Kid Photos: Why Is It So Hard to Throw Them Away?

Kid Photos: Why Is It So Hard to Throw Them Away?

Sometimes, in my line of work, I run into such a snaggly problem that I can't find any way around it without running into the danger of offending or insulting my client.

Kid's photos are one of them. For many people it seems wrong or disturbing to delete or discard photos of our kids. 

I completely understand. I have over 6,000 photos of my own kids and I am sure they could be whittled down. My kids are 8 years old and under and I have over 6,000 photos. That feels like hoarding. 

Why do I take so many?

1. Kids are very hard to photograph so you just keep snapping. Usually I net 1 half decent photo out of every 6. The other 5 are disasters - good for laughs. If there is more than one child in the photo the ratio will be more like 1 in 15 tries. Perhaps none of them will turn out.

2. I'm sentimental.

3. I am an amateur photographer and I love to practice. However, editing photos as a newbie takes a long time to master.

4. I lack the time to edit. Editing is the part no one does enough because it isn't pleasant and is very time consuming. Here's an example below. As I mentioned, I have over 6,000 photos from 9 years of my kid's lives. The majority were taken using an iPhone.

Here's a few:

I love all of these. How can I pick one? I am constantly editing but the job is never done.

Often, as I am working with a client, going through piles and piles of papers and bins of mementos and other ephemera, every photo we come across, even the duplicates, all  torn and wrinkled with water damage, they will want to keep.

I want to say "No." Pick the best one and have it printed, hang it, make album books through snapfish or shutterfly. Make a family photo wall. Do something with it - enjoy them. This is what I am currently in the process of doing in my own collection.

Alas, we all just keep and keep and keep. And buy more memory for our computers. And back up drives. 

Here are some suggestions if you can't part with a single photo:

1. Too many photos on your computer? Make a short time once a month to cull the bad photos. Half an hour once a month editing the really bad ones will make a dent over time. It does. I do this regularly now but it took me a long time to stop procrastinating.

2. Buy photo boxes. Really good ones like these and these. Plus extra empty ones for the photos that will come into the future. 

3. Find help on the internet or your local library. This is such a pressing issue that you can google it and come up with plenty of short (and long) videos that can help you figure out how store, organize and archive photos. Make the time for it on a regular basis and you will eventually get a handle on it.

4. Outsource the work. Hire an organizer to help you. This can be anything from an enterprising young person you know who is good with technology and can just delete blurry images. Or you can hire someone off craigslist (with good references) or task rabbit. Or you and your partner can split the work, say one person gets 2002-2008 and you do 2009-2014. Or if you are lucky you may have an interested grandma or grandpa wanting to maintain the family photos archives.

Oliver Sacks On Life, Towards the End

Oliver Sacks On Life, Towards the End

Organizing is Big In Japan. And the UK. And Canada. And Australia....

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