How to Overcome Excuses in Street Photography

Bercy Park / Paris, 2015

A photo posted by Eric Kim (@erickimphoto) on

Getting my laptop stolen recently has been the best thing that happened to me recently. Let me explain why.

Not having a laptop the last week, I’ve been making all these excuses not to blog and write. I generally prefer working with a a laptop, having a keyboard, and the flexibility of having a “real” computer.

So the last week I’ve been just dependent on my smartphone. And damn, I’m pretty impressed and realize how much I can truly do with a smartphone. I can (obviously) check my email, plan my schedule, pay bills, but even better– I can record videos, take photos, process my photos, update my blog, and even “write” (actually “text”) articles on my smartphone (like I’m doing now on my smartphone).

Funny enough, I can probably text as fast as I can type. I use android and with the “SwiftKey” keyboard, I rarely make typos. Not only that, but I can write ideas while standing (not possible on a laptop with keyboard), while waiting in line at the store, or when in a cramped airline (Ryanair).

In fact, I’m starting to really wonder nowadays with the cloud and Google services what we really need laptops for. Of course for the power user (heavy video or photo editing) or Excel gurus you’re going to need a computer. But I really feel that 99% of “normal” people no longer need a “normal” computer.

Bringing the topic back to excuses, there were a lot of articles I wanted to write but I made the excuse that because I didn’t have a laptop, I couldn’t write it. But then I really wanted to write, so I used the only tool I had: my smartphone. And I’m able to “write” on my smartphone just fine.

So perhaps moving forward, I’m going to do less “writing” on a laptop, and putting down more ideas on my smartphone using Evernote. I really have no more excuses for my tools being insufficient for writing.

I also used to make excuses that my camera wasn’t good enough for street photography because I didn’t own a Leica. Now that I own a Leica I have finally leaned (the hard way) that the camera is an excuse. Not having a good enough camera is always a bad excuse. The only limitation is your creativity, inspiration, and vision of the world.

What other excuses have I made in my life and art?

  1. I don’t have enough money to travel to shoot interesting street photos. Solution: shoot your own city.

  2. My camera isn’t good enough. Solution: use the camera you already use.

  3. I don’t know any other photographers to inspire me. Solution: buy photo books and make masters of photography your personal tutors.

  4. I don’t have enough time to shoot. Solution: try to take at least 1 photo a day during your lunch break, before work, after work, or of people you know.

  5. I’m too old. Solution: use your age as benefit (you have great wisdom that young people don’t have, which can aid your learning process). Jack Simon didn’t pick up street photography until he was 65, and at age 70 is one of the best in the world.

  6. I’m not talented or artistic enough. Solution: educate yourself by investing in photography education (artists are made, not born).

  7. I’m too lazy. Solution: use your laziness to your advantage and just use a smartphone and make “boring” photos of your everyday life.

  8. I don’t understand technology. Solution: just use a disposable film camera and get the shots printed at the nearest drugstore as 4×6 prints.

  9. I’m afraid to take photos of strangers without permission. Solution: start off by asking permission. If scared of asking for permission start off by asking friends and family to take their photos. Worst case scenario: your mom will never say no.

  10. I’m not inspired. Solution: shoot first, the inspiration will follow.

Conclusion

Don’t make excuses, make photos.

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