Artist vs. Archivist

As a photographer and an archivist, the lines between the two roles are often blurred, at least in my personal life.  The photographer in me wants to spend my “photo hobby time” taking photos for creative purposes, editing those photos, posting them online and social media, and blogging about it.  The other side of me is the family photographic archivist, so as I take family photos and photos of family events, I need to keep on top of my processing and archiving of these precious collections.  These activities proceed my marriage and family by quite a few years.  Over the years I have developed elaborate organizing and archival processes of personal digital photos and older print photos of mine and of my family members that I have scanned.  Some of these proceed my life by decades.  While I have lofty goals of enhancing metadata for these “legacy collections” my main responsibility is to stay on top of newly taken photos.  Since my time is limited due to working full time and family responsibilities, I often struggle finding a balance between working on family photos and my creative photography endeavors.   Both are important to me, but the archivist in me will not allow me to ever get too far behind in keeping up with new family collections.  To further complicate matters, I also need to find time to learn.  2020 has been one of the single most educational time periods for me due to finally getting Lightroom and taking advantage of my institutional subscription to LinkedIn Learning as a University employee.  LinkedIn Learning has tons of learning modules on photography and photo editing and managing.  So there is always that question; work on creative photo shoots, do some learning, or work on family photos (current or legacy collections that need work)?  In coming blog posts, I will discuss my Lightroom workflows for different types of photo projects, my filing system and hardware configuration and how my workflows help keep me organized. 

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