How to Create More Pictures

Annette kim with flash. Kyoto, 2017

My theory: the secret to happiness as a photographer is to CREATE MORE PICTURES!

Why create more pictures?

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Okay, my theory:

We are happiest when we are in a state of creation. For example, children have the most fun and enjoyment while they’re in the state of creation. They enjoy painting, building stuff with LEGO bricks, and drawing. But when they’re done, they’re bored. Then onto the next one.

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Same for me. I have the most fun while I am making photos. While I am walking in the streets, composing, framing, interacting with strangers, and pushing my confidence to get closer to my subjects.

My excuses for not creating pictures

Japanese man. Kyoto street portrait, 2017.
Japanese man. Kyoto street portrait, 2017.

But there are things that prevent me from creating pictures. For example,

  1. Feeling like my camera equipment or gear isn’t good enough, therefore I get discouraged from actually going out and shooting.
  2. Lack of inspiration… not knowing what to photograph.
  3. Feeling like I live in a boring city or place, therefore I cannot make good photos.

However, this is all silly.

Why my excuses are not valid.

Wooden textures in Kyoto
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  1. You can make good pictures on a phone. If you own a phone with a camera, you ARE a photographer! And there are many benefits to shooting with a phone, like it is always with you. Regardless of what your camera is, it is 100x better than any camera people had in the 1920s. In the early days of photography, they had to shoot with ISO 25 (or lower) film. A “fast” lens was limited to f/3.5. So let’s be grateful for our modern photography technology, and not blame our gear. Block gear review websites and forums from your browser.
  2. Pretend shooting like a child. Treat everything as interesting. Don’t discriminate your subject matter. Also don’t type cast yourself into a genre of photography. A child doesn’t call themselves a “steet photographer”, “portrait photographer” or “documentary photographer.” They just shoot whatever they like.
  3. No matter how “interesting” your city, you will get bored of it. My friends in Tokyo, Paris, and NYC are bored of it. The secret then is to find unique ways to make your boring city more interesting.
Cindy in Kyoto, 2017.
Cindy, 2017.

Assignments to create more pictures

Selfie near my Berkeley apartment. Trix pushed to 1600.
Selfie near my Berkeley apartment. Trix pushed to 1600.
  1. For a week, shoot at least 100 photos a day on your phone. At the end of everyday, publish and share your 1 favorite image. You can share it to ERIC KIM FORUM.
  2. Experiment with film. Buy FILM NOTES and use any old film camera. Everyday shoot 1 roll of film (36 Pictures) for 7 days straight. Even if you find nothing interesting, you gotta kill the roll.
  3. Shoot “BORING” as a photography topic for a week. Intentionally try to photograph whatever you consider “boring” for an entire week.
BORING. Berkeley, 2015.
BORING. Berkeley, 2015.

Lastly, just have fun. Don’t make this painful. Shoot with a smile, with joy, and have fun like a big kid.

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For more inspiration, invest in yourself with HAPTIC TOOLS.




Re-discover you inner-child and feel like PABLO PICASSO:

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