Photos you shoot for yourself are more authentic, and are more likely to last:
I’ve been spending much time looking through my old photos, and I can clearly demarcate my photos into two categories:
- Photos that I shot in order to impress others (most of my street photography)
- Photos that I shot for my own personal happiness, enjoyment, and joy (personal photos, pictures of Cindy)
And I would say this:
Photos you shoot for others won’t last.
A lot of photos I shot for others I once thought were good, but now they have lost their flavor. But photos I shot for myself — I still enjoy! If anything, photos I have shot for myself in the past, I actually like them MORE today!
Photograph your friends — people you actually care about. These photos are essential. I encourage all photographers to shoot more portraits of their friends and loved ones.
Make artwork for yourself
Shoot photos that you would like to print and put on your own wall. Much cheaper than collecting the artwork of others, and more meaningful.
This means, shoot and create photos you consider beautiful in your own eyes.
Document personally meaningful events in your life
If a certain moment is important to you, document it.
What fueled my ONLY IN AMERICA series: the desire to understand and critique American values and culture. Making statements about race, income inequality, as well as politics. This is a project I care about — and anything you care about is important to photograph.
Another project: “Korea: The Presentation of Self”, I sought to critique Korea’s over-obsession with physical image:
Photograph photos which excite YOU!