Protecting Your Photographic Memories. You Need to See This.

Last week I heard about this Tedx talk given by photographer Kevin Gilbert on the importance of protecting your photographic memories (I don’t want share too much more than that, because I really want you to hear it from him).

His talk, titled “The Lost Generation,” is around 16-minutes long but it flies by because of the wonderful images, the funny and often touching stories, and his engaging, fun presentation style.

I promise you, this it will be worth your while. Not only will it make you think, it will probably put some great things in motion for you, and it’s sure to start your Monday with a smile.

Here’s wishing you all a fantastic Monday (if, ya know, there is such a thing. It’s kind of like Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster).




  1. Scott, need to ask you a question, as you just did I also switched from Nikon to Olympus 4/3 cameras and a number of their wonderful lenses. I love the switch I made and the outstanding images that have resulted. It would be nice to see a review in the magazine. Misrroles is gong to be very popular and needs to be addressed by kelbyone, especially the Adam D – 1. Walt.

  2. Scott, love watching the Tedx talks on my iPad (TED app)
    This is my second Sat of the week since the restaurant is closed on Sun, Mon and Tues, It’s shooting days for me :)

  3. Kevin is a good guy. I remember being in a workshop with him in 1999 and he told all of us that everyone would be using digital cameras within five years. I thought he was crazy at the time, but four years later I bought my first DSLR. When I told him about that during another workshop in 2008, he laughed.

  4. For the last several years, I’ve been archiving my dad’s boxes of slides. It’s been a blast just looking through these images that literally have not seen the light of day in 30-40 years, but even better is getting the stories behind the photos. And Lightroom is perfect for adding that context to the images.

  5. Scott, thanks for sharing this today. I’m pretty diligent about backing up my photos onto different hard drives. Lightroom makes this pretty easy. But this whole talk reminds me that you shouldn’t just let your photos sit on a hard drive for years. Print them up! Making photo books are even better, as you can pass around a tangible memory to different people, shown as a story that you created. Now I just have to tackle that old shoebox of photos from the 90’s that’s been in the closet!

    Speaking of books, Scott, do you create photobooks for yourself and family of the special times in your life outside of work? I love the books that you share with us about your trips around the globe, but do you do the same for the kids’ and the rest of your family’s events (nothing that you would share with us, just for personal enjoyment)?


  6. Terrific Scott! A lot of good points made, especially about backing up photos. The only thing I need to do, is store mine on another mirrored RAID HD off-site somewhere. As Kevin Gilbert says, if you don’t have a worst case scenario planned for, and have your memories stored at a second location, you could loose it all.

    I’ve been shooting digitally since 2007. On the recommendation of another photog friend, I bought Photo Mechanic, and have used it to since digital Day 1 to input, catalogue and label all my photos. Seven years later, including freelancer assignments, I have 5 terrabytes of photos. I’m slowly scanning and cataloguing all the thousands of slides and digital negs I have too.

    I also print images regularly, giving tens, even hundreds of photos, sometimes in albums, as Christmas gifts. The look on my sisters, mother, late Dad, friends and others as they go through those photos, brings joy, and sometimes even tears to my eyes. It is truly rewarding.

    My DSLR camera always travels with me, even to go to the grocery store, because you never know, serendipity may happen, as Kevin said. A week ago, I photographed two delightful you 11 year-olds who had set up an impromptu lemonade stand. Then last week, my three sisters, my 83 year old Mom and I, travelled to “the cabin,” a small cottage in the Laurentian Mountains north of Montreal. Built by my grandfather, It was a cherished place, etched in our young memories. Sold 50 years ago, to pay for a surgery for a family member, we had returned to spread my Dad’s ashes in the lake we all swam in. A tearful yet joyous moment, I preserved the special moment.

    So to those reading this, take lots of photos, even the details and small things you might overlook, and the tough moments too. When you look back, you will be glad you did. Just make sure you catalogue your images, and back them up too.

    Cheers and thanks again Scott.

    Frederic in Montréal

  7. I love this talk Scott! I wanted to share with you that I’m the community manager at Slidely ( and putting photos into stories is exactly what we’re about. It would be an honor to hear your input!

  8. Scott, what a great video on the importance of backup and more importantly the importance of reviewing your memories. Looking at his 5 actions, I think it is fair to say that Google Plus is capturing the market on this with the links of auto backup and stories.

  9. Thanks for sharing this, Scott. I’m going to incorporate the messages & video into the beginning my high school photography courses come September. And it was a great reminder for me, personally, as well. One small variation on this theme was highlighted for me just last night: we were putting together a photo book from a recent family trip, and my wife remarked, “there’s hardly any pictures of you!” As the “mostly-self-appointed-official-family-photographer” this is an all-too-common occurrence. I need to remember and be intentional about getting on the other side of the camera much more often.

  10. I think he should have added to weed out the crap pictures before you back them up. Out of the 880 billion photos a year, probably 60% are junk or the same picture taken several times so we can pick out the best one. When we have flash drives that hold a terabyte we can use them for backup. That should be coming in a couple of years. One problem is for RAW there is no industry standard for cameras.

  11. One thing you missed, is HOW ! How do you organize 10,000-50,000 images? What kind of program can you use to keyword those photos in an automatic system. Keywording 10,000 photos, one at a time, will take forever. We need to have a group of basic keywords that all photos will fit into. Still which program can do this, even if it takes the night thru to run?

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