Twelve significant photographs in any one year is a good crop

– Ansel Adams



My Crop

I don’t feel like I produced my best work this year, so I decided to do an analysis of my productivity for the year. I took 24,063 photos this past year for my own personal work (meaning that this excludes family photos and commissioned work, I actually clicked the shutter 31,537 times this year).

The Breakdown

I shoot several genres of photography and this year I primarily focused on two, street photography and models, so when I did my counts I separated the data for the two. Non-Model includes street photography, landscapes, abstracts, etc.

Non-Model Models Totals
Total 10,500 13,563 24,063
Keepers 502 114 616
Portfolio Worthy 36 42 78
5 Star 5 9 14

Keepers – these are the photos that I actually edited and considered finished.
Portfolio Worthy – There are images that I actually exhibited or showed to others via my web site, social media, etc.
5 Star – These are the photos I consider my best work of the year. These are my “Crop”


I felt like I struggled this year with my photography, I had finished up several bodies of work and didn’t know where to go next. I did a couple of model shots in the first half of the year (accounting for 7 of Portfolio Worthy images) and then I was travelling a lot and focused instead on my street photography. If it weren’t for the Lake Powell workshop I took in October I would have only had 1 Five Star image from my model photography for the year.

Another interesting observation is that although I took similar number of Non-Model photographs to the Model photographs, I had a five times the keepers but fewer 5-star images. That is partly because there are a lot more varied photographic opportunities when doing street photography rather than with a model, but in the end fewer of them are as good. Some might argue that is because of lack of skill, perhaps. However many are abstracts and I think it is more of a selection process. What makes a 5-star abstract?


The final crop of 14 images is a good haul for the year although I am not entirely happy. If it weren’t for the last minute trip to Lake Powell my production for the year would have been much less and not as strong.

I feel like this year was not an improvement but more of staying with the status quo. I plan to step up my photography game for 2016.


My 2015 Crop

lakepowell-9970-edit lakepowell-1529-edit Melissa Jean At the Cross
 Acroyoga on the Shore All Heart Slot Canyon Nude Tasia in the Rocks

How About You?

How was your crop this year?


UPDATE: I had a lot of questions about my selection critiera so I wrote another post that details why I picked each of the above photos.