Flipped car. Orange County, 2016
Flipped car. Orange County, 2016

My theory:the reason why we like to make art and photos is to assert some sort of control, agency, and freedom in our lives. To mold reality according to our own will. Essentially with photography, we want to play (visual) God.

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We want control and freedom in our lives.

Abstract. Saigon, 2017
Abstract. Saigon, 2017

I think every human wants a feeling of agency or control in their lives. Speaking from personal experience, I hated feeling like a slave.

When I worked an office job, I had fun when I had a feeling of autonomy, control, choice, and growth. But once I felt like a “cog in the machine”, and stopped learning, I felt depressed.

I ultimately wanted to become an entrepreneur, and start my own business… in order to have more control and freedom in life.

Don’t be confused.

Stressed Cindy. Paris, 2015
Stressed Cindy. Paris, 2015

I think a lot of people make the mistake of thinking that they want more money in life. The secret, people want MORE FREEDOM, CHOICE, and CONTROL in their lives.

  1. Freedom to do what they want to do, on their own schedule.
  2. Choice of living the life true to themselves.
  3. Control of NOT having to do anything (when we don’t want to), and control of DOING what we want to do (without having anyone prohibit or tell us “no”).

Photography gives us control

JIMI HENDRIX. Amsterdam, 2015.
JIMI HENDRIX. Amsterdam, 2015.

In photography, we have more control of our lives.

We control what to put into the frame, and what to exclude from the frame.

We have the control to post process the photos as we see fit.

Robert. Amsterdam, 2015
Robert. Amsterdam, 2015

We have control to choose which photos to keep or ditch.

A photographer has 100% control over their images, and in a sense… how he or she lives their life.

Consumerism and photography

Walgreens. 2 Liters of Soda only for $1. Oakland, 2015
Walgreens. 2 Liters of Soda only for $1. Oakland, 2015

A lot of us feel disempowered, slaves to our jobs. Cubicle prison. Golden handcuffs, or golden cage.

We seek more control and autonomy over our lives through our CONTROL of what to buy, or what not to buy.

Spend that tax return with us! Oakland, 2015
Spend that tax return with us! Oakland, 2015

In other words, we try to assert CONTROL in our lives from our “purchasing power”.

We get confused from marketing, advertising, and the cultural implications of consumerism and capitalism.

Andy Warhol lobby. Berlin, 2016.
Andy Warhol lobby. Berlin, 2016.

Consumerism teaches us,

Show how unique, and individual you are… by buying our clothing brand and driving this car, to show how “different” you are.

I see this with cameras. I buy a Leica, and you buy a Fujifilm. I shoot with a Canon, you a Nikon. I shoot with an Olympus, you shoot with a Ricoh or Pentax. I use an iPhone, you use an Android. I use a Windows, you use Mac.

Woman with fur and crossed arms. London, 2015
Woman with fur and crossed arms. London, 2015

We try to show our differences and individuality through what we own, or the tools we use… rather than the actual art we create.

Make yourself unique by making unique photos

My mom at her childhood home in Busan, 2014.
My mom at her childhood home in Busan, 2013.

My proposal:

Let us assert our individuality, our uniqueness, NOT by what we own or shoot with, but the IMPACT of the pictures we create.

Show your individuality by making individual and unique photos to you.

My grandfathers funeral. Busan, 2013.
My grandfathers funeral. Busan, 2013.

CREATE photos based on your own unique taste, rather than simply following trends online or social media.

Cherry blossom. Seoul, 2013.
Cherry blossom. Seoul, 2013.

Create your own photography culture. Avoid the herd, or the “sheeple” (sheep people).

Homework Assignments

Manchester, 2015
Manchester, 2015

Practical ideas:

  1. Only upload or share a photo if YOU like it. Don’t care whether others will like it or not.
  2. Make your own photography blog to create your own little play place and visual jungle gym. Your own workshop, atelier, or science lab for your ideas, pictures, and art. Make it through 1and1.com and WordPress.org. Or free option, use WordPress.com and upgrade it later.
  3. Make photos that bring YOU joy, and wait for your audience to find you.

Share photos that bring you joy to ERIC KIM FORUM, and find more personal guidance in your photography and art through ERIC KIM EXPERIENCE.

BE STRONG,
ERIC


PHOTOGRAPHY PHILOSOPHY

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