In an age when even a mid-range smartphone contains four separate camera lenses, it’s no wonder we’ve all become amateur photographers.
And while phone cameras certainly aren’t suitable for professional assignments like property photography, they’re great at capturing everyday events and special moments.
Research suggests the average millennial has 921 photos stored on their phone at any time, yet only 28 per cent of these will ever be viewed once they’re taken.
Unfortunately, that profligacy comes at a price.
Many budget smartphones offer just 16GB of storage, much of which is pre-populated with an operating system and manufacturer bloatware.
That doesn’t leave much space for photographing the world and its many random occurrences.
More advanced smartphones offer greater storage capacity, but paradoxically, captured image sizes tend to be much bigger.
And because it’s child’s play to point and shoot, we’re accumulating huge volumes of irrelevant or uninteresting shots.
One solution is to upgrade your handset to acquire greater storage. Another is to upload images into the cloud for posterity.
But an increasing popular third option is to perform a photo detox, pruning image libraries to a more comfortable size.
What is a photo detox?
If we’re honest, most of us are guilty of hoarding shots we don’t want or need.
There are blurry pictures, often taken accidentally or in low light conditions where nothing is actually visible.
There are pictures you don’t even remember taking, and ones which simply aren’t relevant, like a year-old shot of a shopping receipt.
There are smudgy party shots where everyone has red eyes because the flash was on, and where every shot looks like the building was tilting to one side.
These pictures aren’t just irrelevant. They’re taking up storage space, slowing down the processor and consuming valuable system resources.
If you’ve had enough of struggling to find images amid chaotic photo libraries, these are our tips for performing a photo detox:
Manually view and delete each unwanted image. It’ll take a while, but deleting photos is more rewarding than mindless social media scrolling.
If a particular snap doesn’t look attractive, bring back a happy memory or serve a purpose, delete it. And yes, that includes pictures of long-forgotten fry-ups and cocktails.
Create digital photo albums. Move images of special occasions into named folders, so they’re instantly accessible.
This banishes the overwhelming clutter many people see when they click into their libraries. Other tips include bookmarking specific shots for easy access within your library.
Order printed photo albums. Our parents recognised the pleasure of flicking through a physical collection of photos.
Firms like Snapfish, Vistaprint and Photobox can deliver affordable prints or photo books, which won’t be accidentally erased while replacing your existing smartphone.
Make better use of cloud storage. That doesn’t just mean uploading everything. In fact, neglected cloud storage might need the most radical pruning.
Only upload images you’d genuinely be sad to lose, such as shots of loved ones on special occasions. If it’s not significant, you won’t remember or miss it a month from now.
Delete duplicates. Images shared on WhatsApp or posted on Instagram are already saved in the cloud. There’s no need to store copies as well.
Look through conversations, identify specific images and manually delete them. It’ll take time, but it’ll be rewarding – and your phone will benefit from the additional space saved.