mine is bigger than yours (or, the art of editing).

So, let’s talk about it.  The biggest amount of photos on our hard drives.  DISCLAIMER: if you are a professional photographer reading this blog (ohmygodiamsohonoredPLEASEkeepreading!!!) you may NOT play this game.  You are not qualified because we ALL know you have the biggest ones.

But if you are a dork-face amateur such as i, then i guarantee you i most likely have the highest number of photos stored between my 3 computers.  In fact, my husband gave me this big white Apple thingy for Xmas that stores 1 terabyte of information.  I don’t even know how big that is… something like a hundred quadrillion bajillion megabytes?  what?

Nowwww….. wwwwwhhhhyyyy do you have so many photos, AC?  Why don’t you delete a bunch?  Why do you take so many in the first place?  OK, let me take a moment to outline the rest of this blog for you (i wish i could do this through interpretive dance as well, but alas, we have no time and i’m in my jammies).

1) i will explain to you how imperfect i am.

2) that will then lead into why i need so many photos

3) THEN i will explain my biggest photo pet peeve EVER that will likely be taken personally to some of you but please don’t – this is a thing of which millions are guilty, so you are all in, like, a tiny percent of this topic (using “like” incorrectly is also one of my major pet peeves, so who’s the hypocrite now, huh?).

4) I will then apply 1&2, above, to solve for 3.

Hopefully by this step you will immediately be sorry for calling me a bitch in the first place.  Then we’ll have wine together and celebrate our fantastic photography!  Note:  Sancerre, s’il vous plait.

You with me?  Well if you are you’re still reading, you’re in, so let’s GO!

1) HOW I AM IMPERFECT.  Every single one of us is.  So i’m not saying i’m special or anything for having a shit ton of flaws, i’m just calling out that i’ve probably got at least 2-3 things (quite possibly more) that drive you guys nuts about me, for those who know me.  My sweet husband probably has more, but i have ways of making up for that :).  So in my infallibility, i have a tendency to take a lot of damn pictures of the same thing.  Cuz see, if i were perfect, i’d only need to shoot one, right?  and that would be the one!  But no… i figure if i take a billion, i’ll get one that is ok and i’ll make it amazing through subtle editing.  So why don’t i delete the rest?  NO!  i can’t!  But that’s ok!

Here’s a perfect example.  Went went to Mexico last year with our friends (insert PSA for Punta de Mita here).  We went to the beach.  The girls jumped in the water, laid in the sand, skipped over the waves.  ohmygoditwassocuteyouwoulddie.   So, thus, therefore, and ergo… i took about a billion pictures of this 10 minutes of beach bliss:

…and trust me, there are about 40 more where those came from!  So, do you want to see them all?  no, you don’t!  cuz you get the gist after probably the first two!  BUT.. what if i just took ONE of these.  Just one.  and i made it BOLD and WONDERFUL!  Wouldn’t you get the same message with this?

(if you saw my Mexico album on facebook, trust me this is the only one you would see from this sequence.  i don’t make this shit up).

see, it’s not quantity… it’s totally about quality.  I love your son.  I do.  And i love that he just turned 6.  Really, there is nothing better than a birthday party for your child. It is why i love facebook and lurk about (not in a weird way) on all your pages.  But i don’t need to see him cutting the cake then eating the cake then giving his friends a piece of cake then the dog licking the cake then him eating the piece of the cake that the dog licked then his friends laughing at him eating the piece of cake that the dog licked then him starting to cry because his friends were laughing at him for eating the piece…. you get the point.

Keep all those pics… really, do.  Cuz you’ll want them.  But pick ONE and make it amazing.

Here’s another example… my daughter and her friend decide to go to the pool.  it’s a beautiful day in Mexico.  But c’mon.  it’s a pool.  So why would i post the following series of pictures?

at first glance, you’re like (there i go again, with the hypocracy), “so what’s the big deal.  i have a kid, and they jump into the pool all the time.”  Bingo!  You’re right!  so why post these?  Why not WOW folks with your photos and do some cool stuff?  BLOW people away!  Take the second photo, for example.  Look at that foot!  how cute is that!  why don’t we do something with it like this:

(tickle me.)

or look at the 5th one… with the girls falling backwards… explore, crop, bold the color (next post) and look!!!

doesn’t this say so much more about the fun they’re having when you just post one really excellent, focused photo?

feet?  you want more feet?  You noticed the last photo in that succession and you saw them and thought… “there’s an opportunity!”  you’re RIGHT! looky!

this says so much more than ANY of those sequence photos!

And here’s the most important thing:  If you just show ONE from a sequence of events,  and you crop it and tell us all that you love this one more than anything, then not only will it capture the emotion of the entire event, we will love it JUST AS MUCH AS YOU DO.

When it comes to photos, size doesn’t matter.  Keep them all.  They are YOU.  They are your family and friends, they are your adventures and surprises.  But… there is the lovely art of editing that captures what is most meaningful, and THAT is where size simply does not matter.

To the over 700 of you that have read my mindless braindumps… i heart you.  I’ve found this blog to be way more satisfying, fun, and scary than i ever thought.  Again i am humbled.

Until the next (so excited for this one!!!!!!),

as always,



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6 Responses to mine is bigger than yours (or, the art of editing).

  1. Laura Hunter says:

    I heart you!
    WOW! You always have something in your back pocket, AC!
    Any professionals reading your blog should be inspired by YOU!
    We learn from each other every day….

  2. Kevin says:

    LOL! Awesome post AC … and this is really good food for thought that will be helpful when I go through those gazillion pics on my hard drive (especially after Ezra was born) when it comes time to making albums, let alone sharing them with others.

  3. Love this Andrea! Can’t wait for more!!

  4. Rob Claxton says:

    Thanks for the tips, Andrea. I always try to cull mine down prior to posting for all the world to see, but two things prevent me from achieving perfection in this regard- my own innate laziness, and annoying relatives who complain that I don’t post enough “plain” portraits of my girls. Somewhere in there there’s a balance, I’m sure.

  5. You made me feel so much better about the quadrillion shots I have. Now I have a finally have a reason I can tell Jeff why I REALLY needed that terabyte!

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