It's 2020. Time to make some changes.
It definitely started last year, or maybe the year before. I was editing my thousands of photos from Iceland, and I realized I had learned some crucial techniques. I decided to go back to the beginning and edit ALL of my past photos. With some of them I achieved dramatic results.
I also found a few treasure-troves of photos I had taken, uploaded to my computer, and then promptly ignored entirely. There were some gems in there that now needed to be added into the timeline into the appropriate place.
Oh, the timeline! This is a spreadsheet, which is easy enough to rearrange, but it's also the Etsy Pattern site I had opened the year before to offer digital downloads that didn't expire. I loved the simplicity of the masonry look of it, but you couldn't rearrange the order easily (or at all? I'm not sure if I ever figured this out). I also had been posting sets of 5 photos from each of my categories on Instagram, chronologically, as each new set of 5 was complete. Was I starting both of these over?
This led to concluding that the Etsy Pattern site had done nothing for me except charge me $15 per month, and I could host my own items on my existing website if I put some money into it. I'd have an extra $15 per month once I shut down the other site.
Which in turn led to me taking a look at my existing website. I was pretty proud of it at the time, but I created it in 2009. It LOOKED like it was created in 2009. It was definitely time for an update.
As I began to update my new website with a new native shop function, I realized that the way I had been categorizing my photography made a lot of sense in 2009 with the photos that I had at the time, but some of those categories had not grown at all, and some had expanded to ridiculous proportions. It was time for new categories.
New categories, like the new timeline, meant starting over on some things (lots of things) AGAIN. Those groups of 5 on Instagram, which I had already completely re-posted the week before, would now have to be re-posted again. I'll do it a little more slowly this time, starting today.
My categories went from 16 to 24—many were more specific, and the total number of photos in each category was closer to equal. I ended up re-naming a few of the categories several times as I went (because, at this point, why not start something over AGAIN again...). These still fit nicely into 4 over-arching categories: Animals, Plants, Objects, and Scenery.
Old Category: Charismatic Megafauna
Previously contained mammals, usually large, but there were some small ones in there as well. The small ones were breaking the category. They couldn't be mega-anything. There was also a combination of wild animals and pets / livestock. This has now been split into two categories.
Old Category: Under the Sea
This one had become too large, and so it is now split into two categories: "Swim & Float" (animals that generally don't touch the bottom of the ocean) and "Tide Pool & Seashore" (sessile animals or crawling animals you're likely to find in or around tide pools).
Old Category: Flowers of the Wild
For a long time, this category had only 5 photos. I have now expanded it to include wildflower photos taken in the city (flowers whose garden-version and wild-version would be indistinguishable, even if that particular specimen had been planted by a human). This category also contains wild (or could-be-wild) fruits.
Old Category: Forest Flora
Now split into two categories—one for general plants and one for moss, lichen, and fungus.
Old Category: Bridges, Buildings & Boats
Turns out that's really 3 categories. When I started, it made sense to lump them together, but living in a city with 12 bridges, and visiting many other bridge-heavy cities makes the bridge category pretty big. Buildings are everywhere, too. I don't have that many boat photos, but for some reason I have a handful of truck photos (formerly in the "Everyday Objects" category).
Boats + cars = ways to get from point A to point B.
Old Category: Creeks, Rivers & Oceans
So, like ALL the water ever? Now divided into essentially salt water and fresh water.
Old Category: Into the Sky
Now two categories—one to highlight interesting cloud formations and sunsets, and one for the night sky.