making room for new work

I have a bag of photos to throw out…

and it weighs over 5 pounds!

These are all the photos I pulled out of old albums and turned into blurb books. This isn’t even half of what I’m throwing out. I went through all my loose photos last weekend – the ones I previously pulled out of albums and the “extra” ones I was keeping in a photo box, and I gave them all careful consideration.

The big questions:

Do I like the photo? Is it flattering? Am I in it? Do I know who is in the pictures?

(I had a little wallet picture of a teenage penpal… a cute girl in madras check… from somewhere in Europe… but I couldn’t even tell you if it’s Monica from Italy or someone else… so is there any reason to keep the picture?!)

Do I have the same (or better) photo in an album?

(I often end up looking through the “extras” – the duds – instead of looking through the good pictures in my albums – and I’m disappointed when I look through the pictures I’ve rejected.)

Does the photo make me happy or sad?

(Both kinds of photos might be worthwhile – a picture that makes me feel sick or stupid or nothing at all needs to go in the trash!)

Is the photo completely pointless?

(Yeah, I had a lot of completely pointless pictures!)

I am letting go of all the pictures that are pointless, that are ugly, that are the bad versions of good photos I have in an album, that are not important any more (the unimportant are mostly pictures of stamped greeting cards).

I am keeping the pictures of me and my loved ones that are good pictures or that make me smile. I put them in a little slip-in album I found at Value Village ($2!) to go with another album I have of family and friend snapshots. For now I kept the “extra” pictures from Japan in the photo box, but they are on notice. I think I need to let them go. I also kept a bunch of pictures that I love, that make me smile, that I want to use as postcards (put that on the to-do list). They’re pictures I took with the digi-cam, but for some reason the physical prints really call to me.

Are you squirming…? thinking of me trashing photos…

I’m not really even slightly brave. I have scanned copies of most of them. I have blurbs books of them too. I have albums full of the best versions of them, scrapbooked. And I have NEGATIVES. Yes, film negatives. Most of my pictures predate the digital period. I have only been digital about 5 years. So all of my Japan pictures have negatives. All of the pictures from my China trip too (actually I don’t have any hard copies of them – I only have the negatives!) Singapore – negatives (and scans, and blurb).

And yes I do get reprints from negatives. I have before. I will again. I know some people throw out their negatives knowing they’ll never do anything with them, but I’m not like that. I have my negatives carefully stored.

I said I’m not brave… but the bag has been sitting on the table for a week…

I have a real attachment to images!

But I’m trying to make room for new work, new photos, new images…



This entry was posted in less, photo, photography, stuff. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to making room for new work

  1. space says:

    You’re doing a brave thing & I for one applaud you. Also loving the self portrait.
    Be well!

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