Do you ever go back to re-edit your old photos?

Sometimes I go back and re-edit my old photos for fun. I do this for many reasons. Maybe I locked myself up in the house for the winter. Sad, I know, winter is a magical time.

Still, life happens, suddenly months have escaped me and I’m looking at months of family photos. I mean the kind where you went for a walk with the family and deemed it photo-worthy. Sure, photos of the family are great but typically, they are just documenting the passing of time.

Then one night you will be sitting on the computer, free time to spare and the creative bug will strike. You’re too lazy to pull out the camera and go find new material so you turn to the Lightroom catalog. Surely, there’s something in there.

You see, I like Editing Photos

Some people don’t enjoy this part of photography experience but I happen to like it very much. The only part I don’t really enjoy is culling through photos. Sometimes I wish there was a magical faerie that would just show up and hand me the top 10 photos from a session.

That’s never happened so here I am culling through my previous work. I’m in search of the magical moment I missed. The time I just did too much. And of course, the time I had no idea what I was thinking or doing. Trust me, they all exist!

Here are five benefits you’ll find in the process of revisiting your old photography.

1.) You get to see how your editing style has evolved over time.

The first and most obvious change you will notice is your editing style. You’ve likely improved, learned new techniques, and developed your own style by now.

When I first began my venture into photography I was not a good editor. Mostly I just over-edited and I still do on occasion. Sometimes I just like moving those levers so much!

Photo with dust on sensor - time to re-edit this old photo
This is just embarrassing but look how I watermarked it and everything. I must have been proud,….right? It’s not even sharp! I honestly can’t believe how bad I mangled this photo!
re-edit of old photo I took at the start of my photography journey
Here I edited the photo in much the same style but definitely pulled back some. I straightened the photo a little, removed the light, and fixed the dust spots on my sensor. I think I improved my original edit and that wasn’t hard!

2.) You get to see how far you’ve grown as a photographer.

Not only will you notice how far you’ve come in editing but also photography in general. You will recall the times you directed your subjects into awkward poses. You will remember the image you tried to capture many moons ago but completely failed. Except now, you will be armed with the knowledge to better understand why you failed.

Image showing how using a high aperture like f/36 reveals dust on sensor
So here I decide I am going to shoot at F/36 because why not right? This is way beyond a little dust on the sensor. I’m not fixing this with a few clicks of the spot removal tool in Lightroom. I learned my lesson. If you go too narrow you end up losing sharpness and reveal dust spots galore.

3.) You discover images that you may have passed on.

This happens a lot to me when I come away with a substantial number of photos. I’ll take a bunch of photos on a trip or during a photoshoot, get home, edit some of them and then step away for a while. Then I end up photographing something else and all those photos just get forgotten about.

Another possibility is that you may look at a photo today with a different perspective. Maybe you passed on an image way back in the day but suddenly you see it’s potential. It’s good to look back and uncover some of these hidden gems.

re-editing a old photo I took in North Carolina
I took this image while traveling in North Carolina. Originally this image didn’t make the cut. Going through my photos almost a year later, I saw some potential and decided to have some fun with it. I rather like the result.

4.) You can improve and practice new editing techniques.

If it’s a client shoot you’re probably not breaking out some new editing technique or style. They hired you because they like your style, the one they are familiar with. It’s probably not the best time to switch it up.

However, maybe you would like to try a different technique or style. Maybe you discovered a new technique that would have made your life a lot easier when you were trying to clean up a background. Going back and using old photos is the perfect time to venture outside your norms and experiment.

re-edit your old photo, people in aww of new results, not bad!
Why not try black and white? I really love black and white imagery but it’s a style I don’t explore often. I have no idea why but when I go back and explore old photos I like to see how they look in black and white.

5.) You get to have a good laugh.

Seriously, a good laugh at the expense of yourself is good medicine to humble the soul. You weren’t always this good, were you? Step back, take a look and decide to help someone at the start of their journey. Don’t put people down or discourage them from trying their best. Encourage people, let them know where it all began for you, and the struggles you endured as a beginner.

Holding a light meter under chin
What’s better than going back and finding these gems? You know, all those photos of you playing around and experimenting with light? It’s not just me! You have those right?

Do You Re-Edit your Old Photos?

You know I want to hear about it right. Change that, I want to see it! Come join us on our private Facebook Group, Photography, Blogging, Motivation. I typically approve photographers pretty quickly. Once inside the group, you will have the chance to share your re-edits. We run daily threads and this along with many others is one of the fun themes. Come join a tribe of photographers, bloggers, and creatives just like you!

Use the comments below and tell me what you like best about re-editing your old photos.

Join the Tribe

Want to join an amazing tribe of photographers, artists, and other creatives? Want more NFT Tips? Check out our Facebook group, NFT Photography Community. The Goal: Let’s just all help each other out!

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