Now or Later – When to Share Photographs

Adobe PhotoshopPhotography

For several years, my goal was to post three new photographs a day  in order to exercise my creative muscle and improve my photography. My “self-imposed” requirement was that the images were at least loosely related to one another (in theme, color, subject or some other way). Doing the same thing for several years however, had started to loose its charm so when Instagram changed the way they display images (preventing my three images to appear sequentially in the feed), I though it would be the perfect time for me to shake up my process as well. 

Today, I’ve started paying more attention to the quality of the images that I post rather than the speed at which I post them. I’m looking to share photographs that still have impact weeks, months (hopefully even years), after they were taken. Although some may feel that delayed publishing goes against the immediacy of social media, I am thrilled to have let go of the idea of posting “same-day” images for several reasons including:  

• Time is a lovely editor. I find that I’m often so excited about the process of making the photograph that while I’m still “in the moment”, I can’t be objective as to whether or not the photograph successfully communicates the emotion/story that I’m trying to tell. I don’t want to confuse the experience of making the photograph (being awed by a beautiful landscape for example), with the photo itself.  If I’m only paying attention to my part of the equation (my roll in the making of the image) while ignoring the fact that the viewer is going to complete the experience, then I might not be posting my most compelling work.  

• Publishing a body of work with a deliberate order (sequence) can help create a more cohesive story. In other words, the order of images matters, but it often takes time for me to see the relationship between images.  

• Social media has an appetite that’s never satisfied. By giving myself permission to allow time to pass between capture and sharing, I can make more thoughtful decisions about my work. And, when I don’t worry about immediately posting an image, I am able to better enjoy my roll as a participant in the world – not only as an observer.

So, all that was my way of saying, I’m so glad that I didn’t immediately post all of the images that I took in the Valley of Fire. I needed to take some time to live with my photographs for a while before I shared them – as a result, I think I made a significantly tighter edit which resulted in a better (much smaller) body of work to share. 

Below are three of the images as they were captured (left) and after editing in Lightroom Classic and Photoshop.

Adobe Photoshop, Photography

Posted on 09-12-2018


  • By Brenda - 6:45 AM on September 12, 2018  

    “Time is a lovely editor.” Love this. As with most things photography related, distance provides perspective.

  • By Craig Beyers - 6:46 AM on September 12, 2018  

    Nice work—as always—Julieanne. Thanks for voicing the thought about separating the joy of making an photo in the camera from finishing it as an image in post…makes sense to me.

  • By Trent Spurgeon - 6:56 AM on September 12, 2018  

    Julieanne, your post comes the morning after a lengthy discussion about the editing and interpretation of photographs. Very apropos for me! I’ve long said that my favorite photos speak to me about what they want to be after they exit the camera. And time is friendly … returning to review after some time has passed often improves the final result. I particular like your description of posting when you are ready vs. when social media seems to beckon.So much greater satisfaction when immersed in the proper timing! ))

  • By John2205 - 3:08 PM on September 12, 2018  

    I want to say something profound but can’t find the words – there are people who help me to keep taking images and you are one of them thanks

  • By AC/DC - 2:09 PM on September 13, 2018  

    Great… I really like.

  • By Sue Moran - 12:20 PM on September 16, 2018  

    WOW! Right on.

  • By Kait - 7:05 AM on September 18, 2018  

    Beautiful photography.