Do not define yourself /. Spread from MASTERS by HAPTICPRESS
Do not define yourself /. Spread from MASTERS by HAPTICPRESS

If you want to stay inspired in your photography until you die, don’t define yourself.

Style and storytelling. Spread from MASTERS
Style and storytelling. Spread from MASTERS

LEARN FROM THE MASTERS OF PHOTOGRAPHY

LEARN FROM THE MASTERS by HAPTIC

Timeless wisdom from the masters of street photography.

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Become a fine Photographer

“People say you’re a documentary photographer. I don’t even know what that means. People say you are a photojournalist. I’m rarely published in journals. Then you’re a fine art photographer. Then I say I’m not. I aspire to be a fine photographer.”– Bruce Davidson


Don’t define yourself, your style, or yourself.

Just make photos.


The danger of defining yourself: you put yourself in a small box. You want to think outside the box, don’t you?

The problem: sometimes we let others put us in a box by defining us.

Even worse — sometimes we put ourselves in a box, and impose self-tyranny on ourselves. We don’t let ourselves to innovate, try a new style, or do something new.


Personally, I defined myself as a “street photographer” for a long time — which was good when I started off, but as I became more advanced and curious — the definition hurt me. It put myself in a Golden cage. The biggest problem:

I didn’t allow myself to shoot anything that wasn’t “street photography”.

Sunset in Kyoto, 2017
Sunset in Kyoto, 2017

Now, no more definitions for myself. I just shoot, make pictures. I don’t even see myself as a photographer. I’m a VISUAL ARTIST, or a big kid. I like to make ALL FORMS of visual art. Photography is just one of them.

Orange woman abstract. Kyoto, 2017
Orange woman abstract. Kyoto, 2017
Walking woman. Kyoto, 2017
Walking woman. Kyoto, 2017


So friend, as practical advice — don’t define yourself.

Cindy flexing in mirror.
Cindy flexing in mirror.
Cindy flexing abstract
Cindy flexing abstract

Of course for practical reasons, just call yourself a photographer. But I would suggest as branding advice — call yourself a “visual artist” (change the biography on your social media, Instagram, whatever — to define yourself in a more broad and open-ended way).

But ultimately, you are an artist. An artist of life. An artist who loves music, dance, theater, sculpture, photography, abstract art, design — whatever.

No ceilings on your artistic limits.

FLY HIGH,
ERIC


LEARN FROM THE MASTERS OF PHOTOGRAPHY

LEARN FROM THE MASTERS by HAPTIC

Timeless wisdom from the masters of street photography.

Learn more about MASTERS >

Buy MASTERS on Amazon >


LEARN FROM THE MASTERS

For distilled lessons buy Learn the Masters of Photography Edition I

“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: