Could the most photographed and picture-taking generation the world has ever seen end up having little or no photographic record? Taking photos has never been easier, and most of us have a camera with us everywhere we go. Yearly exposures are measured in the trillions. Many – perhaps the majority – of those digital images aren’t worth much more than a quick glance and the delete button.
Others are ‘keepers’ – for as many reasons as there are picture-takers. And many of these will only become more valuable over time. This guide is for that vast majority of picture-takers who want to ensure that they can easily find and share those valuable photographic memories, but frankly don’t know where to start. We have attempted to keep it simple, affordable and achievable. Most readers will be able to get started using existing software tools on their home computers.
We emphasise that managing an image collection actually starts even before you press the shutter button. We embrace the printed image as a valid ‘storage medium’. We’ve avoided being overly prescriptive, on the reasoning that every photo collection is different, there is no perfect system and anyway, the perfect is usually the enemy of the achievable. This is not a learned treatise on archiving, workflow enhancement strategies and digital asset management best practice, but a simple guide ‘for the rest of us’ on how to bring a little order to the chaos that is the average 21st Century photo collection. We hope it works for you!