July 4th: What I Learned When I Deleted 4,000+ Photos In One Weekend

Deleting photos can be hard. I know. Some people have a harder time than others deleting their photos. Prior to creating ScrapRoom Software, I had about 28,000 photos in my iPhoto library, and during the creation process, racked up another several thousand and at last count, I had over 31,000 photos to transfer to my wonderful new ScrapRoom Software. (And yes, I'm going through the same process the rest of you are, moving from one library to another.) 

So this holiday weekend, since we didn't have any fabulous plans, I decided it was time to bite the bullet. Prior to moving my photos, it makes more sense to purify my photo library and only spend effort transferring photos that I actually wanted to keep, right?

I probably wouldn't recommend sitting at your computer 4 days straight through. And honestly, I didn't either. We went out to eat a few times; I got some work done; spent some time with the kids and went to a couple of movies. But my priority was purging and deleting.  And I learned a few valuable things.

1. It's so much fun re-connecting with photos you haven't seen in a while. For instance, the one of my son, playing his DS upside down on the sofa and the one of my sweet girl finally embracing the slide. I had forgotten about these:

tristan dsalyx slide

2. I also found that we have lots of photos like these:

photoboothtristan funnybryan funny facebryan me funny

Lots and lots of photos like those. Because my crew loves to make funny faces for the camera. And me? Well, I just need to learn to keep my mouth shut for photos. :P  So I did keep a few of these, but there were literally hundreds of pretty much the same expressions, so I dumped those. And guess how many bad fireworks photos? Tons.

3. I also found that the more photos I deleted/purged, the easier the process became. I relived vacations, birthdays, holidays....I began to enjoy the process. I was also able to see where I had duplicates; and really, you only need so many silly faces or similar poses. The ones that were too close to call, I left, because ScrapRoom has an awesome compare feature and if wasn't obvious, I kept it. 

4. One nice thing about doing this several years after the fact is that I can delete some of those birthday parties for kids whose names I can't even remember, or whose parents I didn't even really know. Gone! School events that weren't memorable? One group photo will suffice. I even called in my kids on a few I was unsure about, and they couldn't remember the people, either, or didn't like them, so why keep the photos? 

4. When I finished my weekend, I went back to see my starting number (31,398) and my ending number - 27,200! I had deleted 4,193 photos! I felt empowered and a true sense of accomplishment. I know that the photos for years 2004-2009 are the photos I really want to keep. There is no reason to import and tag photos I don't really care about.

Now I feel almost excited about tackling the rest of my photos for years 2010 to present. I think I'll get started right now.......

-Blayne

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