Abstract. Amsterdam, 2017
Abstract. Amsterdam, 2017

“My photography is not ‘brain photography’. I put my brain under the pillow when I shoot. I shoot with my heart and with my stomach.” – Anders Petersen


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SHOOT FROM YOUR GUT.

Shoot from your gut. Spread from MASTERS
Shoot from your gut. Spread from MASTERS

The secret to great street photography: shoot from your gut.

Why shoot from the gut?

A photograph without emotion is dead. The problem that a lot of photographers make is that they try to become too analytical with their photography. They are too preoccupied with composition, framing, form, nice light, and they forget the most important thing of making a memorable image: creating an image that has heart, soul, and passion.

When you are out shooting, try not to be too analytical. Shoot from your intuition and your gut. If you nd anything even remotely interesting, do not self-censor yourself. Just shoot with your intuition and follow your curiosity.


To shoot from your gut,

1. Don’t censor yourself

Man in suit. Kyoto, 2017
Man in suit. Kyoto, 2017

When you see something, and your gut tells you that it might even have a 1% chance of being a good photograph, just shoot it.

It is better to make a bad photo and delete it when you go home, than to never even attempt to photograph it.

2. Kill the self-doubting voice in your head

Overpass in Tokyo. High angle, looking down. Dynamic perspective composition.
Overpass in Tokyo. High angle, looking down. Dynamic perspective composition. Tokyo, 2017

Often when I’m shooting, I see a good scene, but don’t shoot it. Why? Because the little voice in my head says:

Eric, don’t photograph that. It is cliché. It has already been done before. It is gonna be a bad photo anyways.

Tell that little voice to shut the fuck up, and shoot anyways.

Self doubt and that little voice in our head might have helped us survive 10,000 years ago when we were in the jungle, but not now in the modern world. Certainly, we shouldn’t let any self doubting voice in our head hold us back from making art in our street photography.

3. Treat photography like playing

Umbrella and Dutch angle. Tokyo, 2017
Umbrella and Dutch angle. Tokyo, 2017

Many of ourselves don’t shoot from our gut — we shoot from the brain because apparently, “rationality” and “logic” is better than our gut and intuition.

My philosophy:

Our gut is smarter than our brain.

For those of us who try to shoot from our brain, we treat photography very “seriously”. To follow your gut isn’t “serious” enough.

But, if we treat photography like play, then we will not follow our brain so much. We will follow our gut and intuition.

4. How to compose intuitively

Golden triangle composition grid.
Golden triangle composition grid.

But if you’re shooting from your gut, try to think Diagonals.

5. Trust Yourself.

Cindy flexing in wedding dress, 2015
Cindy flexing in wedding dress, 2015

Above all, trust yourself. You know your photos, and style. Just have faith in yourself.

BE STRONG,
ERIC

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