How many photos do we take?

According to a piece of research commissioned by SmugMug and conducted by pollsters YouGov, we manage to take a quite astonishing 600 million photos every week here in the UK. Ah-ha, 600 million pictures of kittens, puppies, kiddies, and sunsets. Wondering how they got to that figure? It goes like this.

  • The adults questioned for the survey gave the average number of photos they took each week at 19. That doesn't include holidays or special occasions.
  • There're 47,754,569 adults in the UK, 30% of whom do not take photos in an average week.
  • Seventy per cent of 47,754,569 do take photos. That's 33,428,198 people.
  • Multiply 33,428,198 people by 19 photos, and you get just over 635 million.

That's a lot of photos.

Roughly half of those photos are of people, about a fifth are landscapes, and a tenth are of pets and other animals. No one was brave enough to put a figure on how many of those portraits were selfies.

However, 56% of those questioned had lost images because of technical failure, theft, or even human error and almost three-in-ten didn't have a back-up routine of any description. That leaves me wondering, just how valued are images now? Are they becoming so ubiquitous that people aren't too bothered if a swathe of their photographic library suddenly disappeared into the cyber-abyss, or is it more a case that they've never stopped to consider what a catastrophic hard drive failure or a stolen phone might mean? These are slightly different prospects to the threat of fire or flood to printed photos.

The good news is that backing up your photos isn't that difficult and storage is cheap now, too!

Anyway, what do we think? Is 19 a fair number of photos a week? I'd totally skew the figures: I don't think that my potential response of 'Ehm... a few hundred last week,' really counts!