The present invention relates to an optical reader that includes a color imaging assembly that generates color imaging data. An image analysis circuit determines if the acquired image should be characterized as a color photograph or as including a graphical symbol. A processing circuit processes the imaging data based on the image analysis circuit's determination of whether the image is a graphical symbol or a color photograph. The present invention allows a user to acquire and process both color images and graphical symbols, such as bar codes, text, OCR symbols or signatures. The optical reader of the present invention is also configured to associate an acquired image with at least one other acquired image.