A photographers hand: Intuition, confidence, vision, passion, creativity.
A photographers hand: Intuition, confidence, vision, passion, creativity.

If you want to become a great photographer, here are the 5 traits you need to cultivate:

PHOTOGRAPHERS HAND White Edition by ANNETTE KIM
PHOTOGRAPHERS HAND White Edition by ANNETTE KIM
  1. Intuition: to shoot from your gut, without self-doubt or hesitation.
  2. Confidence: creative confidence in yourself to publish your work. Confidence to photograph strangers. Confidence in your own artistic vision.
  3. Vision: your unique perspective of the world. Why you are the only person who could photograph that scene the way you did.
  4. Passion: the burning desire to make images, to uplift your soul, and inflame the creative spirit of your viewer.
  5. Creativity: cross-pollination, thinking outside the box (or frame), and having meaningful differentiation between you and other photographers.

How to cultivate the 5 traits

  1. Intuition: Study composition when you’re not taking pictures. Study the work of the great master photographers from the past, and digest their works. Also study, dissect, and analyze your own contact sheets, and figure out why your pictures work and don’t work. Then when you shoot on the streets, follow your gut.
  2. Confidence: learn how to get rejected. Try the 10 no challenge, and no longer fear being looked like a weirdo. Also, overcome self-doubt by publishing work that you consider 80% good enough.
  3. Vision: ask yourself — why are my photos unique? What am I trying to say with my pictures? Do I shoot for myself, or for others, or both? Consider what you’re trying to communicate with your viewer.
  4. Passion: shoot like a child, without restraints. Don’t censor yourself. Shoot freely, and have fun on the streets. Shoot like a beginner.
  5. Creativity: don’t just study photography, study all the masters of art. Study Picasso, and Leonardo da Vinci, and any artists who inspire you.

One finger a week

PHOTOGRAPHER’S HAND by ANNETTE KIM
PHOTOGRAPHER’S HAND by ANNETTE KIM

Try a five week photography program, by cultivating each of these photography traits each week.

By the end of the five weeks, of course you won’t be a master photographer, but you will be much more brave and confident in yourself and your abilities.

Never stop shooting,
ERIC

PHOTOGRAPHY 101

Seoul, 2009

Dear friend,

If you’re new to photography, start here:

  1. Free Photography Bootcamp
  2. The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Photography
  3. 100 Photography Tips for Beginners

Color Photography 101

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Photography Assignments »

Contact Sheets »

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Creativity »

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Learn From the Masters of Photography

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“He without a past has no future.”

Start here:

  1. Why Study the Masters of Photography?
  2. Great Female Master Photographers
  3. Cheat Sheet of the Masters of Photography
  4. 100 Lessons From the Masters of Street Photography
  5. Beginner’s Guide to the Masters of Street Photography
  6. Download All Articles >

The Masters of Photography

Prague, 1968. Josef Koudelka / Magnum Photos
Prague, 1968. Josef Koudelka / Magnum Photos

Classics never die: