Why Re-editing can revitalize old work and show your growth

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As you grow as an artist, it may be a good idea to revisit past works and do a little re-editing. I’m in the process of doing this with travel photos that sat in folders for years. I had no clue what to do with them other than scatter a few here and there for showing where I’d want to shoot future weddings. Now that I am making a few changes to my business, I have been revisiting them for use in my portfolio. Here’s what I’m doing.

Start from scratch

Instead of going to the edited images in Lightroom and tweaking the edits previously made to them, I am starting from the beginning. This means finding the RAW digital files or downloading them again from the shared file service I have with my film lab.

Make The Edits Without Reference

Without looking at the previously edited photographs, I’m editing to my current tastes. I’ve casted out all advice given to me by my mentors (which was amazing advice at the time), and I am making the image look like what I remember the scene looking and feeling like at the time I took the photograph.


Compare the two different edits. How are they different, and how are they the same? Can you see the growth? Have you revitalized any images you had previously culled out because you originally didn’t like?

I’ve noticed that there are several images I love now that I hadn’t even glanced at before. When I originally edited some of these travel photos, I felt a very strong need to make them feel very feminine, light, soft, and dreamy to fit in with the vibes of the wedding industry. Looking at them again, I am finding some beautiful, strong lines. I’ve darkened quite a lot of them so that I can remember how it felt to be in these places closer to twilight. As I add interior and travel photography to my services, I have noticed just how much more detail I’d like to see in my photographs. I still love to see femininity in my images, but now I’m realizing just how beautiful the masculine lines are as well.

I’d love for you to try this re-editing session out and let me know what you discover.

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