to bed like a 97-year-old lady, so we will keep this math simple.
I have two main 16GB memory cards for my camera. Each holds roughly 600 RAW images apiece. They’re rather large files, so they take up a lot of room. (Thank God. Otherwise I’d have even more photos to comb through.) Ever since Lincoln was born, when I’ve had photoshoots scheduled, instead of going through and deleting pictures to make space, I dump them all on my external hard drive in a folder called “Off Camera – Lincoln.” Like a lazy person. Or a disorganized one. Or both.
I have done this like, 3x per memory card. So we’re talking about 3600+ photos (in addition to the ones I actually uploaded immediately after taking them) that are sitting untouched on my hard drive, honestly most of them likely never to be looked at again because as a photographer I’m very trigger happy and have to take 329,840,209 pictures to a normal human’s 2-3.
I used to make fun of those moms who would post 17 pictures of the same moment on social media. Some blurry, all pictures more or less the same but they need to post every single shot instead of just picking the best one or two and calling it a day.
Cut to summer 2019, Lincoln pops out and decides to take a particularly cute nap and suddenly I’m Kramer circa ’96.
Well, karma is hitting me hard. No, I’m not posting 86 million shots. But I’m certainly taking and keeping that many.
I do a photo book every year for my niece. Or I did before I stopped at year five. But believe you me*, Lincoln and any subsequent children will be having straight up yearbooks for at least 18 years.
I know this is something more experienced parents will laugh at. Say their favorite line: “you say that now.” And, maybe a normal person would end up stopping somewhere down the road. But trust me when I tell you, I’m anal AF and borderline OCD when it comes to pictures.
Therefore, I will never start a “photo tradition” that I’m not willing to commit to until I die. I get a serious pleasure out of memorializing every day life and even more so when I slap it into a book and it arrives on my doorstep a few days later. So trust me when I say, all of our future children will have their entire childhood plastered into photo books that they can one day have and show their children.
Or, you know, leave at our house indefinitely like I did my mom’s with all of my childhood stuff. But hey, parents should love that. It gives us kids a reason to go to mom’s house more than we already may. #yourewelcome
A N Y W A Y
Because of this physical need of mine to have these photos cemented into history, in order to not spend an arm and a leg nor end up with something that looks more encyclopedia-esque in volume, it’s pretty much imperative that I really sit down and go through these pictures and do some serious weeding.
Which I have been doing the last few evenings this week. And my computer is not loving this game. I’m culling in batches of 50-80 and ending up with like, 8-10 — which is NOT BAD for a hoarder — but this process takes forever because my 8-year-old macbook takes a good 30 seconds to load & then delete each photo.
I don’t know if I’ve even made it through Lincoln’s first month yet.
The pictures are so cute and I love looking at them but shit, when it comes to organizing them and trimming off the fat, somebody please come put me out of my misery.
So here’s my PSA for this week:
Take it from me. I know in the moment, it feels necessary to take as many photos as you can to catch everything and any minuscule variation in your child’s expression or behavior in a cute situation. But seriously, there is a very slim chance you will go back and look at every single picture. Or miss a random shot in between a couple other duplicates. So my advice is to either delete the duds at the time, or organize them right away, or I don’t know… train yourself not to go apeshit on your shutter button and know that one great shot is just sometimes better than 29 okays and blurries.
But what do I know? I just checked my phone and I have 12,982 pictures on there too. The kid is seven months old and before he was born I thought my whopping 3,000 was excessive.
In short, please send help.