I’m unsettled and more than a tad frustrated. Over the years, I’ve snapped thousands of photos… and most of them just sit.
If I’m diligent, I’m just able to download and organize all of those photos into folders in Adobe Lightroom every week. Then, I’ve got to go through them to pick out the best ones and tweak them to make them ready for prime time.
But then they just sit again. There is no grand ‘unveiling.’
Maybe I take the time to share a few with family and friends. And of course, there’s the photo or two that follow the more regimented workflow of my blog and successfully get out the door on my weekly schedule.
But what’s the endgame for all of the rest?
The Challenge of Organizing Family Photos
My master plan used to be the creation of photo books that covered the prior year or perhaps a particular family event. And as much as I struggle and often fail to get to the finish line every year and consider that collection of photos ‘done,’ I’m no longer certain about just creating massive photo books that sit on a shelf.
So, I’ve also been posting best-of moments to a cloud folder and then pulling the photos down to display throughout my house via…
Sure, all of this effort supports properly documenting and displaying the life of a family. That’s certainly of value. But focusing all of your photographic efforts to essentially feed a family time capsule or restricting them to your four walls doesn’t nurture an important creative requirement for many of us.
The essential need to share.
The Choice to Share on Social Media
Some folks like to visually share their lives in the moment… unfiltered. They snap and effortlessly share the photos of their day-to-day. They direct and star in their own version of “The Truman Show.”
Social media is, of course, made for that.
On the one hand, you’ve got people posting multiple photos daily. On the other, there are those who refuse to have any online presence.
(And I’ve made the argument that online seclusion will effectively erase them from existence.)
But if you’re like me, you fall somewhere in the middle. You share a few photos on social media, but you haven’t totally given access to the entire family photo collection to the public at large.
So that leaves the vast majority of the photos… still sitting on a couple hard drives.
(Yes, I back mine up, of course.)
The Photos that Look Beyond Your Own Life
And then there are those intrepid souls who share photos that fall outside of the simple structure of family photography. These pics offer a point of view… something more than what someone did today.
These photographers are sharing a specific narrative through a particular photo.
That’s satisfying, right?
And yes… a lot harder to do.
First, you’ve got to have something to say beyond “this is my life.” And then you need to capture the picture. For some, that is a career or perhaps a life’s pursuit.
You can quickly feel like an amateur playing in this sandbox populated by professionals, artists and journalists.
But hasn’t technology given us all the tools to enter this more advanced arena? Everyone has license to share a good photo with the world. There are really no rules.
(Light bulb moment)
Hey… Would any of my photos that have been sitting in the digital dark possibly fall into this more demanding arena of universal exposure?
Barrett’s Instagram Initiative
So, I began to go through all of my photos that fall outside of family moments. And I tried to identify a theme in creating a group to share… an organizing principal.
And of course, the answer was right in front of me….
It’s technology… all the tech around us that affects our lives.
Sure, I know I’m already sharing photos on Instagram that reflect the topics of my weekly posts. But I think I need to try for something more…
I’m going to share a photo a day on my Instagram account.
I don’t have enough inventory to feed that frequency for long. So, I’ll need to look for new imagery of technology that’s infused into our day to day.
(Look at me… I’m already making it hard for myself.)
And I’ll require some help with a daily output. The only viable strategy is to schedule the posts ahead of time….
A Photo a Day
So, all of this is to say that I’ve launched a little photo-a-day project on my Instagram account where I’m sharing how I experience technology in the world around us.
Some pictures will be new… others from yesteryear.
But these orphaned photos that will never have a place in any family photo album will finally find a home.
A place where they will be seen.
And that possibility… will make me happy.
Because I’ve shared.
And that feeds me.
Please take a peek.
I hope you like them…