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Photo Count

January 17, 2007 by Janet Worne  
Filed under Blog

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I was recently struck by a sobering thought. As of September 2006, I have been shooting pictures professionally for 25 years. A quarter of a century. And I actually started taking pictures earlier than that as an amateur. That’s a lot of pictures.

I wondered how many times I have pressed the shutter release on a camera in my lifetime. Even though there is probably no way to know for sure, I was obsessed to see if I could figure out even a vague estimate of what that number would be.

First I decided that 150 pictures per day is a reasonable average for a news photographer. Several of my colleagues agreed. Some days we shoot much less and other days we can shoot 300, 400 or more. With an average of 240 workdays a year over 25 years, I came up with 900,000 photographs. Then I rummaged through drawers, boxes and hard drives to figure out how many pictures I took outside of work and added that number to my earlier count. The grand total came to a whopping 940,420.

My next thought was, how long before I reach a million? By my calculations I should arrive at that number somewhere around May 2008. Actually I think it will be much sooner or I may have even passed it since I know I grossly underestimated my numbers. The count I arrived at was based on photos I could find or remember and I’m sure there were a lot of outtakes that landed on the cutting room floor or fell victim to the delete button.

Why does this matter? It doesn’t really. It just happens that today is one of those low-picture count days and this kind of exercise seemed like a fun thing to do.

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