To edit your photos means to select and choose the photos you love and which are meaningful to you.
What does it mean to ‘edit’ your photos?
‘Editus‘ in Latin means to BRING FORTH, which implies what you reject. It comes from the notion of bringing forth, produce, beget, to lift up.
Also to ‘edit’ comes from the Latin “editum“, which literally means “lofty”, “elevated”. So in this sense, the photos you decide to “edit” (select) are the photos you consider the most great, the most lofty, and the most elevated. And to edit your photos is to publish, share, and bring forth your best work.
Why edit your work?
Let us say you make 1,000 photos in a day. Do you really care equally for all 1,000 photos? Certainly you will care more about a certain photo more than others.
To edit your photos means to RANK your photos according to a hierarchy:
To keep the top photos, and to ditch the photos you don’t care for.
How to know which photos you care for?
Now this is a more personal question:
What photos do you care for?
For myself, I generally care for photos about humanity. It either directly or indirectly involves humanity.
For example, my SUITS project:
I care for photos which I can empathize with. Photos which make me strong emotions.
Follow your gut
When it comes to editing your photos, follow your gut. Choose the photos when you look at them as small thumbnails— they stick out to you!
This is what I generally do:
Look at my photos as small thumbnails quickly, and when I see a photo which jumps out at me, I expand it (and pick it!)
On separating color and black and white
When editing your portfolio or individual works, a very simple idea:
Organize them according to color or monochrome.
Why? Color has far different vibes than monochrome.
It is difficult enough to make a consistent series. Even more challenging to mix color and black and white photos. To me, it is like trying to mix water and oil: eventually they will separate with enough time.
Which photos put air into your feet?
My thought of a good photo:
A photograph that makes you want to skip, dance, and jump a bit higher.
Slideshow your photos
Another very practical idea:
Put your images into iMovie, and create a slideshow of them, as a way to curate and pick your favorite photos.
For myself, I also keep my photos organized on my MacBook laptop of different projects in-progress and ongoing. For example my AMERICA project:
Also, a PDF of all the AMERICA photos:
Never stop curating
The simple goal:
Your quest as a photographer is never over. Never stop questing for more images, tighter curation, and more artistic modes of expression!