In this age of photo-snapping and digital hoarding, I’ve often find I have countless photos on my phone (and camera). You probably do, too! And chances are, you aren’t constantly going back through them. It can get a bit overwhelming. I shared a bit about cleaning up that digital clutter in my post on capturing life through Chatbooks – because if we truly have fallen in love with that photo or that moment frozen in time, then let’s figure out a way to make it last, to make it more tangible! In the meantime, I often struggle with cutting down on the sheer number of photos on my devices. Here are a few questions I ask myself when I’m looking to declutter my camera roll:
Do I have a case of the “flip-books” going on here?
In other words, do I have too many photos of pretty much the exact same thing or moment? If I were to print all 20 of these photos out, would they flip through like a stop-motion video? If so, pick your best 1 or 2 (or, let’s be honest, just plain pick 1 or 2 even if it’s random). Delete the rest.
Do I have very similar photos like this already?
For me, it’s all about the pictures of fields and roads (and ahem, they’re often the same fields and roads I encounter every day!). Sometimes I see a picture I took yesterday and realize I took that same photo 3 months ago. If it’s too close to what I already have, delete it. (I suppose it’s kind of like cleaning out a closet that way!)
Do I have a good purpose or plan for this photo?
It could even just be the reason “I want to keep this photo to refer to often or share with others.” Even bigger plans are even better – like, “I’ll print this out and hang it over my office desk.” Without delving into hoarder territory (where you start keeping everything for the heck of it and excusing it), determine if the photo has potential for a greater purpose. If not, delete!
Does this photo capture something special and valuable to me?
Is it artsy in just the way you like? Will you look back on it fondly? Does it capture some (even blurry) moment of happiness with someone you love? Then keep it!
I realize that some of these questions may seem like common sense – but if you’re anything like me, you may appreciate hearing these points reiterated as you strive to simplify!
How do you manage all of your photos? I’d love to hear your tips!