I read an article recently about quantity of family photos we accumulate in our lifetime. I think it said somewhere around 1,200 in any given household, majority of which are unmarked. I can believe that—the unmarked part especially.
I'm horrible when it comes to jotting a note on back of my photos. "My photos" refer to ones that were taken by me or a living member of my family. I even have photos undeveloped from 1980s, but I intend to get them developed "sometime real soon—as soon I get a chance."
It's same story with my hobby photo collection, which contains tens of thousands of photos. Most of photos are of note-less, name-less faces. If it weren't for photographers' marks, they would be of nameless, placeless faces. I refer to these nameless, placeless photos as "incredibly lost."
I wonder why many of our ancestors didn't put names on their photos. Was it laziness? I originally blamed sloth, but then I changed my mind. If you look on back of c1900 onward vacation snapshots, you can find notes like: "This is Uncle John next to Harvey Johnson's Boat," "Those mountains behind me are High Sierras" and "That's an Esso station were we stopped to fill'er up on our way to Lake Henry." It takes a lot more time to jot down "where" and "what" notes than it does to jot down a "John Hancock," and most vacation photos have something written on them. Yes, I've concluded that it was not laziness.