Kyoto, 2017. Google Nexus 6P and HDR+. Processed with VSCO with a6 preset
Kyoto, 2017. Google Nexus 6P and HDR+. Processed with VSCO with a6 preset
Kyoto, 2017. Google Nexus 6P and HDR+. Processed with VSCO with a6 preset
Kyoto, 2017. Google Nexus 6P and HDR+. Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

The hardest thing about being a modern photographer: deciding which photos to keep or ditch.

For help to keep or ditch your shots, join ERIC KIM FORUM.

1. Does this photograph interest me?

My sister Annette Kim. Google Nexus 6P, HDR + Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

If you don’t like your own picture why keep it?

For me, my own pictures that interest me have to do with my family and loved ones, yet composed in a unique, artistic, or creative way.

For example, avoid just the cliché pictures of your family just smiling and cheesing for the camera. Try to catch “unguarded” moments. Simplify the scene. Try to integrate diagonals into your frame. Tilt the frame. Make the pictures a bit weird or off-kilter.

Look for reflections, or surreal images. I saw Cindy’s reflection in the hot plate induction stove at a Japanese restaurant, and saw the circle (halo). It reminded me something spiritual:

Kyoto, 2017. Google Nexus 6P and HDR+. Processed with VSCO with a6 preset
Kyoto, 2017. Google Nexus 6P and HDR+. Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

Or try to add depth and layers to your pictures. Put yourself in the image… your face, arm, or limb. Like it was raining in Kyoto, and here is a picture I shot of my sister Annette with a phone:

Kyoto, 2017. Google Nexus 6P and HDR+. Processed with VSCO with a6 preset
Kyoto, 2017. Google Nexus 6P and HDR+. Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

2. Photographs you haven’t seen, or weird photos.

I tried to photograph a woman in Kyoto, but she “shooed” me away. The resulting photo is a bit weird, and has all these cut off limbs:

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset and HDR+

Yet I like it. Why? Small detail of band-aid in her elbow, something I didn’t notice until after I shot it. I also like the weirdness of the cut limbs.

To me the picture is interesting to myself. I like looking at it. Others might not like it, but that’s okay. It doesn’t follow any compositional rules, except maybe leading lines.

I know others won’t like the picture. But if I like it, why do I care what others think?

3. I like selfies of myself.

Selfie kiss. Saigon, 2017
Selfie kiss. Saigon, 2017

I HONOR MYSELFIE. I know I am not my pictures, and my pictures are not me.

But I like selfies of myself, because they remind me MEMENTO MORI: I will die.

Shoot selfies for yourself, that you would like to see down the line.

ERICKIM x ERICKIMSTRAP
ERIC KIM SELFIE with black wall. Kyoto, 2017
ERIC KIM SELFIE with black wall. Kyoto, 2017

4. Emotional Photos

Suit with French fry.
Suit with French fry.

Street photographs with emotion, hand gestures, anxiety, or intensity interest me. I like to keep these pictures. My favorite street photos are from my SUITS project.

Woman on phone, with billboard in background. Shot with a flash. I love the tension here. London Street Photograph by ERIC KIM, 2014.
Woman on phone, with billboard in background. Shot with a flash. I love the tension here. London Street Photograph by ERIC KIM, 2014.

Some of my personal favorite pictures of mine:

Woman on phone, with billboard in background. Shot with a flash. I love the tension here. London Street Photograph by ERIC KIM, 2014.
Woman on phone, with billboard in background. Shot with a flash. I love the tension here. London Street Photograph by ERIC KIM, 2014.

For help to keep or ditch your shots, join ERIC KIM FORUM and join ERIC KIM WORKSHOP for personal guidance on how to pick your best pictures.

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