Why You Should Review Your Old Photos

The importance of reviewing old photos:

London, 2012 #suits

First of all, the benefit of looking at your old photos:

Appreciation and gratitude for how far you’ve come in your photography.

I believe a life in which you don’t feel appreciation or gratitude isn’t worth it.

A life we cannot remember isn’t a meaningful life.

Old photos you still very like

Train Amsterdam old man suit
Amsterdam, 2012 #suits

Generally speaking, the older our photos (and still like) are our best photos.

For example, if I really like this photo I shot 7 years ago, it is still probably a very good photo.

But if I shot a photo a month ago which I really like, it isn’t certain it is a good photo.

We need to let our photos sit and marinate for long periods in order to truly know how good they are.

Suits London bank
London, 2011 #suits

Time revels all things

Suits laughing
Stockholm, 2012 #suits

When I look at my old photos, I love them. Why? I love my naïveté and childlike approach to shooting.

The goal? Authenticity, directness, and “truthiness”(genuineness) in your approach to photography. To truly shoot what you care for.

Kids with guns. Downtown LA, 2011
Kids with guns. Downtown LA, 2011

Longevity

I’ve finished looking through practically all of Robert Capa’s photos, and I’m impressed. His longevity— even though he shot nearly 80 years ago— his photos still resonate with me.

Why? The focus on humans and humanity. His closeness and directness.

In some ways Capa was the “yang”to the “yin”of Henri Cartier-Bresson. Capa as the irrational, bold, emotional and direct one. Bresson as the shy, introverted, and surreal photographer.

Great photos will last for decades, even centuries. If we think of ourselves and our photography 300 years from now, we are more likely to make photos and art which lasts.

Never stop editing and distilling your photos

Your photos are like a fine whiskey, or a good jar of Kimchi. Generally the longer we let our photos sit, marinate, and ferment, the better.

Photos you once thought were great might no longer resonate with you. But photos you once thought were “meh”or mediocre might speak to you greatly now!

Lesson:

Play the long game.

ERIC

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