With the ease of access to cameras (I mean seriously why do we even call it a phone anymore?) we’ve developed the bad habit of using them too liberally. Why do I say this? Well just the sheer number of photos we have in our phone gallery is a telltale sign. If you were using an old film camera I can guarantee you now that your gallery would be less than 10% of the size it currently is.
Now don’t get me wrong ...
I use my cameras EVERYDAY and I'm so happy to be in the digital era of of this medium! In fact, just this week I took a fun spinning selfie movie of my daughter and I outside our house (and then promptly fell over thanks to the dizziness that ensued). What can I say, when the neighbors can’t find anything good to watch on TV, I provide the entertainment! You’re welcome neighbors!
As humans we love to document, especially when we have little humans too.
And I am definitely all for taking lots of photos and videos of the silliness, seriousness, milestones and everyday moments.
I even use my camera as a short term memory aid for things that I just couldn’t be bothered to write down or commit to memory (I may have taken a photo of every makeup product I’ve ever owned so I can’t forget the colour/make/type when it needs replacing and I can’t remember which one I use).
So what's the problem again?
I mean it's great - we have lots of cool photos of our kids and our cameras help us to remember things! Life is good ... except when you actually need to find a specific photo!
A while back I wanted to show a mum friend some really cool and creative shots I got of my daughter at the playground, a couple months prior. Do you think I could find those particular images? NO! Eventually that evening when I had some time I scrolled and scrolled and scrolled and finally found them. I had so many dud and duplicate images clogging up my phone gallery that they were preventing me from seeing images that were of importance or significance.
What’s the point of all these photographic memories in the first place if it’s going to be a chore to actually find them and enjoy them?
Well I’m going to let you in on a little tip to make it less of a chore and it involves using your heart (or in some cases your star) button - aka the "favorite" button. By using this button and getting yourself into a daily, 5-minute habit (possibly even less, depending on how many images you take in a day), I promise that this will get your phone gallery looking like a beautiful memory bank filled with all the images you want to see!
I took a poll among some friends and family and only one out of ten actually used this function effectively! So, if you are already doing this then good on you mama!
OK, so it is this simple: Open your gallery and start swiping through each photo. For each photo you love, "favorite/heart/star" it. Now when opening your gallery head over to the favorites album and voila - see how clean and tidy it looks! The best of the best are sorted into one folder allowing you view them so easily. No duplicates and no duds!
I’m telling you, that little heart button is a game changer! But only when used consistently and properly. And if you’re thinking “Umm, who has time for this?” well anyone who has time to scroll through Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Netflix and the likes has time to have a quick scroll through their own gallery of photos. Just do it once a day, before you log onto your social media platforms, and future you will be so thankful! Also, you get to relive moments of your day that you felt were worth capturing which has got to count for something!
Some tips to consider ...
Don’t favorite duplicates. You need to be ruthless here mama, if you’ve taken a bunch of the same type of pic and you’re finding it difficult to choose which is the best because every face your kid is pulling in them is just so darn freaking cute only choose three, max! Bonus points if you only choose one! And if you can’t decide which, go with the first one/three.
Don't get overwhelmed thinking of the thousands of images you will have to go through. Rather start doing this from today and going forward. Then, once you’re in the good habit of doing this daily, challenge yourself to tackle past photos you've taken. Use any boring spare time you have such as waiting on your coffee order or in the grocery store checkout line. Not when you're hiding from your kids in the pantry - that time is for eating chocolate!
As for the memory-aid photos, create a folder or two, as necessary, and quickly transfer those into them. This should only take a couple of seconds to do as these photos shouldn't be too frequent (unless you're seriously suffering with memory loss!) I have two folders for this - "things I buy" and "things i want people to buy me"
Unfortunately the favorite button isn't going to help free up space on your device so you will still have to delete photos that aren't worth keeping. You could get into the habit of deleting while you are selecting your favorites but just be careful as you don't want to delete good images by accident.
Back up your images either to the cloud or to another device! Personally I use google photos. Just google what would be the best auto backup solution for your device and set it up! You don't want to lose your precious images!
Exercise some self control!
Be intentional about what you take photos of in the first place. This will immediately cut down the number of repetitive photos clogging up your gallery to start with. Remember, just because you have a camera on hand so easily doesn’t mean you must use it. To help you out with this, don’t forget to download my “top 5 tips for great visual storytelling”? It’s free (yay) and full of practical advice to up your photography game! The link is at the bottom of the page.
So, let me know if you have used this function of your gallery before. When I asked my husband if he uses it (as he is super tech savvy and loves using as many functions on his phone as possible) he said he had used it but only for one image - his bike! Anyone want to get in on the face-palm with me here?
Feel free to share this with friends you think may find this useful - I'll be sending the link to my hubby ASAP as he clearly could improve on the use of his heart button ;)
p.s. head over to my instagram "MomTog" highlights to see the spinning selfie!