Hooray! This post marks the big 2%. Gold old 2 out of a 100, or alternatively 20 out of 1000. Let's keep it rolling.
When I go somewhere, on a trip or to an event, I rarely take pictures. I've never really liked pictures all to much, either taking them or being in them. This is often somewhat disappointing for people who ask to see pictures since I usually don't have much to share. In my defence though, the pictures I would have taken wouldn't have stood out from what you could find online or from other people there, in my opinion.
That's a big contributor to my reluctance to add more pictures. I know in the age of almost unlimited cheap storage space it's kind of funny to be stingy about not wanting to take pictures and fill up the drive but it's not entirely about storage. Really the bigger issue is organization, and that's only been exacerbated by larger and larger drives.
Typically I take pictures when I feel confident I'll go back to find them later. When I know it's something I'll want to revisit, or I know I'll plan on showing someone. Pictures that are taken and then never appreciated again, only to be quickly swiped through on the rare occasions they come up at all - that does kind of bother me. I like to be intentional about the moments I choose to preserve.
This also means I'm fairly judicious about deleting pictures and videos that I feel is useless. Whether it's because it's because there are better versions of that picture that already exist, or because it's just not a great photo; I'd rather have fewer great pictures than more mediocre ones, even if something is lost in the process. By trimming the fat from my photo collection, it raises the quality of everything else and allows the great pictures to truly shine.
This entire philosophy works fine for most day to day things, like an artistic shot of a latte or a particularly breathtaking sky - these won't fill up my library and I can curate to my heart's content. The issue, however, comes when I'm taking a huge amount of pictures in a very short time. There isn't really enough time to curate it to keep only the best pictures, and sometimes you're with others and combine your libraries when you get home and all hope of trimming the low quality pictures is lost.
My solution to this, to really force you to be intentional about what pictures and videos you keep, is to convert them to a piece of physical media. A real photo album made out of paper and ink is a wonderful solution to these issues. They often charge by the page so you're naturally incentivized to keep it slim and showcase only the very best moments. There's not much risk that you'll never look at it again because it'll be taking up space in some cupboard or drawer somewhere, forcing you to give it a look. In fact, it might even make it's way to friends or grandkids providing both parties with a wonderful excuse to revisit old times and bond. It's harder to share with others, but that means when you do share it, when you have guests for example, it makes the experience so much more valuable. In fact, the very act of spending money on something like this will probably cement it in your mind forever and ensure it never gets lost.
It's a little bit harder to find an equivalent for videos. Old school VHS and DVD copies of are kind of out of fashion now, and you can't really get a physical video album to gather dust in an attic somewhere. Fear not however, this is the age of the internet and Youtube, of expert travel vloggers and videographers to guide the path. Assuming you have a ton of video to cut down, forcing yourself to edit down a mountain of footage into a snappy little Youtube video is a great way to retain memories. I've seen old two hour long wedding videos and you want to make it maybe 1/10th of that length at most. Short and sweet.
I know that people often hire professionals to handle this role at important events. Real photographers and videographers who capture pixel perfect footage, edit it down, hand it over to you in exchange for some money, and maybe post the highlights on their Instagram for free advertising. I'm sure this system works, but I think it loses some of the soul of capturing your own memories.
People often take plenty of their own photos even when they know they'll get a nice photo album by a paid professional at the end of things. Why? Because only you really know what you want to capture. What you want to keep, remember, and cherish. This goes for the curation as well. If your goal is to preserve memories, forcing yourself to be intentional about how to trim down your content and turn it into a beautiful album is the best way to cement those moments. You'll never forget the hours of hard work you put into your creation, and the difficult decisions about what to keep will give it all the more meaning.
Ideally, every trip I go on would result in creating one of these. A physical roadmap through the different chapters of my life, and likely a testament to my skills in art and craft. That is, if I actually took many pictures. Like I said, I typically don't try to document most of what I do and where I go. At least not through photos and videos. In those special cases though, where there is undoubtably a need to save the memories of some special day or unforgettable trip, I really do think a nice photo album or video edit is the best way to do so.