How to Shoot Without Fear

Teeth. Saigon, 2017
Teeth. Saigon, 2017
Teeth. Saigon, 2017
Teeth. Saigon, 2017

Fear fucks us up in our photography. It paralyzes us.

Fear paralyzes us from making a photo of our subjects.

Fear paralyzes us from starting our own photography business.

Fear is the golden shackles which prevent you from flying to your fullest creative heaven.

Practical guidance to conquer your fears of shooting photography

First of all, realize you’re not doing anything wrong.

Kiss lipstick in mirror.
Kiss lipstick in mirror.

Second, realize that by photographing your subject, it is actually an act of love. You decide to CHOOSE them to photograph, because you find something unique and beautiful in them. If anything, they should be honored or humbled to be photographed by you.

Kiss. Hotel. Saigon, 2017
Kiss. Hotel. Saigon, 2017

Third, to shoot with more confidence, smile on the streets. People aren’t as intimated by you if you smile. And also when I smile when I’m shooting, I feel less self-conscious. I feel more confident when I’m smiling before shooting, during shooting, and after shooting.

Eric Kim shooting Jazz hands. Action photo.
Eric Kim shooting Jazz hands. Action photo.

Fourth, ask yourself… why do I make photos? For me, I make photos to uncover the hidden beauty of the world. Therefore I am doing a GOOD THING by documenting the world with my camera, eyes, heart, and soul.

Hands of 92 year old woman in Hanoi, 2017.
Hands of 92 year old woman in Hanoi, 2017.

Fifth, to shoot without fear… shoot before thinking. Thinking too much will hurt you in photography. Shoot first, think later when choosing your best photos.

Jazz Hands. Hollywood, 2011 by ERIC KIM
Jazz Hands. Hollywood, 2011 by ERIC KIM

Six, remember life is uncertain. Why fear making photos today or right now… when you know that you can be dead tomorrow? For me, knowing that I will die soon eliminates all my personal fears, barriers, and hesitations.

Flipped car. Orange County, 2016
Flipped car. Orange County, 2016

Seven, don’t take it too seriously. They’re just photos. By making a photo isn’t a big deal. You just point the camera, and click. You aren’t hurting anyone. You aren’t stealing their wallet. Whoever gets overly upset of being photographed either takes themselves too seriously. Or has something to hide.

Conclusion

Hands. New Orleans. I wish I were confident like him.
Hands. New Orleans.

Ultimately you’re trying to uncover some deeper truths, knowledge, insight, or beauty of humanity by making photos. You’re doing a good thing. Never forget that.

For more confidence on the streets, buy STREET NOTES MOBILE EDITION for photography assignments to posh you outside of your comfort zone.

Conquer your fears and meet new peers with ERIC KIM.

BE STRONG,
ERIC


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By ERIC KIM

Artist-Philosopher