Whose Fucks Matter to You in Photography?

Dear friend,

I used to give one too many fudge ice cream sandwiches what others thought of me, my photography, and my life.

Now I can give one fuck less.

What changed?

I started to have confidence in myself, what I do, who I do it for, and why I do what I do.

For example, I finally have ‘real’ self-confidence in myself, my life mission, and why I do it.

To explain, I blog to empower others. I blog to empower you. I create information that I wish I had access to at age 12, age 16, age 18, and even now. I certainly know that I am not going to help everyone, but if I can help empower one other photographer, my work is worth it to me.

Who do I not work and hustle for? I don’t work for people who hate equality, democracy, and access to information. I am an Eagle-scout, a true-blooded American, who loves democracy, freedom, capitalism, yet with Swedish-socialist tendencies, and enough Karl Marx in my blood to balance out my Mr. Monopoly tendencies. Like Peter Thiel, I always enjoyed the capitalist tendencies of Star Wars over Star Trek.

I want to be useful, certainly first to myself, and then to others.

For example, I still think there is a desert of information regarding photography, entrepreneurship, money, finances, marketing, branding, and influence. It seemed like everyone was hoarding these secrets to themselves. I have finally sort of figured it out for myself– how to crack the code of earning really good money from photography. I feel like I want to share this secret with others in my Photography Entrepreneurship 101 series. Because I do believe that you can follow your passion in photography, and actually become rich.

I genuinely believe I’ve done more for the field of street photography in the last 6 years (2011-2017) than any other human being alive. I’ve certainly created the most useful information on how to shoot street photography, how to make better compositions, how to conquer your fears, and I have certainly have written the most free ebooks on street photography.

The biggest problem I think we have as photographers is this: we care too much about what others think of ourselves, and our photography.

The question to ask yourself:

Why do I care about what others think of my photography?

I have no idea how to answer for you — but for myself, I used to care because I had low self-esteem. I wasn’t sure why I made photos — and for whom I photographed. Now I realize that I photograph for myself. To avoid boredom, to make photos to delight my soul, to express myself, and to showcase beauty from reality — to hopefully inspire a (few) other people.

Why Give Less Fucks in Photography?

Okay, so the reason why to give less fucks in your photography is this:

When you give too many fucks what others think of your photography — you will have less courage to publish photos you truly believe in.

I believe as a photographer, you have a unique gift to give to the rest of the world. If you care too much what others think of your photography (in a debilitating, negative way) — you will lose confidence, power, and momentum.

I want you to become the best photographer you can, without having society hold you back.

Whose fucks matter to you?

For me, the only people whose opinion really matters to me include:

  1. Cindy’s opinion
  2. My mom’s opinion
  3. My own opinion

So sorry for the confusion — it isn’t about not giving any fucks about nobody else’s opinion — it is about knowing whose opinion really matters to you.

Homework assignment: Whose 3 fucks matter to you in your personal life? Who are your top-3 people in your inner-circle, whose opinions truly matter to you?

I used to give a fuck of what others thought of my photography,
But now I can give a fuck less
To me success is inspiring a few other folks,
Not to gloat about my likes on the gram

I am proud of making a stand by speaking my mind,
To rewind the wings of time, to remind myself why I make photos
And for who
To paint my own Picasso-Blue reality
To realize that photography is a fight against the fatality of life and death
To keep shooting what is important to me,
Until my last breath.

To keep building my photography breadth and expertise
To ignore what ‘haters’ say through their teeth
To ignore what others say about me, like a wide sieve.

To make photos with meat and soul,
images that are warm and full of gold.

So friend, capture your own world and reality
And always challenge me.

Be strong,


eric kim portrait by cindy

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