A portfolio of life

As I try to cull through my 3 years of images for my best shots I reached a startling discovery that I really don't have many significant shots. I have taken thousands of images from all over the world and it seems that I am coming up short. Basically my stuff sucks (for the most part), but I think this realization is all part of the growing we do as we improve our skills and as our personal standards for quality evolve. Not that I'm going to get depressed or anything about this realization, but this came as a bit of a surprise, as I always envisioned this large body of really cool images in my collection. As many others have mentioned before, your most recent work seem to have the most relevance and represents more accurately who you are at the present time. This all makes sense. But consider that your earlier work represents who you were at an earlier time. This makes those shots (even though they may suck) significant for this reason. We can all expect to grow as photographers and as human beings over time, and isn't it neat to have a visual record of that inner growth. Look at your early images and you can see and feel yourself. Do you like the direction you are taking? How does it feel? What can you learn from the past to help chart your future?

Start looking at your older images not only as a measuring stick for your improvement, but as a record of who you used to be. Interesting. Freeman Patterson told us in a workshop, don't throw away your old images, because when you pressed the shutter, you saw something, and sometimes it takes a maturing on our part to later understand what it is we saw.

Ok, so my old stuff still sucks and I won't keep a lot of them in my public galleries. But I will keep them for my own enlightenment and study for my portfolio of life.