When I started traveling around the world, I carried an external hard drive with me.
While I had extra memory cards, they were never enough. At the end of each day I would move many megabytes worth of photos to that hard drive. Today, it is a lot easier to load them straight to the cloud, although I am constantly buying more space to fit them all!
Which brings me to a question I eventually had to ask myself: what am I going to do with these photos? I learned how to make a portfolio online and displayed some of my best work. It is particularly simple with a website builder like Wix, which generates the perfect theme for you and gives you a fair amount of space to work with. I was able to give my photos the platform necessary to impress potential clients.
However, that still left me with thousands of photographs from years of travel. The sheer volume kept me from actually spending time looking at them or sharing them with friends and family. I had to find a way to pare them down and organize them. Otherwise, they would sit in cloud purgatory as their number continued to grow.
What do you do with your thousands of travel photos? Here are a few ideas.
Cull landscape photos
My first task was to delete as many photos as possible. This is incredibly difficult, as you can make a case to keep just about every photo. However, if you get sentimental about them, you’ll never actually enjoy them.
A good place to start with your cull is landscape photos or photos of monuments. Sure, you had a great time watching the sun set at Oia in Santorini. But do any of your photos actually bring you back to that moment? Those that do probably have you or your travel companions in them.
The reality is that most photos you have taken of scenery and monuments would be unrecognizable to you in a Google search of the same shot. Unless you are a professional landscape photographer, your photos are unlikely to provide any new perspective of the sunset.
This does not mean you have to delete all of these photos. Hang onto the one that you like most, but don’t think too much about it, or you can spend the whole day trying to choose.
There is a reason we take duplicates, especially when we are with groups of people. When you take a few photos, at least one should capture everyone at their best. However, most of us end up keeping all of the duplicates and never quite deciding which is the best.
Here again you will need to be decisive. Choose the best photo at first glance and then delete the others. Even if your choice is not clearcut, it is certainly a great reminder of the moment, and one you might never look at again if you keep all your duplicates.
Upload them to Google Photos
Even if you do a thorough cull of all the unnecessary photos in your collection, you will probably still have more than you can handle. You could spend hours moving them to separate albums and tagging them. Or you could upload them to Google Photos.
Google Photos is an incredible platform when it comes to keeping your photos organized. It categorizes them for you in a number of different ways, while giving you control over the functionality. While Apple’s native photos app may have caught up in terms of features, it is still not as efficient as Google’s.
With Google Photos, you can search through your entire catalogue with simple words or phrases, locations, or names of people. Your photos are stored in the cloud, and you do not have to keep them on your smartphone or computer.
Google Photos also has some neat automated features. If you take a number of photos of a landscape, Google will put them together to give you a panorama. If you have a bunch of duplicates with your friends, Google will turn them into an animation.
You might find it hard to just trust the algorithm and hand over control, but the reality is that AI does a far better job with high volumes of photos than you could ever do yourself. Instead of procrastinating until you have thousands of photos from your next trip, the app can keep your memories safe and easily accessible.
We all have thousands of travel photos we will never look at again. Cull some of those that don’t have you or your friends in them and delete duplicates. Then let AI take over.