How to Learn from Exploring Your Old Photography

How to Learn from Exploring Your Old Photography

Why is it important to explore your old photography?

How to Learn from Exploring Your Old Photography
Cape Flattery, WA by Charlie Naebeck

How to Learn from Exploring Your Old Photography

As a photographer, I am constantly looking for inspiration. It does not matter where the inspiration comes from as long as it lights a spark in me to create something.

Many fellow photographers come to me and express their lack of inspiration or boredom with their craft.

One source of inspiration for me is to explore my old photography.

How to Learn from Exploring Your Old Photography

Why I think it is essential for photographers to re-visit their old photography

I believe there are several reasons why it is essential to revisit old photography.

You are rediscovering old ideas

Sometimes life gets busy, and you pause or forget an idea you were particularly excited about.

Re-working old ideas

As photographers, we often gain new skill sets that improve our work. It can be particularly inspirational to explore re-working an old creation as new to give it new life if any uncertainties are present.

Time to think

Sometimes, mindlessly visiting old art is time for the cerebral to process and think. Thinking leads to new ideas or explorations and can give a photographer much-needed solitude to recharge for the next creation.

You are cleaning the studio

If you are a photographer like me, you keep everything. Cleaning can lead to studio clutter which can trap an artist over time. A clean and organized studio or creative space can be much more productive than a dirty and disorganized space.


As a photographer, I find seeing how much I have grown. Looking at old work allows me to see where I started and what direction I wish to explore next.

Additional tips for your old photography

As I start to clean my space on my old photography exploration, I often find pieces I have had for a long time.

-There is no point in destroying your art or having clutter distract you in your studio unless you dislike a piece. For these pieces, I prefer to give them new life in several ways:

-Give a friend or family member a gift.

-Use your old art to make new art. It can be helpful to re-use canvases or to use old drawings to crop and create new ideas.

-Partner with realtors, cafes, or other spaces to display the art sitting around your room. Partnering can sometimes lead to sales, shows, or other good things.

-Learn personal growth. Ask yourself what it was about the old art piece that inspired you in the first place. Do you still feel the same?


Looking at old photography, no matter your reasons for your creations, can be an inspirational tool to help jump-start your next project.

I would love to hear what you do with your old photography. Join my mailing list below to keep in touch.

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