Purging files is a task that all photographers must do, but I’m sure very few enjoy it. Hopefully, most of you are more organized and diligent than I am! I have spent the last year going back through several years worth of files that should have been dealt with shortly after uploading, but I am the queen of procrastinators. I have good intentions, but I get caught up working with the files that catch my eye right away and I somehow just never get back to the others. I’ll do it soon. Sure I will! It took the purchase of my second external drive and the fact that I could no longer easily find things I was looking for to finally get me to sit down and do it. At this point the task is rather immense!
One must be in the proper frame of mind to tackle this sort of project. Going back through four plus years worth of images can be quite a journey. On the right day, you see just how far you’ve come and feel thrilled by it. On the wrong day, you throw your hands in the air, scream how awful your work is, and vow to sell all your equipment the next day. Sometimes you just can’t do it at all. My advice is to not get there in the first place! Start with a good system. Trying to reorganize later is difficult. If you aren’t one of those who can delete stuff right away (and there are some dangers in that as well), spend a day or two each month going back through recent shoots. Be careful and thoughtful though. Sometimes an image won’t stand out immediately, but you may come back to it later armed with different ideas and techniques and then everything clicks.
The two images below sat in my archives for at least a year. They weren’t bad photos to begin with. They were in focus, composed decently, and the lighting was good. There were just others that were better. But in my latest round of deletions, they jumped out at me, and with the application of some recently painted textures, they finally worked for me.
And now, back to the archives for some more deletions. Right after I feed the cats and write that letter, and . . .