Make Pictures, Not Photographs


Dear friend,

As photographers, let us start saying “pictures” instead of “photos.”

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Okay, let me philosophise about photography.

One. “Picture” vs “Photo”

One: Let’s call them “pictures” not “photos.”

Picture: Paintings used to be called “Pictures”. The term “picture” is more ancient and classic.

Photograph: New word, that means that you must write (graph) with light (photon).

Two. What is the point of a photograph?

We use a camera to capture light and to record it.

We then look at a photograph as a 2d (two dimensional) image on a piece of paper or nowadays, a digital screen.

To me, the purpose of photography is:

  1. To make instant art. Making photographs is easier than painting, and much faster.
  2. To document and record personal memories. I started to make photographs at the age of 18, when I graduated high school on a point and shoot digital camera, to record my memories. I’ve always had a horrible memory.
  3. To explore the world: We have an impulse to explore as human beings and see new things. Photography gives us an excuse to go on “photo expeditions” or “photo hunts.” My first desire to travel and see the world was to make better photos.


Ultimately, we make photos to somehow affect our soul.

For me, when I look at my own photos, the feelings I like:

  1. Nostalgia: Appreciation of past memories. Feeling good again, especially when I feel shitty.
  2. Aesthetic enjoyment of good proportions, light, and composition in a photograph, for the sake of it. Kind of like looking at a beautiful tree, and enjoying the grandeur of the tree for the pure aesthetic appreciation.

Also, I appreciate photography for the act of making photos.

For example, as a photographer, I appreciate walking slower on the streets, and appreciating things that I might have not noticed if I were not a photographer.

To simplify,

If you’re a photographer, you just see more stuff, and appreciate more of the real world.


Looking at a picture, we feel our souls strings stirred.

We feel good and pleasure and joy when looking at our own photos, and the photos of others.

But then again, I also appreciate looking at painted or digital art. I appreciate watercolor, acrylic, and sculpture.

I like looking at digital photos and film photos. Both (if shot well) bring me joy.


It doesn’t matter if a photo was shot on film or digitally, if the photo is good and evokes emotion in your heart, the photo is good and worth it.


To make a picture means:

  1. A picture can be a painting
  2. A picture can be a photograph

Therefore, a “picture” is just an image.


Images rule our world. We look at our phones nonstop. We love images.

Apparently there are more sensors in our eyes than our other senses. Maybe the visual and audio are the strongest senses. To use our eyes to look for food and brightly colored fruit. To use our ears to hear the rustling of a bush, to not be eaten by a lion.

This is why we love music. Music: the bass and rhythm apparently mimics the human heart beat.

We love images too. This is why Instagram is like crack cocaine for our eyes. We don’t like text (why Instagram is more popular than Facebook and Twitter). Also instant images: why Snapchat is so popular.


As an artist, you are trying to affect the eye balls, the brain, heart, and eventually soul.

So it doesn’t matter if you’re a painter, a sculptor or photographer.


Ultimate lesson:

It doesn’t matter what kind of visual art you make. As long as you influence the heart and soul of yourself and your viewer.

Just make art, and share it.

For a creative outlet just make photos that bring you joy. Then share on ERIC KIM FORUM.


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