How many photos?

Earlier today I read an article that attempted to estimate the total number of photographs ever taken. (Spoiler: it’s about 3.5 trillion). I decided to have a look back over my own archive and see how many I’ve taken.

Over the course of my life, I’ve taken approximately 3500 pictures on film and 35,000 with a digital camera. That’s almost 40,000 in total, which is about 4 per day since the day I was born. The photographs are not distributed uniformly, though:

It’s a little hard to see what’s going on, but it makes much more sense if I fill in a few life events.

  • 1998 – school trip to France. I shot a load of film.
  • 2002 – my parents bought their first digital camera
  • 2004 – I got my first camera phone, which immediately replaced film. I start shooting more pictures as it is free to do so.
  • 2006 – an uncharacteristically quiet year. I started my third year at uni and was probably too busy/lazy to take pictures all the time, compared to the previous two years of drunken frolics and cameraphone action
  • 2008 – I got my first “serious” digital camera and took up photography as a hobby
  • 2009 – I started shooting film again
Other notes:
  • The graph isn’t great. No digital at all was shot until 2002 and yet a thin orange line exists where it should be zero
  • I think quite a few films from 1991-1997 are missing. Several years report zero film usage and I don’t think that’s right. But I was just a kid and not really so serious about archiving my negatives!
  • I think a few digital photos from 2003 have gone missing too. Around that time, the family PC’s hard disk broke down so the pictures were probably lost then. Don’t worry, I make backups now!

One thought on “How many photos?

  1. I’m amazed that you’ve any films left from before 1998. I used to take a lot of photos when I was young, because as you know my Dad was very much into cameras, however I’d be damned if I new where 5% of the pictures were, shame really I must have take a roll every few months I reckon.


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