ERIC KIM

The Joy of Everyday Photography

Dear friend,

If you’ve ever had ‘photographer’s block’, and felt creatively frustrated, and have no inspiration or will to shoot — I hope this advice can help you.


Re-inspire your photography this year

FREE PDF Visualization: 30 Inspirational New Year’s Photography Resolutions

+

THE ZEN OF ERIC


Some life lessons from photography

THE ZEN OF ERIC

Okay, so I have been making photos for over a decade — from age 16 to age 29 (now). I remember when I started photography; I had no problem finding ‘inspiration’ to shoot. Everything was interesting. I remember the first month I had my little Canon SD 600 point and shoot camera, and I shot about 1,000 photos a day — of anything, and everything.

But as time advanced, and I started to try to become a more ‘serious’ and ‘pro’ photographer, I started to lose that child-like and beginner’s mind. I started to obsess too much about gear– I got suckered into the whole ‘full frame’ trap and thought I “needed” full-frame, and these expensive Canon L lenses to make good photos. And of course, as I got more and more into street photography, I started to get suckered into thinking I needed a digital Leica to feel more ‘confident’ and find more ‘inspiration’.

Walking man in blue. Marseille, 2017

Over the last decade, I’ve shot pretty much anything and everything. I’ve shot with pretty much all the cameras out there, and all the formats. 35mm film, medium-format film, DSLR photography, APS-C point and shoot cameras, digital Leica, mirrorless Fujifilm, phone photography, and even digital medium format photography.

I’ve also experimented with many different genres of photography — from landscape photography, to portrait photography, to wedding photography, to macro/nature photography, to architecture photography, to street photography, to abstract photography, to personal photography, to documentary photography, to selfie photography — and what did I learn?

The best type of photography is EVERYDAY PHOTOGRAPHY.

What is everyday photography?

Tissue on ground. Marseille, 2017

To me, everyday photography is just photos you can shoot on an everyday level. EVERYDAY photography is not a genre of photography; it is a non-genre. EVERYDAY photography is anti-genre, and anti-dogma.

Key and shadow. Marseille, 2017

In everyday photography, you can shoot anything and everything.

You can shoot selfies of yourself and your family members, you can shoot street photography, you can photograph your food, you can photograph abstract textures and details.

Hand and selfie shadow. Blue and red. Marseille, 2017

The best part — it isn’t serious; it is playful and fun. You always retain that child-like beginner’s mind, where you are just shooting with pure joy, with no restrictions, and no internal conflict or inner-critic. You just see interesting things, and respond by clicking. You are like playing with visual building blocks on the streets, or in your home.

You only shoot what brings a smile to your face.


PHOTO THERAPY

I’ve been thinking lately– I genuinely believe that photography is therapy. Photography is a way for us to self-express ourselves, photography is a way for us to walk more (good for our mental/physical health), and photography is a good way for us to find joy in the beauty of the ordinary, mundane, everyday things.

I think true happiness is finding joy in the common, everyday things. To find joy in that cup of coffee in the morning, the nice brisk walk around the block, the lunch with your co-workers, the joy of reading a book on your commute back home, or the joy of having a 3-hour dinner with friends, family, and loved ones. The joy of making photos, and looking at your photos.


The wisdom in simplicity

Cindy with blue candle over face. Marseille, 2017

Life doesn’t need to be so complicated. In-fact, it is the true masters of wisdom who are able to simplify, and find joy in their (ordinary) lives. They can be like the philosopher Democritus, who was known as the ‘laughing philosopher.’ As for myself, I think true wisdom is joy in a child-like sense of wonder, experimentation, and play.

Cindy chiaroscuro shadow. Lips, marseille 2017

Heraclitus once said the life of man is a child just building sandcastles by the beach, with the shores coming in and out. So is our lives– no matter what we build, no matter how much wealth we accumulate — no matter how much fame, honor, or power we acquire, it will all eventually wash back into the ocean; the eternal waves of time.

The meaning of photography and life

Abstract man with arm. Marseille, 2017

So what is the meaning of life and photography?

To make art that brings joy to your life, and to share that joy with others.

So friend, this year– and always, find joy in everyday photography.

  1. Shoot your kids, your friends, your family.
  2. Shoot your commute to and from work.
  3. Shoot your trips to the grocery store
  4. Shoot street photography or urban landscapes when you’re walking around your block, or taking a break from work.
  5. Shoot selfies of yourself, and don’t take it too seriously.

Above all, always shoot with a smile, and grateful heart.

Curved red curtain and shadow. Marseille, 2017. Shot in program mode on Ricoh gr ii

Always,
ERIC


Inspirational free PDF visualizations

30 inspirational new year’s resolutions
  1. FREE PDF: 30 inspirational new year’s resolutions
  2. THE ZEN OF ERIC

FREE Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Street Photography >

DOWNLOAD PDF

Also see more: FREE Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Street Photography >


REINSPIRE YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY WITH ERIC KIM EXPERIENCE

Conquer your fears and meet new peers:



MASTERS

Learn From the Masters of Street Photography Book

Learn timeless lessons from the masters of street photography >


STREET NOTES

STREET NOTES

Take your street photography to the next level with STREET NOTES >

STREET NOTES MOBILE EDITION >


HENRI NECK STRAP

HENRI NECK STRAP

Never miss another decisive moment ever again >


HENRI WRIST STRAP: PHANTOM BLACK

Henri PHANTOM BLACK

Conquer the streets with HENRI PHANTOM BLACK >


PHOTO JOURNAL

Find more Personal meaning in your photographic life with PHOTO JOURNAL >


TABLE OF CONTENTS

 


EBOOKS

  1. STREET PHOTOGRAPHY 103
  2. STREET NOTES: Mobile Edition / Kindle Edition on Amazon
  3. PHOTOGRAPHY MASTERCLASS
  4. PHOTOGRAPHY ENTREPRENEURSHIP MANUAL by ERIC KIM
  5. STREET PHOTOGRAPHY MANUAL by ERIC KIM
  6. THE PHOTOGRAPHER by ERIC KIM
  7. The Photography Manual
  8. The Art of Street Photography
  9. 100 Lessons From the Masters of Street Photography
  10. The Art of Photography
  11. Zen Photography
  12. Photography by Eric Kim
  13. Street Photography by Eric Kim
  14. Personal Photography Manual
  15. Street Photography Contact Sheets Volume II
  16. Street Photography Contact Sheets Volume I
  17. Street Photography Composition Manual
  18. Street Portrait Manual
  19. How to Shoot Street Photography
  20. Street Photography 101
  21. Street Photography 102
  22. Color Manual
  23. Monochrome Manual
  24. 31 Days to Overcome Your Fear in Street Photography
  25. Letters From a Street Photographer
  26. Street Photography Aphorisms, Heuristics, and Sayings

PRINT BOOKS

Videos

Popular YouTube videos

Introduction to street photography

Photography composition


ERIC KIM NEWSLETTER

Join ERIC KIM NEWSLETTER and be the first to get exclusive content, access to books, presets, artistic information to empower you.