Passion: the ring finger for the PHOTOGRAPHERS HAND.
Passion: the ring finger for the PHOTOGRAPHERS HAND.

To succeed as a modern photographer, you need PASSION.

First of all, what is passion in the context of photography?

Passion: a burning desire to make pictures and visual art.

For passion, I think we all start off with it. Then as we advance in our photography, we lose our passion. The fire burns out.

Why do we lose our passion?

My theory:

We lose our passion, because we are told the “rules” of photography. We are told what to do, and not to do — rather than following our childlike instinct for making images.

Why I need passion to live

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

My only goal as a photographer is to wake up, with the same passion and curiosity I had in my photography when I was a beginner. This is why I love beginner photographers when I’m teaching my workshops — their passion and enthusiasm is infectious. The more advanced photographers I know are less passionate about photography. Their mind is more closed off, and less flexible.

Therefore, the secret of resparking your passion for photography is to become a beginner again.

Become a beginner again.

For example ask yourself the question,

If I started photography all over again, what would I do differently, or the same?

For example, if I started photography all over again today —I would be confused as fuck. There are so many damn cameras, systems, conflicting information, and no good resources on how to take better photos.

Therefore, thinking like a beginner —it reminded me to focus on these things:

  1. Focus on teaching people how to take better pictures
  2. Helping photographers navigate the fragmented camera market — teaching them the best camera for their needs.
  3. Technical Settings
  4. How to take better photos on a phone
  5. The question: “Should I buy a DSLR?”

So you can even see — going back to basics can help respark your creativity, and can be the chance for you to ask the fundamental questions of photography.

Unlearn

Another secret to keeping passionate about photography — seek to UNLEARN all this crap you’ve learned about photography.

For example, seek to UNLEARN everything you’ve learned about cameras, lenses, sensors, technical settings, and the “rules” of photography. Unlearn stuff about social media, and Instagram.

Every day, I am trying to become more of a beginner, to empty my mind of concepts, and for me to keep shooting with passion, every day, without inhibitions.

ETERNAL RETURN TO CREATIVE EVERY DAY

To inspire your creativity every day, and to respark your passion for photography and art, HAPTICPRESS made the book: ETERNAL RETURN TO CREATIVE EVERY DAY.

The simple concept:

How could we revolutionize our lives if we were creative every day?

How much happier, joyful, creative, and passionate would we be?

You are creative every day.

KYOTO HAPTIC OFFICE at WORK on CREATIVE EVERYDAY
KYOTO HAPTIC OFFICE at WORK on CREATIVE EVERYDAY
CREATIVE EVERY DAY: Mobile Edition
CREATIVE EVERY DAY: Mobile Edition
Hapticlabs Kyoto Office- Jennifer Nguyen, Annette Kim joins us to make CREATIVE EVERY DAY
CREATIVE EVERY DAY: Mobile Edition
CREATIVE EVERY DAY: Mobile Edition
Creative Everyday by HAPTIC
Creative Everyday by HAPTIC
CREATIVE EVERY DAY SPREAD
CREATIVE EVERY DAY SPREAD


Photography Assignments to respark your passion for photography

1. Cross pollinate

Pick up a different visual art. Learn how to draw, or try making sculpture, or signup for a ceramics class. Seek to cross pollinate between your passion of photography with other forms of art, and you will be more creative with your photography.

2. Shoot FILM

Film LEICA MP camera
Film LEICA MP camera

Buy a copy of FILM NOTES and take a stab at shooting film photos, going back to the old school.

I know for myself, shooting film photography has given me more inspiration and enthusiasm about digital photography and phone photography. Film has made me slow down, appreciate the process of photography, and has made me feel like a kid again — experimenting with film.

3. Shoot colorful textures

Learn Color Theory For Yourself by shooting colorful things, and nice textures:

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

4. Attend a photography workshop

ERIC KIM Amsterdam Street photography workshop group picture, 2017
ERIC KIM Amsterdam Street photography workshop group picture, 2017

Photography workshops are the best investment — to respark your passion for photography.

