There is a special tool you need when you start organizing your digital photos.
- It’s simple.
- It’s free.
- You already have it.
It’s your delete button.
“Oh, foo!” my grandmother would say. She keeps every single photo including ones so overexposed you can’t see who’s in them. She values all of them, especially after losing some in a flood forty years ago.
But while her photos taken with film total in the hundreds, digital photo collections easily add up to thousands. I can add a thousand new photos to my computer in just a few months. Right now I have fifteen thousand photos taken in the last few years.
When you take a digital photo, don’t you often take more than one, just to make sure you got the shot? And do you sometimes take a few test shots first?
I do, I take quite a few, and I end up with three of four photos that are really good, some that are kind of nice or look mostly the same, and then a few that clearly need to be deleted fast.
So I delete the ones that need it. It’s a lot more fun to look at photos on a computer once you’ve weeded out the bad ones, and it’s also nicer when you’ve deleted the ones that look identical.
While we enjoy photo albums and books, most photos remain solely on the computer. It’s just not realistic to consider printing them all. The delete button keeps our collection manageable and enjoyable.
For several months I’ve had a goal to delete 40 photos every day. Some weeks I do this, and some weeks I’ve let it go, but it usually takes me no more than ten minutes. It’s been an easy way to keep my photos more or less organized when I don’t have time to do anything more. I can focus on a small, measurable goal for the day, instead of the overall big project of “organizing the photos.” I can work on any set of pictures without feeling like I’m two years or ten years behind.
Another advantage is that it makes me look like a much better photographer when I delete the evidence of the bad photos, and that keeps me motivated to take more.