STREET PORTRAIT. Newport Beach, 2017


Newport Beach, 2017

There is no ultimate “right” or “wrong” way to make photos.

Just shoot however you like to shoot. And don’t superimpose your views on photography to others, or let others superimpose their view on photography upon you.

Fuck the “rules”

Saigon, 2017 #cindyproject

I like photography tips and suggestions. There are no rules.

Henri Cartier-Bresson was a photography tyrant. He wanted everyone to shoot how he shot street photography. Good thing that photographers like Rene Burri in Magnum defied HCB, especially behind his back.

Why is photography tyranny bad? It kills innovation.

Innovation in Street Photography

Newport Beach, 2017

Let’s imagine that all street photography was still in the vein or style of Henri Cartier-Bresson. There would have been no Alex Webb, because photography “had” to be in black and white.

If we never graduated from Cartier-Bresson’s insistence of using a 50mm lens, we would not have gotten the dynamic 28mm street photos of Garry Winogrand, William Klein, or Bruce Gilden.

If we were not allowed to talk or interact with our subjects, we would not have gotten the great photos of Diane Arbus or Richard Avedon.

Ignore the internet

Stockholm, 2015

A lot of folks on the internet try to tell you how to make photos and how not to make photos.

Just ignore them.

Tokyo, 2011

This includes me, ERIC KIM. Just consider me as a guide, and when I am no longer useful, just subtract or unfollow me.

Make your own Photography Playbook.

My mom. Berkeley, 2014

In football, unorthodox play books are good. Why? By having a new or novel strategy, nobody can predict you. You can win games with a “Hail Mary”, if nobody expects it, or if it is unpredictable.

Tokyo, 2011

Same with your photos: fuck the play book. Make your own rules. This is how you will innovate in your photography.


  1. If someone is trying to superimpose their tyrannical views on photography on you, either unfollow, mute, or ignore them. Don’t argue. You look more badass and cool by ignoring the barking of a silly puppy.
  2. Stop using social media: Instagram, Facebook, will pollute your mind with the “rules” of other photographers. It’s good to find inspiration from others, but if you wanna find your own voice, go into ZEN MONK photography mode for a few months, or even a year.
  3. Break all the “rules” you’ve learned in photography. Keep the “rules” you learned in photography if you like them. For example, sticking with 1 camera and 1 lens helps me. Shooting black and white helps me focus. I like to not crop my photos, because it forces me to hustle harder. But I only follow my own self-imposed rules, and I don’t mind contradicting myself or changing my style.

Ultimately, just shoot you– shoot your own style, vision, and create your own flavor of photographic honey.






eric kim street photography only in america19