In and out, 2016 (shot on phone)


Shot on Phone x VSCO A6 Preset

Henri Cartier-Bresson invented the concept of “the decisive moment” in photography, but I think it is misunderstood.

1. Follow your hunch

First, you cannot predict a decisive moment before it happens.

In photography, we often have a “hunch” whether a scene might be good or not. A hunch is a gut feeling… That a scene might make a good photo.

Therefore, whenever you even have a tiny gut feeling that a scene might be good,


2. Be ready before the decisive moment

The reason why I like wrist straps, and neck straps (not always keeping your camera in your bag) is because you need to be prepared before a potential decisive moment.

I’m an Eagle scout, and my motto I learned in Boy Scouts:

Always be prepared.

Or the negative version:


When I shoot with my camera, I like to wear my camera like a bracelet or necklace. For RICOH GR buy ERICKIM STRAP. For Leica or Fujifilm, buy HENRI NECK STRAP.

The thing is: the worst is to have your camera at home. Second worst, keeping your camera in your bag.

3. The weight of the camera helps you see better.

If you want to see more potential decisive moments, feel the presence of the weight of the camera.

For example, when my camera is around my neck or in my hand, or wrist, I see more.

Why? The weight of the camera reminds me:

Look for potential photo opportunities.

4. You are a “street researcher”

As a street photographer, you are a researcher of reality.

Whenever you go down a random alley way, treat it like a mini experiment. You might or might not see something interesting.

But, you must experiment.

So when you shoot street photography, open yourself to more randomness, chance, and chaos…to see more potential “decisive moments.”

5. Just use your phone

Just shoot with your phone if carrying your normal camera is burdensome.

Then process your photos in VSCO, and publish them.

And yes, the phone is a real and a good camera.

In theory the phone camera is the ultimate street photography camera. Always in your front pocket, unassuming, and has maximum depth of field (more likely your street photos are in focus). Also, because the settings are simple, you just point and shoot. You don’t gotta think, which is good in street photography (good to click first, ask questions later).

6. You are the filter

You decide what to shoot and what not to shoot.

As a photographer, you are a filter of reality.

You decide what is personally meaningful, and what isn’t personally meaningful.

Therefore, capture your own personally-meaningful decisive moments. Because what is decisive to you isn’t decisive to others.


Tokyo, 2012

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Prague, 1968. Josef Koudelka / Magnum Photos
Prague, 1968. Josef Koudelka / Magnum Photos

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