Saigon, 2017

EGO PHOTOGRAPHY: shoot freely, however you want it to be.

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In the past, I used to believe having an EGO was a bad thing.

Now I don’t believe that.

I think it is good to have an EGO– if your EGO drives you to accomplish, to succeed, and to hustle.

An EGO is bad, when it makes you afraid and dormant.

For example, some folks are so afraid of what others think of them (protecting their “ego”) that they do nothing.

Other folks, like ERIC KIM, have a massive EGO. But for me, having a BIG EGO helps me hustle hard, create more information, share more, help more, make more money, market myself more, and (in my self centered mind) help humanity.



Second, why have an EGO? Why did humans evolve to have consciousness?

My theory: we evolved to have consciousness and an ego to not die.

Then, our sense of “self” helped us with communicating with other humans.

Then, having an EGO helped us seek resources, to help ourselves, our children, our families, and our community.

Therefore to me, if you channel your EGO in a POSITIVE way, it is a good thing.



Third, does EGO help in photography?


For me, EGO helps in photography when you want to innovate, break new ground, and make new photos that might upset others. William Klein did this when he shot gritty black and white, blurry photos. William Eggleston got hated on for shooting color of ordinary, everyday things.

EGO is harmful in photography, when we become too emotionally attached to our photos.

For example, when someone says they don’t like your photo, they’re not saying that they don’t like you. Someone can dislike your photo, but still like you.


My trick:

I don’t call them “my” photos. I call them “the” photos.

This way, I still take risks in what I photograph and publish them, even though others might not like my photos.

But when I publish the photos, I don’t become emotionally attached to them. Therefore, people can insult my photos all they want, but my personal EGO is untouched. I imagine like they are insulting someone else’s photos.

Four. Practical ideas

  1. Don’t care about what others think of your photos. They’re just photos. It’s not a big deal.
  2. Make photos that you like. For inspiration, buy PHOTO JOURNAL.
  3. How does photography help you orient yourself in the world, and do you seek to make social change with your photography?

Does your EGO help or hurt your photography? Share your ideas in ERIC KIM FORUM.

Five. How to shoot and stay alive


My idea: channel your ego to never stop hustling.

Think of yourself as the best photographer. Find inspiration from the masters of photography, but don’t become their slave.

For example, I like Henri Cartier-Bresson and find inspiration from him. But I honestly think at this point, I’ve surpassed him. I’m currently seeking to get up to the level of Josef Koudelka– I think I’m close.

To me, a little healthy and fun competition can help drive you forward.

There is an ancient saying,

Fast horses race slower when paired with slow horses.

In modern English,

A fast horse will perform worse when paired with a slow horse. You need to pair a fast horse (with faster horses) to help the horse reach its potential.

Six. Ignore ERIC KIM


Ignore me. Follow what works for you. Pick apart the parts that you like, and throw away the rest.

You are your own master in photography.