The Photo Mess: Article about managing the mess

Conquer Your Photo Mess

Do you know where your photos are?  Do you have a backup plan in place for digital photos?  If you answered no, then you’re not alone! It’s a sad fact that the babies and children of today, who happen to be the most photographed generation, are at risk of growing up and having NO photos at all!  Without a well thought out plan, the multitude of photos you are taking today may not be safe and protected for the future.  Consider the following: 

Numbers Speak

With Smartphones, the number of photos being taken is staggering.

1.2 Trillion: The number of photos taken in 2017

95 Million: Photos uploaded to Instagram each day

300 Million: Photos uploaded to Facebook each day 

The Memory Curator: Online Photo library image


Every two minutes, we take as many photos as the whole of humanity took in the 1800s!  So how many photos do you take each day?  Is your camera filled with photos that are never curated?   On average, people in the USA take 20.2 photos per day which will add up to over 7300 per year.   It’s easy to see how that can grow into an unmanageable mess. 

In addition, most people have a closet or basement full of printed photos dating before digital photography became the norm.  These photos are at risk of physical loss or damage due to water, sunlight, fire or from contact with unsafe materials like acidic paper or adhesives. Even when safely stored with archival safe materials, they are still subject to degradation over time depending on the original developing process, ink and materials.  


Are your photos safe and backed up?  82% of families are not sure if their photos and videos are backed up and 60% of parents say they are not confident updating their photo software.  But aside from backups, If these tens of thousands of photos you have are never culled, curated and organized, then they will likely never be enjoyed or saved for the future. 


Over time as technology evolves, your precious photos may become orphaned on obsolete technical devices.  Then there’s the problem of ‘bitrot’, which is the slow degradation of data stored in various storage media.  Even when using stable formats, over time things deteriorate.  Indeed 20 years is the average lifespan of VHS tapes so those taken in the 1980s and 1990s are already becoming unreadable.  And finally, most of us have suffered loss through hardware failures.  Computers, phones, external hard drives and storage devices are all at risk of damage, loss or failure. 

The Memory Curator: Image of person overwhelmed by the photo mess


How often do you go back and look at your old photos?  Although 76% of people agree that printed photos help people connect in ways they don’t with digital photos, 60% of families haven’t printed a photobook in more than five years!   It’s estimated that only 1 out of 100,000 photographs taken today actually ends up being a printed photograph.   


How do you best combat the anxiety over the state of your photo collection?  The best defense is to have a plan!  A very basic photo management plan should include doing an inventory of all your photos, putting them all together into one place (called a digital photo hub) and making sure you have backups in place.  

As a professional photo manager, I can help you put together a plan to tackle your photo mess.  A professional photo manager is part organizer, part coach, part designer and part technician so I can meet you where  you are!  Please complete the Contact form for more information.  For details on everything related to photo organizing and memory keeping, please follow me on Facebook, Youtube and Pinterest.

The Memory Curator: Article about Memory Management Plan