How Big is Your Photo Collection?

Keeping on track with the Photo Backup theme, I wanted to pose another question relating to the topic. When we first get into photography, we don’t have a clue how large a photo collection can become (and how quickly too). These photos can burn up every bit of disk space we have, causing us to upgrade our storage space situation.


So for this poll, take a peek at your photo archive and see how large it is (just the originals, not all the backups). I’d also be curious to hear in the comments how long you’ve been in photography along with how much disk space you’ve filled in that time.


And make sure you check out the results of the last poll “How Many Photo Backups Do You Have?” Most people chimed in at 2 or 3 copies (including the originals), but we had a whopping 10% state that they have no backups! On the other end of the spectrum, one reader mentioned in the comments that they have 8 backups!

15 thoughts on “How Big is Your Photo Collection?

  1. My camera World

    I would imagine I am near the 1TB limit.

    This includes the Photoshop files, which many are over 1GB. And with the scanned 4x5s, these big files sure add storage quickly.

    Now add 3 backup drives I almost need another house to store the images.


  2. Stephen

    I’m pushing the limits on my current drive setup, so I’m planning to have to buy new set of drives (1 x working and 2 x backup) early in 2009. Not sure what I’ll jump to, I guess it depends on prices at that time.

    My drive upgrade plans are also being driven by my plans to purchase a 5DmkII in 2009, which will eat a lot more disk than my current 40D workhorse.

  3. Toby Smithe

    I’ve been doing this about a year, starting off with using a digital point and shoot. I’ve now reverted to film, and have been using a Minolta XD-5 for a while. Whilst that was dysfunctional, I used an Olympus Trip 35 or an Ilford Sporti 120 camera. My archive, on the hard drive, is about 15GB. On my walls, it is most of the space. In folders (prints and negs that are not as good as the wall shots), I have a pile about 2 feet high.

  4. Dick Wood

    I just started digital Photography in Janurary of 2005. So I have a bunch of Cd, and now DVd as archives. I have a 250 gig hard drive deciated to my photos on my computer, and I have a 250 portable haard drive which I switch from computer to computer. I am planning on using eth portable hard drives as my archives now. I intend to keep a year in each hard drive.

    Well that is at least my plan so far.

  5. Janne

    A total of 29Gb. I’ve had a digital camera since 2002, though I didn’t start to get serious about it until the beginning of 2004. I’ve had a DSLR since mid-2004 or thereabouts.

    29Gb isn’t that much when you think about it. Even if I’d assume that practically all of it is from 2005 onwards (that’s when I started using RAW for real), that makes for just 8Gb per year of saved (not taken) images. I see little reason to save duplicates, near misses or images I don’t really like so I do tend to delete quite severely. If they aren’t worth postprocessing, they aren’t worth saving.

    Lately, of course, I’ve veered more and more into film which tends to cut storage requirements quite a bit too.

  6. Gary

    Almost 18gb, starting in 1998 until the present. I got serious about photography in 2006, so most of my volume is in the past 2 years.

    I’m pretty ruthless with the deletes though, getting rid of the dupes and uninteresting shots. And even though I shoot RAW now, I only archive high quality jpgs.

  7. Antoine Khater

    Currently I am between 300 and 400 GB and counting. Knowing that I have everything in, at least, 3 copies this is becoming somehow big as a total !

    Lucky me storage is only getting cheaper

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  10. Martin

    I’m at around the 100GB range, but it’s growing exponentially….and the recent upgrade to a 15MP 50D isn’t helping the growth rate…

  11. Susheel Chandradhas

    Given that my Dad and I shoot professionally, we have only a few GB. I marked 400-500GB but then realised that we’re easily past 800GB. That is photographs on most of three 320GB seagate drives, and one 120GB samsung drive.

    I’m not talking about backups, BTW. And I assure you, this is not much. It should be way past 1.5TB, but we delete RAW files for low priority shoots and keep just the client’s files on DVD.

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