Pierre. Amsterdam. 2017
Pierre. Amsterdam. 2017

Steph and Pierre // RICOH MAFIA, having fun on the streets of Amsterdam, 2017
Steph and Pierre // RICOH MAFIA, having fun on the streets of Amsterdam, 2017

For myself, I always get reinspired in my photography whenever I teach a workshop. Why? Because you have the chance to meet other passionate photographers — and we all know that passion is infectious.

5. Travel

Walking woman. Kyoto, 2017
Walking woman. Kyoto, 2017

The chance to explore, travel to a foreign city — these are all good ways to respark your passion for photography.

For me, travel is a good creative stimulus. Whenever I experience a new culture or place, I feel that child like enthusiasm for novelty, and learning.

Boy with pink soccer ball. Uji, Kyoto 2017
Boy with pink soccer ball. Uji, Kyoto 2017
Silhouette. Kyoto, 2017
Silhouette. Kyoto, 2017
Flash umbrella street photograph with red and blue. Kyoto, 2017
Flash umbrella street photograph with red and blue. Kyoto, 2017
Dots. Abstract street photograph. Kyoto, 2017
Dots. Abstract street photograph. Kyoto, 2017

For example, Kyoto is one of my favorite cities to travel to. Why? Because Kyoto has great history, culture, minimalism, and zen aesthetics which spark creativity in me.

When I’m shooting street photography in Kyoto, I get into a zen zone.

Kyoto Zen temple, 2017
Kyoto Zen temple, 2017

The best bang for the buck to inspire your photography — Buy Experiences, Not Stuff.

So instead of buying a new camera or lens to respark your passion for photography, travel instead. Book an airline ticket somewhere, or just take your car for a road trip.

6. Buy books, not gear

HAPTIC PRESS Box Bundle: Street Notes, Film Notes, Photo Journal
HAPTIC PRESS Box Bundle: Street Notes, Film Notes, Photo Journal

We made the HAPTIC PRESS Box Bundle, as a bundle to respark your creativity and passion for photography.

I know whenever I need inspiration, having assignments and random discovery in books is a good way to respark my passion for photography.

Consider, instead of spending $1,000 on that new camera or lens — how many photo books can you buy for that price? Assuming a photo book is $20– you can buy 50 phenomenal photo books that can change your photographic life. See my 75+ list of recommended photo books.

LEARN FROM THE MASTERS by HAPTIC
Learn from the masters: now on Amazon

A book I love is MASTERS — distilled lessons from the masters of photography.

MASTERS FIRST EDITION TITLE PAGE
MASTERS FIRST EDITION TITLE PAGE

LEARN FROM THR MASTERS BOOK by HAPTICPRESS
Spread from LEARN FROM THE MASTERS BOOK
MASTERS spread
Shoot
Shoot from your gut, shoot with your heart. Spread from book: MASTERS
Interact with your subject // spread from MASTERS
Interact with your subject // spread from MASTERS

LEARN FROM THE MASTERS OF PHOTOGRAPHY

Don’t miss your chance for life changing photographic wisdom from MASTERS.

Forever be an amateur spread from MASTERS

7. Try shooting street portraits

Street notes by haptic press

Learn how to ask for permission, and try out the 10 no challenge — approach a bunch of strangers and try to make a portrait of them with permission.

To make better street portraits, center one eye in the center. NYC, 2015 Braids.
To make better street portraits, center one eye in the center. NYC, 2015 Braids.

When you shoot a street portrait, it will encourage you to step outside of your comfort zone — always a great way for you to respark your passion for photography.

Golden triangle analysis for Downtown LA, side face tattoo.

Why? Asking for permission is hard. It is scary. But I do think that fear is a good stimulus to resparking your passion for photography. Too much of photography is too easy, and thus — boring.

Interact with strangers, a good way to provoke a reaction, to make a good street photograph.
Interact with strangers, a good way to provoke a reaction, to make a good street photograph.

Conclusion

Without passion and fire in your heart, you will die.

To respark your passion for photography and to invest in an unforgettable experience, join an ERIC KIM EXPERIENCE.

Also, check out the HAPTIC SHOP: creative tools to respark your passion for photography.

Also subscribe to ERIC KIM NEWSLETTER for daily shots of photography inspiration.

BE CREATIVE EVERY DAY!
ERIC KIM x HAPTIC TEAM

PHOTOGRAPHY 101