I got asked this question last night at a neighborhood get together when the subject of my starting to use film again came up. I said that nobody knows for sure but some estimates put the number at over 3.5 trillion. That's 3,500,000,000,000 for those of you that do digits.
Apparently photographers, broadly described as someone who "takes Pictures", were doing it at a rate of about 380 billion a year in 2011.
And where are all these photos you might ask? Well some are in shoe boxes, some in notebooks, some in drawers, file cabinets, ziplock bags, vaults, large envelopes, glove boxes of cars, attic trunks, under the bed in plastic tubs, on walls, etc.
And then, of course. most of them are digital and on hard drives, smart phones, iPads, and about a dozen or more online sites. As of 2011 (different reference months) the major sites had approx:
flickr:: > 6 billion
Picasa:: > 7 billion
Photobucket:: > 8 billion
and, drumroll please, Facebook:: > 100 billion
A snapshot created by Jonathan Good at 1000memories blog:: http://blog.1000memories.com/ looks like this
He's got a great description of how he made his estimates and sources of data at:
So, do your part. Get out there and capture light! Get rid of your poor images and share your best - at least as long as the Internet is functioning ;-)