We’ve taken more photos in the last decade than have ever been captured in human history. By the end of 2020, it’s possible that the number of photos taken in just that year alone could be more than the last hundred years combined. What a staggering thought indeed.
Out of those, only 0.01% of them will be saved beyond a decade, let alone a day or a phone dump. Let me show you how I got that number.
Think about this: For 2016, the number of smartphone users is anticipated to be just over 2 billion. As of today, we’re currently sitting at over 7.4 billion people on the planet. Some simple math shows us that, including newborns, that’s under a 1/3 of the world’s population who will be owning a smartphone (or multiple ones) by the end of the year.
So, let’s make this a bit easier to put into perspective.
A conservative estimate is 1 million selfies/day, but I’m not just settling with selfies. This is about pictures in general, so I think we need to be a bit more inclusive with that number. There are some places that claim that smartphone photo taking is as high as almost 100 million per day. I think I’ll be generous and say a minimum of 10million/day. I’m including Facebook profile statuses, Facebook messenger chats, Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, text messages, Whatsapp, and even Facetime Photobooth shots and even other non-social reasons you could want to take pictures from your smartphone (car accident damage, insurance broker, real estate agent, website articles etc.).
Remember, these are low estimates, to put things in perspective and keep the numbers “round”.
10,000,000 photos per day:
and out of those, let’s immediately cut that in half, as being “unusable” in any form – too small, too large, blurry, duplicate, not centred, not enough or too much light… you get the idea.
5,000,000 photos per day:
and out of these, we’re chopping another half out, simply for the fact that we have the best intentions to share them, but we get caught up in life and they get buried in our smartphones and might get transferred to a computer or laptop, but chances are, won’t be accessed ever again after the shutter is clicked.
2,500,000 photos per day:
and out of these, I’m going to be brutally honest and say a good portion of these shouldn’t be shared, but sadly are. Poor lighting or exposure is only one issue, amongst many, including illegal ones, so I’m going to cut out a million pics from the list just for “should not share, but sadly have”, because only a fraction of the world’s populace will ever see these. Yes, even on Facebook. In order to get you past that now icky feeling, just think of these as the “I don’t remember posting my toe as my new profile picture. What did I drink last night?”
1,500,000 photos per day:
and out of this, a cool million will likely get uploaded to the various sites around the globe, as profile pictures (wanted, no stray toes this time), lolcats, ‘there I fixed it’, etc. Sadly, none of these will ever see print either.
500,000 photos per day:
and out of these, we’ll take most of them for what I’ll call single use prints. These are the ones that are staged houses for real estate brokers, photos used in court cases, and things of that nature, that cannot be repeated in the same fashion or way ever again. Generally, after the one time event, they are rarely ever shared with anyone, and they are limited viewing.
100,000 photos per day:
and out these, I’m going to split this into four categories: region, culture, family, and other. The Region (10,000/day) ones are taken by/for a city, country, etc for promotional or other reasons, and will gladly share this with the world repeatedly. Cultures (20,000/day) celebrate their holidays and mark special occasions with books, pamphlets, and other memorable collectible items. Family (20,000/day), well you know where you keep your old Polaroids; scrapbooks, picture frames, photo albums, and even some etched into plates, crystal ornaments, and other decorative objects that collect dust. The ‘other’ (50,000/day) includes NASA and other international space exploration pictures, new uploaded Google Maps locations from people visiting, from Google driving around, and other “others” like that.
That’s 20,000 around the world. Now, put that into the initial context of 2 billion smartphone users, and that’s 0.01% of the actual taken amount of photographs kept in a day from a smartphone.
The point of all this, is that with every photo we take, we don’t stop to consider how much we could potentially share, and how fortunate we live in such a technologically wonderful era that we are able to expend millions of digital pictures for sake of a good selfie, if it means it makes us smile.
I have had the opportunity to begin (last year) truly learning what it means to plan a shot. My husband (aka d’Artaignan on here when he gets time to write), will be able to explain fun things like shutter speed, and aperture, exposure, light metre levels, and even why they use silver backing on the film (it’s to etch the picture! COOL!!) I am only doing black and white stills with my Canon, and hubs is developing the pictures by hand, and so far all the pictures you see on here for b/w (including the Creative Journey Facebook Group banner picture) are shots I proudly share from my own collection. I’m in no way ever going to claim I’m as incredible a photographer as Sebastião Salgado; but then again, he’s one of the greatest, and he’s too humble to say he’s as phenomenally exceptional at his photo taking as he is.
*If you don’t know who this man is, do yourself a favour and go to Google NOW.* Why are you waiting? GO!!!
It has been said that this is the most photographed time ever, and yet very little of it will survive a decade. Thousands of pictures of children now, but maybe twenty actual photographs printed out for when they are leaving for college, getting married, or for their retirement party.
So I propose the following: I’m going to start showing everyone special Memory Maker options, and see which one is best for you.
Be it a decoupage headboard of special silly moments from a childhood, a scrapbook full of college memories, a wedding album that won’t break the bank to create and add to each anniversary… the list can be only as limited as your imagination and desire to create a lasting memory. I even have memory maker pages for (most of) my second #100days Journey. Cats, kids, weddings, graduations, moving to a new country, taking up a new hobby, chronicling your favourite tv series through cosplay pictures; the options are endless and are waiting for you.
I have a bag of scrapbook pieces of memories that need photos to “set the mood” and recall the moment with a laugh or a sigh or a poignant viewpoint. Once we’re unpacked, I’ll start searching around for the pieces, and as I put that together, I’ll share that creative journey with you.
I might even utilise the “online scrapbook” option, to save me from having to find a craft supply store here on Nevis & St Kitts (which let’s face it, is probably unlikely!) I can print the pages out, or even have them printed and bound for me as a full book from what I understand of it. We’ll have to walk through that together.