Decide what to frame and display.
The rule is simple, said Tessa Wolf, the head of merchandising and marketing at Framebridge, a custom-framing company: Frame whatever you want to look at every day.
“Things that are tangible — that you can see and feel and touch — hold a different meaning now, during the pandemic, when you want to remember the last time you were with your girlfriends from college, or when all of your siblings were together,” said Ms. Wolf.
As for choosing the right composition, the photographer Adeib El Masri, who shoots portraits and fashion editorials, looks for symmetry and clutter-free backgrounds. If there are several excellent contenders — as there might be, thanks to newer smartphones’ “burst” feature — Mr. El Masri espouses a classic, no-pressure tiebreaker: “eeny, meeny, miny, moe.”
“At a certain point, we’re talking about micro movements,” he said. “Remember that when you see that photo on your wall, you’ll love it; you won’t be analyzing it against the ones that aren’t there.”
Delete, backup and share.
Once your master archive is under control, it’s important to maintain it. Mr. Niloff suggests setting aside regular intervals — five minutes a week, the last Sunday of every month — to go through new images and ax the “no’s.”
“There’s a psychological fear of deleting,” Ms. Nelson said. “But by never deleting, the likelihood of you ever looking for the photos again is actually going to decrease.”
What should you do with the new batch of yes’s and maybe’s? That varies depending on your specific setup. One tactic, said Mr. Niloff, is to upload them to the computer and back them up on an external hard drive or a cloud-storage service. Delete the maybe’s from the computer, leaving only your favorites left to tag and file. It’s as if you’re playing bouncer to your master archive — nothing that doesn’t pass muster is allowed inside.