Dear friend,

Never forget: photography is hard.

I. Photography is simple and hard

Melbourne, 2016

Photography is both simple and hard.

Photography is simple because you can pick it up in a minute. But photography is hard because it takes a lifetime to master.

For example, any child can pick up a pencil, and write words. But it will take a master a lifetime to write poetry, which gives words meaning, levity, and wings.

A child can make a good photo with a smartphone. But to create a masterful photograph like Henri Cartier-Bresson can only come from studying composition, painting, art, and visual poetry.

A child can learn to play chess in a minute, but you cannot become Josh Waitzkin overnight.

II. Everyday, work harder.

Downtown LA, 2015

So friend, don’t despair. Rather, aspire to become everyday, a better photographer.

Become a better photographer by making more photos. Carry around your camera when you are walking. Just use your iPhone or smartphone to shoot. Shoot in airplane mode not to get distracted.

Allow yourself to get bored. Don’t always check your email or Instagram or Facebook when you have 30 seconds of downtime. Rather, let your eyes wander. Open up your eyes, look up, down, left, and right. Look at small intricate details of tapestry on the walls, the wrinkles in the faces of the elderly, or the textures in your own hands.

Kyoto, 2015

To make better photos; make more meaningful photos.

Also, to make better photos: simplify your compositions. Seek to be a good sculptor photographer– seek to subtract, rather than add to your photos.

III. Don’t forget to have fun.

Ultimately, photography should be easy and effortless. Shoot with a lightness of heart. Don’t take yourself or photography too seriously.

But all good things in life are hard, and take effort.

Prague, 2015

Remember the saying:

Pressure makes diamonds.


The harder you strike iron in the furnace, the stronger it gets.

Be strong,


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