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The Lost Generation | Kevin Gilbert

By Charles Tiu

A world traveler and photojournalist, Kevin Gilbert has dedicated his life to helping people take better photos.

Gilbert’s philosophy is that good photography is about the story. Content is king. “If it’s really good content, it will get noticed,” he says. In a world where almost everybody is a photographer and cell phone cameras are advancing to high megapixel capabilities, Gilbert’s advice reminds us to be aware of how we portray a subject and what story we are telling in the split second we press the shutter.

But does that mean we should take fewer photos? Not necessarily. Gilbert has been shooting digital since 1996 and has accumulated two million photos.

He shares this observation: “If you asked my neighbor for pictures when her girls graduated, he probably has no idea. It’s just going to be boxes shoved into a corner.”

Gilbert is afraid of that. In the digital piles of all his photos, he does his best to stay organized–not just for himself but for the sake of history too.

“This generation could be completely lost if we don’t educate people that there is a problem and help them solve it,” he says. “Organizing photos is like flossing, you know you should do it but you don’t.”

The solution? Gilbert believes we need the mentality to think about photography as a form of recorded history. How will your photos be used 10 years from now? 25? 50? 100?

A picture is worthless if you can’t find it. About 880 billion photos will be taken in 2014–just in the US. We can lose all our memories in a flash if we don’t think differently about memory and photographs.

Gilbert has shared his joy of photography in over 70 countries.