You have a sleeping giant of a photographer… lying dormant in your heart. Time to awaken your inner-photographer.
1. How to Unlock Your Inner-Photographer
- Never say things like, “I’m not a photographer”. Or, “I only picked up photography because I cannot draw.” That is unnecessary self-hate, and self-doubt that won’t help you at all in your photographic journey.
- Declare to yourself, “I AM A PHOTOGRAPHER.” Better yet, consider yourself as a “visual artist”. This will open up more future avenues for your art. Also, it will help you aspire to greater visual heights…and encourage you to attempt more difficult visual feats… and to ascend your own creative mountain to the highest heights.
- SHOOT MORE RISKY PICTURES：You cannot become a great photographer just by taking easy pictures. You need to take more risks. You need to take more difficult pictures. You need to shoot what scares you. This is why I love street photography— it is so fucking hard. It’s scary. Even now, I shit my pants every once in a while before taking a picture. But it is the risk, the love of adrenaline, and having the guts to make more powerful images which will help advance you in your photography.
2. Kill your babies
To unlock your inner-photographer, you gotta shoot a lot. And shoot more. Allow yourself to take shitty pictures. But…be even more ruthless in “killing your babies”— meaning, ditch your bad pictures. Only keep and share your best pictures.
How do you know what your “best” pictures are?
Does the picture surprise you?
Meaning— if you saw your picture in the social media stream of someone else… would you like the picture?
This is why I like to let my pictures “sit” and marinate before sharing them. Because I often get too emotionally attached to my bad pictures. I remember how difficult they were in shooting. What I need to do is KILL THEM RUTHLESSLY— to have the courage to delete our babies is the most difficult thing in today’s digital age.
3. Compete against yourself
To take your photography to the next level, or new heights… you must challenge yourself. You must push yourself, by using yourself as an inner-scorecard. You must become a better photographer today, than you were yesterday.
I like the idea of you as a “power photographer.” You get stronger by adding stress, tension, and intensity to your visual workouts. Do visual deadlifts by shooting more challenging and dynamic pictures, by trying to make better pictures than the masters of photography, by studying great art, and by always taking pictures to keep your eye sharp and strong. Use the simplest camera, or just your phone to shoot everyday, and always be strong,
…never let yourself go slack.
- In your photography social media profiles, call yourself a “visual artist”. This will help you build up more self-confidence.
- Allow yourself to take lots of shitty pictures. Try to take at least 100 bad pictures a day, and you’re bound to get at least one good one. This will help you overcome any inertia in your photography.
- Shoot in a neighborhood that scares you. And ask for permission, and shoot some “street portraits”.
NEVER STOP LEARNING