Why You Must Look at Your Older Photos
At the beginning of a new year, a good practice is to look at the previous years’ photos — to re-live your past experiences, and also to discover more ‘hidden gems!’
Find those hidden gems
The reason why it is important to look at your older photos:
Because we shoot so many photos, it is easy for us to forget the photos we’ve shot in the past!
In the process of looking at your old photos, you also often discover ‘hidden gems’ — photos that you initially didn’t think was that good, but now you think are really good!
For example in looking through a lot of my 2018 photos, I notice I shot a lot of abstract photos on RICOH GR II (positive color JPEG preset), which I further even added MORE contrast (processing the older JPEG photos I had).
Start categorizing/organizing your photos
By examining your older photos (from previous year), you start to discover certain new TRENDS and subject-matter you start to be interested in, which helps give you some more guidance in your photography.
For example because I notice I’m shooting a lot of architecture and abstract imagery, it is a lesson:
SHOOT MORE of what you’re already shooting!
Look at your old photos to stimulate yourself!
If you’re looking for inspiration for your photography, look at your older work to stimulate/inspire yourself!
Too often we look at the work of others to find inspiration. But what if we looked at our own (older) work, to re-inspire our photography?
Recalling past life experiences
I think that snapshots of your everyday life is totally under-rated. Shoot more of your daily life, because when you look at these photos a year or two from now, you will be glad! You will have the opportunity to re-live (joyful) past life experiences.
Cindy and I are mostly on the road living our ‘nomadic‘ life — or “intermittent living” as I like to call it. I have a terrible memory, so looking at my older photos is wonderful — I remember the past experiences. And when I remember the past experiences, I actually appreciate these moments better!
How is your photographic style evolving?
The fun thing about looking at your old photos:
Recognize how your own personal photographic style is changing and evolving over time.
A lot of us feel discouraged because we feel like we’re not making any progress or evolving as a photographer/visual artist.
But how do you know your progress/evolution as a photographer? Simple:
Compare your older photos with your present photos. Or compare your really old photos with your (not as old) photos, and see how they seem different.
For example I notice with my photography, I see my evolution from high-contrast black and white photography into high-saturation color photography. My aesthetic style is changing; I always prefer MORE AND MORE color, MORE JUICY VIBRANCY, and more gritty color.
Analyze your photographic vision
I also notice certain colors I am drawn to — like reds/greens:
By analyzing your old photos, you start to discover your personal palette:
Enjoy ALL parts of photography!
As an artist, enjoy all parts of your photographic process — and have fun! :)