I always hear or read about photographers finding little gems in their photo archives. Today I have one of those stories of my own.
The back story: In 2005 I traveled to Buenos Aires, Argentina, with six Brooks Institute Visual Journalism students as part of an international documentary class I was teaching. On one particular day five of us went to a rally in the city center (Plaza de Mayo) where I happened to take a picture of a priest walking among the people in the procession. I filed away the picture with some others I shot that day, not really giving it a second look.
Fast forward to today: I was skimming the headlines on my iPhone and saw a picture of the newly elected pope. His face looked familiar. I immediately looked through the pictures I shot while in Argentina and quickly realized that the priest I had photographed eight years earlier was actually the archbishop of Buenos Aires, Jorge Mario Bergolio, who is now known as Pope Francis.
Lesson learned: This was another good reminder for me of why we should always try and hold onto our pictures, even the outtakes. We just don’t know the potential historical value of our images in a given moment. This photo also served as a good reminder of the value of maintaining a good system for archiving work. I was happy to have found the picture I shot so long ago in just a matter of minutes.
Surprisingly, the challenges are not only limited to the recordings made in the early days of audio but those made as recently as 10 years ago due to rapid changes in technology and issues related to ownership of the recordings. And while we often make keywords, descriptions and other metadata entries as part of our workflow as photographers, we often neglect that necessary chore as as part of our audio workflow. Take five minutes and listen to the report and see if it gives you any ideas of why you might want to start adding metadata to your audio files.