The Digital Den

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How Important Are Your Photographs?

I read this article recently that had some impressive figures about the number of photographs that have been taken since the beginning of the new millennium.  Here are some quick nuggets from the piece:

  • ~ 2.5 Billion people own a digital camera today.
  • If one person takes 150 photos, that equates to 375 billion photos.
  • ~ 70 Billion photos will be uploaded to Facebook by the end of the year.  (20% of all photos taken)
  • Facebook currently has approximately 140 billion photos. Given that this article was written late last year, you can probably add at least another billion or two in there.

It’s no secret how much I love photography. You could say it’s an addiction. I love to take pictures, look at pictures, share pictures, making pictures, the whole nine yards.  (But I hate being in front of the camera. Hello, irony!)  My Flickr account has a ton of different pictures about my life, friends, family, adventures and weirdness I’ve found throughout my travels.

Yet as I’m reading these stats thinking about the rapid pace we’ve accepted a digital lifestyle and online social sites as our new photo repositories, it gave me one gray hair of worry thinking about what happens if these sites shut down.  We can hope for some kind of warning, but it’s likely the common mindset is that sites like Facebook or Flickr will never go away.  I once thought that about Kodak until I read about their Chapter 11 filing.

If these portals shut down, our memories are lost to some datacenter in the abyss that we will never have access to again. It’s commonly said that family photographs are the first things that people will try to save if their house is on fire, because they are irreplaceable.  Why should this be any different when living in a digital world?

I don’t know about you, but the importance of backing up my photos just became a higher priority.  A portable hard drive is so much easier to carry than a cumbersome photo album anyway. (Do they still even make those?)

So how important are your photographs?

Related Posts:
Kodak: The End of an Icon?
Saving Yesterday for Tomorrow
Photography Addiction


  • You may not believe this but I LOVE taking pictures, I have in the last 4 years taking over 10,000 I have 8 flash sticks with all my best and fave pictures, there is one set that stays by my bed side ,one set by the front door, one set in the car and one set at work, God forbid our house to burn my pictures will be saved. Yes I know I sound crazy, BUT did i mention, I LOVE MY PICTURES.

  • I find many people are either comfortable in front of the camera OR behind it and not both. That being said, you are such a ham! You are second to only Kim Kardashian in the self-photography department.

    p.s. Great post!

  • Jonathan Says:

    All just to hide my inner terror.

  • [...] the last Digital Den, I asked  ”How Important Are Your Photographs?” Given that Facebook has over 140 billion photos, it made me wonder a bit about what’ll [...]

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