with Lorelle and Brent VanFossen

Photo Inventory: What are you missing?

When was the last time you did a serious inspection of your photographic image inventory? Set aside a few hours and go through your files of photographs. Update your inventory list, reorganize some of the files, maybe breaking them up into narrower categories. Pay attention to what you are missing. Are there some gaps in your inventory?

Do you even have an inventory of your photography? It’s critical that photographers maintain an inventory of their work. If you don’t, we have articles to help you manage your images.

Keeping an inventory of what images you have helps you to also understand what you are missing. If you are running out of ideas for photography and subjects, take time to finding where the holes are in your inventory and then go out and get those images.

Seagulls in flight behind a boat on the Kinneret, Galilee, Israel, photograph by Lorelle VanFossenBrent and I have been combining our image for over ten years now, and even though I think I “know” what is in our files, I’m often surprised when I make time to update and check our inventory.

We have a huge inventory of bird images. During a recent reorganization of our bird files, we were surprised to find that we had only a few sea gull images. I’ve lived my whole life in the US Pacific Northwest, and sea gulls are part of our daily life. Yet we only had a few images. We had less than one sheet of decent images and an entire file slot set up for them. Matching assumptions with reality, we put sea gulls on our want list, moved the half page of images to our Shorebirds category, and got motivated.

What assumptions are you making about your inventory? Do you have lots of images of trees but none of tree bark or leaves? Do you have lots of wetland scenics but few images of the plant life found within? You might be surprised and inspired. Get to work!

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