According to 1000memories.com, there have been 3.5 trillion (give or take) photographs taken since the advent of, well, ways to take photographs. Facebook currently has 140 billion photos (and counting), and 1000memories' findings suggest that 20% of all photos taken this year will end up on Facebook. We're now sharing our digital memories more frequently and more easily. While we love this instant ability to share and see photos from others, we've got some beef with how digital memories are preserved. So what's the problem?
According to Shutterfly, 64% of pictures snapped from your digital camera never see the light of day. If 74% think photos are essential for documenting memories and 50% use photos as a way to pass on memories to family members, then we're essentially filtering out quite a lot of memories. Which makes sense though if you consider how many of your snapshots are crappy quality, pointless content, or you think you don't look your tip top in the picture.
But allow us to posit that with large amounts of cheap storage capacity providing near unlimited amounts of "film", we're now willy-nilly carelessly hair in the wind taking pictures of anything and everything, 10 times over, without care for composition, content, and all those niceties that we used to have to spend the time to do (such as framing a picture) are thrown out the window because we don't need to anymore. Film cost is negligible now, and back then we weren't in the habit of wasting perfectly good (and often expensive) film plus the costs of getting to see them.
Consider also how the iPhone 4 is the most popular camera used on Flickr. While we're not knocking the iPhone and its fantastic camera (as far as camera phone cameras go), it's no high end digital SLR. But it can easily be argued that The Best Camera Is The One That's With You, and with the amount of fantastic photos out there we know good photos can come from inferior cameras.
Admittedly this writer suffers the same afflictions, snapping away at will and unloading thousands and thousands of crap from his cell phone camera (note we intentionally left out our own pics from this post, we're so ashamed of ourselves). So what's a poor aspiring photographer or casual club-going party picture poster to do? We suggest checking out Apartment Therapy's very own Photo Editor, Leela Cyd Ross' Super Photo Magic School as a great tool for becoming a better photographer. There are tons of great photography resources online and local communities often offer cheap introductory classes to try out. If anything it's a great way to touch up on basic skills if not to learn new ones.
As Shutterfly suggests, celebrate your photos and take pride in the quality of your shots. It may not be all nature and babies and award winning photobook material, but even our sloshed at the bar red eye beer in hand photos deserve some love too.
More on photography from the Unplggd archives