Let your photos marinate

I loosely mentioned this before in another post, but this is something that many photographers do before they go and edit a photoshoot that they just did. When you are finished with a shoot, your mindset and thoughts still linger within your head as if you were still in that moment. This isn’t bad by any means, but I’ll tell you why you should get out of that mindset and let your photos “marinate” before you start editing them.

Let your photos marinate before you edit them
Let your photos marinate before you edit them

A new day offers a fresh perspective

If you start editing photos from a photoshoot immediately after you shot it, your mindset will still be stuck in that moment blocking any perspective from an outsider who never attended that shoot. This is important to consider because when someone sees the final image, their impression of the image will be dictated by the image itself, and nothing more. However, if you edit the photo with your thoughts and feelings still stuck within the photoshoot, you may not necessarily edit the photo to showcase the moment in its best light—pun intended. Your images may not convey the moment at its best because you were already in that mindset while editing the photo, thereby possibly clouding your judgement as to how to go about editing the photo.

To prevent this clouding of judgement, some photographers (not all, by any means!) like to let their photos sit for a while, or marinate—be it a day or even longer. When you come back to your photos with a fresh mind, you’ll get a better sense of how those who weren’t at the shoot will interpret it.

Look back at older photoshoots

Along the same line, if you look back at older photoshoots that you’ve done in the past, you may appreciate the photos even more. Or, perhaps you’ll think to yourself how you may have preferred a different edit to the photos. It’s funny how time tends to change how you think.

Nikon D200, 5.0 sec., f/16, ISO 100, 14mm
Nikon D200, 5.0 sec., f/16, ISO 100, 14mm

“Marinating” your photos is a great way to give new life to old photographs too, like I did with the photo above. That photo was taken in 2011 with my D200. I never really thought of it at the time, but I do really like the orange and blue hues I was able to capture that evening. The dotted lights below act as a guide to the eye as well, which completes the photo in my opinion.

The next time you have a photoshoot, try waiting a day or two before you edit them, and you may surprise yourself as to how you go about editing them.

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