Cleaning Out My Closet

Like most photographers I sit with a huge “closet” full of pictures.  Every time I do a shoot, I end up using less than 10% of my images.  These images are edited and given to clients, the rest stay on my computer for maybe one day when someone asks me to look back for a picture.  For normal shoots I usually delete the images that I cannot use, but for the surfing shoots that I do voluntarily at the beach, I keep. Well, needless to say I run out of storage space very quickly so I decided today is the day that I am cleaning out my closet.

If you as me if I shoot in RAW or Jpeg, some people might be surprised that I shoot 99% of the times in jpeg.  And the reason for this is exactly what I have described above.  I just cannot store so many pictures anymore and RAW files are even worse.  It does occasionally happen that people ask me to go back and find images for them, which I normally do.  Usually they don’t buy any of the images and that made me wonder. What is the most economical way to approach this?  Selling a picture for R90 after searching for it for 3 hours or keeping it on a hard drive that costs me R1000 if not more?  Well, if you do the maths and I look back at the probability of someone asking to go back into my archives and then buying anything, then I think it would be cheaper to delete everything.

Yesterday and this morning I scanned through my folders and started deleting.  I have literally thousands of surfing pics, sunset pics, table mountain pics and there’s from shoots that I actually haven’t looked at for months if not years. They all had to go.  It is sad for me to dump good pictures, but I have to ask myself if it is worth keeping them in the end.  I do keep the ones that I edited, but I cannot afford storage space anymore and I cannot sit and page through thousands of pictures to look for a certain picture.

If you are a photographer and have a better way of managing and saving pictures, please let me know.

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