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