Cindy looking up in the elevator with circles. Hanoi, 2017

Your Camera is a Blessing

Cindy elevator hanoi

Dear friend,

Consider— whatever you decide to photograph, you are blessing it with your lens.


Swans Kyoto

There is so much beauty and joy in the world. It is your job to uncover it with your lens. Whenever you click the shutter, you are blessing your subject. You are telling your subject:

You are important and beautiful.


Leg Saigon hotel self portrait

Why is it that we feel nervous to photograph things, people, or scenes?

My theory:

Many of us are ashamed of ourselves. We think of ourselves as picture thieves, rather than picture MAKERS.

We don’t “take” pictures. We MAKE pictures.

We MAKE beauty in the world, by re-arranging visual elements in the real world— via addition and subtraction with your lens.

You are a creator. You are a life-affirmer. You are a photo god.


Eric Kim self portrait white

It is your duty to bestow significance to reality. Whenever you photograph something, you are signaling it’s significance and importance.

So let’s say you photograph a stranger and they get angry at you. Tell them:

“I photographed you because I find something beautiful in you.”

4. Do you love yourself?

Cindy touching mirror Saigon hotel

Do you love yourself? Do you love how you look? Are you proud of yourself, or are you ashamed of yourself?

How do you feel being photographed— joyful or disgusted?

How would you feel being photographed nude? Do you have anything to hide to the camera or lens?

My suggestion if you don’t like being photographed: start a self-portrait series of yourself. You never need to publish them. Do it to build your own self-confidence. And if you’re brave enough, publish them. But you don’t need to.

The more you are comfortable photographing yourself, the more you will be photographing others. Why? Because every photograph you make is a self-portrait of yourself. You need to feel beautiful, before you inject your vision of beauty into your subject.



Why do you make photos? Reflect in PHOTO JOURNAL:


Scroll to Top