When in doubt in life, be bold.
What is boldness?
BOLD: having confidence and courage in the face of uncertainty and fear.
In life, all we got is our courage, bravery, and wits. We can make the most educated guesses in life, but the results of our decisions are up to lady fate to decide.
Why Be Bold?
In street photography, the only thing that can give you more chances of success is to be more bold.
To take more chances. To take more risks.
Consider, what are the consequences of you not being bold… or the opposite of boldness (timidness)?
I can guarantee you if you’re a timid photographer, you’re going to miss thousands of photos. However if you’re a bold photographer, you will still miss some shots — but you will attempt more, regret less, and achieve more.
Why do we feel fear? Blame our human DNA
In life, I like to live bold and ambitious. Why? It’s less boring, and more fun.
Life is short. Why live it in a “normal” way?
In today’s life, we have very little chances of death. Yet, our DNA and biology is still hard-wired to fear death, or potential disfigurement. I heard from my friend that the pain of society anxiety we have is a real, physical pain — which is manifested in our nerves, neck, shoulders, and bodies. Therefore, realize — the thing holding back your boldness and ambition to achieve epic things in life is probably (a bit attributable) to our hard-wired human evolutionary DNA, which did keep us alive in the past.
But now the world and society is different. Time to no longer let fear hold us back. Rather, let us harness our fear, by letting fear push us forwards, and letting fear be our guide what we should attempt in life.
I shoot what I’m afraid of
For example, I still feel fear in street photography. But the fear no longer prevents me from shooting. The fear is rather an indicator what I need to photograph.
In other words,
When I see a scene or person that scares me, I photograph it.
In the past, the fear prevented me from shooting the picture in the first place. Now the fear guides me in terms of letting me know which pictures to shoot or not.
Never stop growing
In life, we must push our limits, and keep growing. If we’re not growing, we’re dying. And if we’re dying, we’re not growing.
Three Bold Assignments for you:
Practical assignments to build your confidence and to be more brave, bold, and take more risks:
- Do something silly and ridiculous, like pushups in a public place. Or chin-ups in the bathroom (things I’ve done). Do it like you don’t care and with a smile on your face, and this will help you overcome any fears of social awkwardness.
- If you see a stranger you want to photograph yet feel nervous, tell them. For example, approach the guy with the face tattoo and say, “Excuse me sir, you look really badass and I would love to make a portrait of you. But I was afraid to take the picture without your permission. I was also really nervous to approach you to ask for permission to photograph you. Would you be as kind to allow me to photograph you?” Lesson: by showing your vulnerability to your subjects, they will trust you more, and be more encouraging to you.
- When something scares you, that is a sign for you to do it. What is fear? I think fear is something that we want to do, but we are afraid of doing, because possibly of failure. But don’t see fear as something to not do — rather, see fear as your personal guide. See fear as your assistant and guide to tell you what to do.
ERIC KIM x HENRI NECK STRAP
HENRI WRIST STRAP: Never Miss the Decisive Moment.
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