Urban landscape. Berkeley, 2015. Telephone pole.
Urban landscape. Berkeley, 2015. Telephone pole.

We live in a phenomenal time for photography. Photography is essentially free, universal and open to all, and can empower anybody with a phone.

Trucking container. Shot on a phone on my way to the gym in Berkeley. Processed with VSCOcam with a6 preset
Trucking container. Shot on a phone on my way to the gym in Berkeley. Processed with VSCOcam with a6 preset

I’m quite interested in the economics of Universal Basic Income. But I have no idea how it would work.

But I thought and realized… we ALREADY have “universal basic photography” for the masses. Anyone with a phone and the VSCO app can make phenomenal photos.

Processed with VSCOcam with hb2 preset

To me, the reason this is incredible is because I see photography as the best form of self-therapy, and self-empowerment in art.

Shot on a phone. In and out by ERIC KIM
Shot on a phone. In and out by ERIC KIM

Just think about it… anyone can buy a good phone with a good camera now. If you want an iPhone you can buy an unlocked iPhone for only $399 (iPhone SE). You can process your photos for free with VSCO or Snapseed. If you want a bigger device to look at your photos, you can buy an iPad for $330.

Huntington Beach. Phone photo by Eric Kim
Huntington Beach. Phone photo by Eric Kim

To me, we are all photographers. Of course there are certain photographers who are better than others, but the way I see it… photography has ultimate “open access” to everyone in the world.

You don’t need to “earn your stripes” to become a photographer. If you have a passion for making visual images and documenting your life and the lives of others… you are ALREADY a photographer. Yes, your mom with her phone camera is a photographer too.

Head tattoo.
Head tattoo.

What does it mean?

My sister Annette.

Well, assuming that anyone with a phone is a photographer… consider all the great opportunities.

You have a great future for entrepreneurship and business in photography.

Or it means that you don’t need to be rich to make good photos. The only that differentiating your photos from others is how visually skilled you are, how hungry you are to learn and improve.

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset / Mexico City

You can improve your photography. And access to making photos is open and free. You can read the free articles or books on this site.

You got no more excuses

Of course there will always be a gap and divide between those with the newest iPhone camera and the older models. But to be frank, at this point, all new basic phone cameras are good. So at this point, the playing field is level and fair.

Which means, as individuals, we can no longer make excuses for not being able to make good photos… because our camera is not “good enough”.

You might not have the best and newest iPhone but know that your basic phone camera can make good photos. Perhaps have pride in shooting with a shittier camera.

How to make better photos? Easy:

  1. Make strong, dynamic compositions.
  2. Capture hand gestures, eye contact, and emotions in your photos.
  3. Put your soul into your photos by documenting what is truly important to you.

BE STRONG,
ERIC


PHONE PHOTOGRAPHY

Garden Grove, 2015. Shot on a LG G4
Garden Grove, 2015. Shot on a LG G4

The best camera is a phone:

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