Don’t think; just shoot!
Thinking is the enemy of photographers.
The primary purpose of a photographer is to make photos. To make visual art manifested through photographs.
A photographer is an artist that uses the camera as their paintbrush.
And the more photos we make, the more productive we are as visual artists. And the more productive we are as artists, the happier we will be. Why? When we are in the flow of making photos, we are focused, self-assured, innovative, creative, and have fun! The more we can enter this flow or zen zone, the more productive we will be.
Ignore your inner critic
Too often we let our own inner critic censor us. For example you might see something you want to photograph, but some voice in your head says,
“No, don’t photograph that. It is cliché. It’s been done before. You’ve done it before.”
Ignore that voice. Just shoot!
Why ignore our inner critic?
The voice of the inner critic isn’t your voice, it is the voice of random people on the internet manifested in your head.
Your “true” voice as a photographer and visual artist is your childish naïveté and soul. That gut feeling you get to make photos, or to make art is your true artistic instinct — you must never self censor your will to photograph and make art!
Productivity is the secret of creative flourishing as a photographer
All of your artwork, approach, and view of life is in flux (constantly changing). You are constantly in a state of “becoming”. There isn’t a final destination for you to reach as a photographer or visual artist. Thus, give yourself freedom to make lots of photographs of anything and everything!
No genre or definitions in your photography— give yourself ultimate freedom, like a child.
The more you shoot, the more you will have the opportunity to flex your visual muscles, and the more forward progress you will feel in your photographic life.
How to shoot more
- Use a neck strap (Henri Neck Strap or ERIC KIM NECK STRAP) to always have your camera ready with you, and to always shoot! Never leave the house without having your camera around your neck.
- If you see something, and you have even a .001% percent chance that it might be a good photograph, JUST SHOOT IT!
- Take photos while walking: When you’re walking to work, walking as a tourist, walking around the block, just shoot while you’re moving. Keep your ISO high around 1600-3200 to prevent blurry photos. Or perhaps try to intentionally make blurry photos. Don’t stop to shoot, keep moving and shooting.
- Don’t worry about composition too much: I think it’s more important to shoot a lot than worrying about composition. It is better to shoot something with poor composition than not to shoot at all.
- Just shoot in JPEG, and aim for quantity rather than quality. The more photos you shoot, the more likely you are to make a few good photos. This is like the Garry Winogrand approach.
Learn more: How to shoot everyday >