I haven't stopped taking photos. In fact, since June 4th (my last post) I've taken 1637 photos and 27 movies. I've just quit telling the stories that go along with the photos. Last week I read this on Stacy Julian's blog:
There are too many [people] not telling their story because they are sinking in an ocean of excess photos.
We tend to assign an immense amount of value to photos because in the past, they have been rare and therefore extremely valuable. In other words, 12,000 photos are not as valuable as twelve. Stop and think about that for a minute.If you had only twelve photos from your childhood, they would automatically (regardless of their quality) be valuable–they are all you have.
12, 000 photos are not individually valuable, until you assign value to a few of them.
Excess photos create an environment of anxiety.
Creativity requires full engagement. To connect to that most essential place inside of you where emotion and memory come together to find expression, you really can’t feel anxious or distracted or overwhelmed.
Anxiety does not allow full engagement. You can hardly take a deep breath when you feel anxious, let alone find the calm and focus to fully engage!
I believe the antidote to all this anxiety is (quite simply) action. We need to learn to take action, in small chunks of time with small groups of images. We need to develop the skill of selecting a relatively small percentage of our digital images and then we need to assign value to them–somehow make them different from the rest. Make them rare.
So I've decided to start again, choosing only one (or so) photos to "make rare" and tell our story. Here's my photo for today: