Photograph What You Love; Love What You Photograph

If you don’t love what you photograph — why photograph it?


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1. What do you love in life?

Selfie with Cindy in mirror with flash. Marseille, 2017

“Great love is needed to achieve this effect, a love capable of inspiring and sustaining that patient striving towards truth, that glowing warmth and that analytic profundity that accompany the birth of any work of art. But is not love the origin of all creation?” – Matisse

If you want to make better photos:

Discover what you love, and focus on photographing that.

Family dinner with Yves in Marseille, 2017 #cindyproject #everydayphotography

If you know what you love in life, how can you not have passion and enthusiasm for it?

Cindy in red scarf, red background. Marseille, 2017

For example, I love Cindy. She is my center and anchor in life. Therefore, it is very easy for me to photograph Cindy with my heart and soul. I never bore of photographing her — because it is my love of her which is the most important, not the photographs of her.

Cindy and spiral staircase. Marseille, 2017

I also love eating delicious food. Therefore, I will never bore of photographing my food. I like photographing lovely meals with Cindy and friends/family, and then reviewing old photos of my food, because it brings a smile to my face.

Canard and green beans on red plate. Cooked at home in Marseille, 2017

2. Do you love people?

Candid street photograph of two guys in restaurant in Prague, 2017

I love to photograph street photography — because I love and am interested in people, and strangers. If I didn’t have an interest or passion in people, why would I have a passion to photograph them?

All street photographers must love, or be interested in people, especially strangers.

3. We are not objective photographers

Blurry lamp. Prague, 2017

My critique on modern photography:

Too much of modern photography is about analyzing the ‘other’ or ‘exotic’ peoples, without enough heart, empathy, and love.

Railroad. Prague, 2017

A lot of photographers are these dispassionate, disconnected, and unempathetic observers, and instruments of vision. They shoot too much as ‘objective’ viewers, rather than emotional, subjective humans.

Cindy photographed with dutch angle at home. Prague, 2017

4. Love life more; don’t be a ‘better’ photographer

Beautiful blue/orange composition. Prague, 2017

Don’t think of how you can become a ‘better’ photographer. Instead, ask yourself:

What do I love in life, and what brings me joy in life?

Selfie with Cindy in mirror, choosing spotify playlist. Marseille, 2017

Then, once you figure out what you love or are interested in life, photograph that. It will be an affirmation of what you love in your life.

Cindy dramatic chiaroscuro shadow play. Marseille, 2017

For example, this is what I love in my life:

  1. Friends, family: Personal photography
  2. Cindy: Cindy project
  3. Strangers: Street photography
  4. Visual art: Photography focused on forms, colors, compositions
  5. Myself: Selfies of myself (honor thy selfie)

5. Be a loving-first photographer

Selfie of me and Cindy in Marseille, 2017

Once again, this should be your workflow as a photographer:

  1. Identify what you love in life
  2. Photograph that which you love.

Instead of,

  1. Make random photographs
  2. Love your random photographs
Curved red curtain and shadow. Marseille, 2017

Let us have a loving-first approach to photography, then you will find more joy, meaning, and enthusiasm/passion in your photography and life.

Cindy watching her show. Marseille, 2017

Shoot with your heart,

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RICOH GR II selfie in mirror, double eye surreal. Prague, 2017

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Prague, 1968. Josef Koudelka / Magnum Photos

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