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As a photographer, revisiting old photos can be incredibly valuable, not to mention highly therapeutic. Here are some of the benefits I've found to going through old photos and giving them a new facelift.
1. You're more experienced.
One of the benefits of photography is that you only get more experienced over time. Even if you're not quite at the level you'd like to be, putting time aside to edit your photos will enable you to gain more skills.
So what better way to practice then by going back and tweaking a few photos, not only is this good for practice, but there's every chance you'll create something entirely new in the process.
2. You've discovered new techniques.
Whether you've read an article, watched a YouTube video or updated your editing software, new techniques means new possibilities. I recently discovered Lightroom had added 'Texture' to their effects, I've now used this technique to enhance freckles or highlight tattoos, and bring out the smaller details I would have overlooked my first time around.
Even if it's as simple as discovering a new shortcut on Photoshop, discovering these new techniques will only help benefit your old photos.
3. You've noticed a pattern.
Going through old pictures means you not only get to see the way you've edited in the past, but also the way you photograph your subject. This will help you assess whether you can see a gradual progression in your work, or if it's time to try something new. It could be something as simple as shooting from a different angle or adjusting the lighting, picking up on these patterns will help you iron out anything that's limiting your work's full potential.
4. You've developed a new eye for detail.
Sometimes in the moment, you can overlook a few of the minor details like a rogue hair or a blurry hand, but over time you will have developed a stronger eye for detail. Revisiting photos will help you spot this, and look out for them in future. Not only this, but your creative tastes may have changed, and a photo you may have ignored back then could all of a sudden stand out now. It's always good to go back and revisit them to make sure you haven't missed out on a few gems.
5. You've found your style.
After spending endless hours adjusting your camera, lighting your subject, scrolling through pictures, and tweaking your settings, you've finally discovered what style suits you best. Half the reason we follow people on Instagram is because of their distinctive style, so now that you know yours, think of all that potential just sitting there in your folder waiting to be edited and shared with the world.
Going through old pictures can be some of the most rewarding time spent, and can lead to new and exciting opportunities ahead, so go back to the beginning, and bring an old photo back to life.