I’m the most self-centered, vain, egotistical, and confident photographer I know— how, and why?
1. How I built up my self-confidence
My life story:
I had a good mother. I grew up bullied, and punked by my peers. I was fat. I was called “gay” and “faggot” on a daily basis. It was essentially my classmates who wanted to feel superior by putting others down.
For a long time, I took it. I was meek, weak, and insecure.
But one day I was like,
“Fuck this. I’m taking control of my life. No more excuses.”
I started to work out. I did pushups, crunches at home. I ran for miles with rocks in my backpack (I was age 12). I asked my mom to buy me dumbbells, and I started to lift weight.
I felt liberated… I realized,
I am the master of my destiny.
2. What tries to kill you motivates you to become stronger, and therefore not die, and therefore to become stronger
Now that I think about it, I’m grateful for being punked and bullied as a child. Why? It encouraged me, or gave me the opportunity to become stronger. I needed a challenge, a barrier, or some sort of struggle to overcome.
So friend, whatever your life story… know that you have THE POWER TO OVERCOME!
3. Do you like your own pictures?
When it comes to photography and art, life is short. Why care what others think of you? Do you like your own pictures and photos… isn’t that enough?
The greatness of your picture doesn’t depend on whether others praise it or not. If your picture is a beautiful green emerald, you don’t need people to “like” it to affirm its worth. No. It is still beautiful, regardless whether people praise it or not.
So let’s say you have a picture that you don’t upload or share. It can still be a great picture, regardless of what the rest of the world says.
4. How to be more self-confident in your photography and art
To become a more self-confident photographer, some ideas:
- Don’t take it too seriously. Treat your photography like play. Have fun. The more fun you have, the less pressure you will have on yourself, the more prolific you will become, and the more you will hustle, make even more beautiful pictures, and the more you will continue to creatively thrive.
- Physical fitness: The more physically strong and muscular your body, the more confident you will be as an artist. My ideal photographer is one who is both strong in spirit, and physically. Lose body fat, and put on muscle. Do squats and deadlifts at the gym. Do chin-ups at the playground. Do push-ups or yoga at home. Abstain from sugar, and eat more meat, protein, eggs, veggies, or any other food that gives you power and nutrition.
- Empowering music: Does the music you listen to empower or disempower you? Curate your playlist to excite your muscles, stimulate you to move, and to get to a new creative level.
- Make more art: Andy Warhol has a good quote that says something like, “Don’t worry whether your artwork is good or not. While others are judging whether it is good or not, just make more art”.
- Share more: Share your pictures and artwork, and then move “onto the next one.” Don’t get stuck in your past work, you’re always changing and evolving.
- Ask yourself, “Do I like my own pictures?” Don’t let anyone superimpose their beliefs, or their opinion on your artwork. If you like your own pictures, you’re on the right path as a visual artist.
BE STRONG and be CREATIVE EVERY DAY!
If you’re new to photography, start here:
- Free Photography Bootcamp
- The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Photography
- 100 Photography Tips for Beginners
- The Spirit of Becoming a Photographer
- How to Make Better Pictures
- 10 Tips How to Take Better Photos of People
- How to Avoid Boredom in Photography
- How to Master Photography
- A Photographer’s Guide to Seeing
- PRETENTIOUS PHOTOGRAPHY
- Photography Energy Management
- How to Unlock Your Potential in Photography
- There Are No Good or Bad Photos
- The 5 Minute Photographer
- A-Z: PHOTOGRAPHY DICTIONARY by ERIC KIM
- Why I Want to Be a Photography Newbie Forever
- PHOTOGRAPHY FLUX.
- 10 Creative Photography Assignments to Re-Inspire You
- 50 Photography Tips by ERIC KIM
The Fundamentals of Photography
- Make Simple Pictures
- The Art of Reading a Picture
- How to Choose Your Best Photos
- GET CLOSER.
- Keep or Ditch?
- What Makes a Good Photo?
- Why Photography?
- Everyone is a Photographer
- How to take better pictures
- How to take better selfies
- How to Paint With Light
- Why Bokeh is Overrated
- What is the Perfect Camera For You?
- What to Consider When Buying a Camera
- More Megapixels, More Problems
- How to Take Better Photos
- How to Capture Emotion in Your Photos
- How to Create a “Curiosity Gap” in Your Photos
- Composition Lesson #1: Triangles
- Composition Lesson #2: Figure-to-ground
- Composition Lesson #3: Diagonals
- 40 Practical Photography Assignments
- 15 Street Photography Assignments
- 25 Photography New Year’s Resolutions
- Street Photography Contact Sheets
- Street Photography Contact Sheets Volume II
- Debunking the “Myth of the Decisive Moment”
- Each Photo You Take is an “Attempt”
- How to Overcome Photographer’s Block
- Why Do You Need “Inspiration” to Shoot?
- How to Edit Your Photos
- Grain is Beautiful
- Are Filters “Cheating” in Photography?
- Video: Introduction to Editing, Processing, and Workflow in Lightroom
How to Create a Body of Work
Technical Photography Settings
Learn From the Masters of Photography
“He without a past has no future.”
- Why Study the Masters of Photography?
- Great Female Master Photographers
- Cheat Sheet of the Masters of Photography
- 100 Lessons From the Masters of Street Photography
- Beginner’s Guide to the Masters of Street Photography
- Download All Articles >
The Masters of Photography
Classics never die:
- Alfred Stieglitz
- Alec Soth
- Alex Webb
- Alexey Brodovitch
- Anders Petersen
- Andre Kertesz
- Ansel Adams
- Blake Andrews
- Bruce Davidson
- Bruce Gilden
- Constantine Manos
- Daido Moriyama
- Dan Winters
- David Alan Harvey
- David Hurn
- Diane Arbus
- Dorothea Lange
- Elliott Erwitt
- Eugene Atget
- Eugene Smith
- Fan Ho
- Garry Winogrand
- Gordon Parks
- Helen Levitt
- Henri Cartier-Bresson
- Irving Penn
- Jacob Aue Sobol
- Jeff Mermelstein
- Joel Meyerowitz
- Joel Sternfeld
- Josef Koudelka / Part 2
- Josh White
- Lee Friedlander
- Lisette Model
- Magnum Contact Sheets
- Magnum Photographers
- Mark Cohen
- Martin Parr
- Martine Franck
- Mary Ellen Mark
- Rene Burri
- Richard Avedon
- Richard Kalvar
- Robert Capa
- Robert Frank
- Saul Leiter
- Sergio Larrain
- Sebastião Salgado
- Shomei Tomatsu
- Stephen Shore
- The History of Street Photography
- Todd Hido
- Tony Ray-Jones
- Trent Parke
- Vivian Maier
- Walker Evans
- William Eggleston
- William Klein
- Zoe Strauss
Take your street photography to the next level:
- August 27 (Friday): SEATTLE MASTER STREET PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP - [NOW LIVE!]
- September 11 (Saturday): DOWNTOWN LA ADVANCED STREET PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP - [NEW!]
Be notified of when new workshops are live here.