Dear friend,

You know that voice that tells you that you’re dumb, or that you’re going to do something that annoys or offends others? Yeah — ignore that voice.

1. Don’t self-censor yourself

My radical belief: don’t censor yourself. Say what is really on your mind. If you curse in real life, don’t censor yourself online.

If you see an interesting photo opportunity, just photograph it. Don’t let your inner critic say:

Oh Eric, don’t photograph that. It is boring. It is cliche. It has been done before.

Rather, let your inner-child play.

2. Do it for the fun

A child never censors him/herself. A child paints for fun. A child throws paint on the wall, with no regard for form, composition, or ‘color theory.’ A child just has fun.

As adults, let us do the same. Be like a kid. A big ass kid (with some money) to have more opportunities for experimentation.

3. Kids inspire me

eric kim street photography x100f fujifilm-7131

Whenever I meet young kids who want to do photography (age 8-12) — I tell them to shoot with a smartphone. A smartphone is an all-in-one photo solution. You can shoot, post-process, and publish your work all from one device. And in the future, everyone will have a high-quality smartphone.

eric kim street photography x100f fujifilm-7216

The only thing I teach kids is the principles of composition. To focus on the edges of the frame when making images. To get a clean background. Very simple stuff.

But I tell them, to wander and photograph whatever their gut or intuition tells them to.

4. No-brain photography

eric kim street photography x100f fujifilm-7087

When you go out to make photos; don’t use your brain.

Rather, follow your gut. Your intuition.

Also consider, if you were a kid— would you shoot with a high-end digital DSLR camera, or a Leica? Probably not. Just a little point and shoot, or a smartphone.

eric kim street photography gfx fujifilm medium format digital-7340

Turn off your brain when you shoot. Turn off your phone, or if you shoot with it, turn it to airplane mode.

Photograph colors, textures, shapes, forms, people, and whatever you consider ‘street photography.’

5. How to shut off your inner-censor

eric kim street photography gfx fujifilm medium format digital-7335

First of all, when you’re making photos, don’t think whether it will be a good or bad photo. Just photograph whatever interests you.

Secondly, only use your brain when you go home and you judge your photos according to your own standard.

Thirdly, set your camera to ‘P’ or Program mode. Don’t use any fancy technical settings. Just ask yourself, ‘If I were 8 years old, how would I want someone to set up the camera for me?’

And lastly, just have fun. Explore the world— the entire concrete jungle is your playground.

Always,
Eric


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