To succeed as a modern photographer, you must discover your unique angle.
The secret to success as a modern photographer
I was chatting with my buddy Mitya Trotsky last night, and he gave me the idea:
To stand out as a modern photographer, you need a certain ‘angle’.
What makes your angle unique?
For example, you want to have ‘meaningful differentiation’ between you and other photographers. You need a unique perspective, or angle.
What makes your artistic perspective unique? What can you see, that nobody else sees?
Why angles are important
Even if you think about photography, to make a good picture, you need a good (figurative) angle.
For example in composition, you can make a dynamic picture with a low-angle picture, or a high-angle picture. Or making it dynamic from the side, from having a side-angle. Or even a head-on angle.
If you study physics and geometry, it is all about angles. Angles is what creates triangles, forms, bridges, and is the root of understanding kinetic energy.
And to make a compelling picture you must always photograph it with a compositionally dynamic angle.
So add more compositional angles to your pictures.
There’s only one of you
You must be a personality. You must be a unique individual. You cannot be another needle in the haystack.
You are the red circle, in a sea of grey squares.
Don’t be shy. Be proud and loud of what makes you different, and broadcast it loudly.
How to find your angle
Now a more tricky task: how do you identify your angle, or what makes you unique?
Like for myself, I find it unique that I studied sociology and also learned photography on my own.
Therefore, I’m not really a photographer, or street photographer. I’m a ‘visual sociologist.’
This can be my angle:
I don’t seek to make pictures, I seek to make human connections.
This is because I studied sociology, which is all about understanding individuals, social dynamics, and humanity at large.
This can also be thought of in a ‘cross-pollination’ mindset.
What various interests of yours can you mix, and integrate it into your photographic and visual art to make yourself have a unique angle or perspective on the world?
For example, Sebastião Salgado studied economics, but instead of writing dry papers on inequality of economic opportunity, he decided to travel and photograph it instead. In a way, his angle was that of an economist meets photographer. He’s making social commentary and critique on the globalization of cheap labor in his ‘WORKERS’ book.
What are you trying to say?
Also, try to consider — what are you trying to say with your pictures?
For example, in my SUITS project, I wanted to make a critique on the rat race, the pressure to make more money to seek ‘happiness’, and that freedom is more valuable than money.
For me, the message I’m trying to share is more important than the pictures.
In other words,
Figure out what you want to say about society, the world, or life — then figure out how you can make pictures to communicate your message.
Case study: CINDYPROJECT
I was inspired by my friend Josh White who taught me that photographing your loved ones is more important than photographing strangers.
Cindy is my muse, artistic partner, and soulmate. I have such deep love and appreciation for her — and I wanted to encourage others to appreciate their loved ones as much as I do for Cindy. I therefore started the ‘CINDYPROJECT’ as a way to tell people:
Your loved ones are valuable. Photograph them, to feel more appreciation towards them.
It is my ambition and goal for everyone to start their own cindyproject.
Therefore, my goal was to show my love for Cindy, and I decided photography would be a good medium for that. I didn’t seek to make nice pictures of Cindy, and then falling in love with the pictures of her. I love Cindy more than the pictures I make of her.
Assignment: What is your angle?
So friend, what is your unique angle?
To discover your unique angle in photography, write down a list of your unique interests. Write down what you studied in school, or what you really wanted to study, but didn’t have the opportunity to study (or your parents didn’t let you).
For example, for myself I would write:
- Computer science
- Cognitive Science
- Behavioral Economics
- Diet, exercise, fitness
Then think of how you can cross-pollinate, or make a hybrid concept with that and your photography.
Then to ‘brand yourself’ start simple: marry two concepts together.
So once again,
Sociology + Photography = Visual Sociology (or ‘street photography’)
Have fun, and figure out your own visual mathematics.
PHOTOGRAPHY ENTREPRENEURSHIP BOOKS
Take control of your own photographic destiny:
New Photography Entrepreneurship Articles
- Photography SEO and Blogging: How to Become Number One on Google
- Photography Content Marketing 101
- Intrinsic vs Extrinsic Motivation
- Why You Must Become Your Own Publisher
- Now is the Best Time to Be a Photographer
- What Is The Value of a Picture?
- Your Photographic Labor is Not Free
PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOPS 101
- Chapter 1. How to Make a Photography Blog
- Chapter 2. How to Price Yourself
- Chapter 3. How to Find Your Market
- Chapter 4. Why Teach Workshops?
- Chapter 5. How to Build Trust
- Chapter 6. How to Market Yourself
- Chapter 7: Why Should Someone Attend Your Workshop?
KEYS TO SUCCESS
- Why You Must Be a “Personality” in Order to Succeed
- THRIVE OR DIE.
- Impatience is a Virtue
- Create Your Own Category
- HOW TO DREAM BIG.
- Will Not or Cannot?
- Why Not?
- How to Think BIG
- How to Stay Ahead of the Curve
- How to Invest in Yourself
- The Two Camera Rule
- MEANINGFUL DIFFERENTIATION
- Advice For College Students
- How to Thrive in Uncertain Times
- CANNIBALIZE YOURSELF.
- DO AND GROW RICH
- Does Fear of Punishment Hold You Back?
- HOW TO GET MORE FOLLOWERS
- How to Innovate
- How to Build Your Own Empire
- YOU ARE ENTITLED TO HARD WORK.
- PICK YOURSELF.
- OWN YOUR PLATFORM
- 10 KEYS TO SUCCESS
Table of Contents
Learn how to make a living from your passion:
- Preface. BRAVE NEW WORLD OF PHOTOGRAPHY
- Chapter 1. How to Create Value
- Chapter 2. ZEN CAPITALISM
- Chapter 3. Scarcity
- Chapter 4. How to Brand Yourself
- Chapter 5. How to Build a True Following
- Chapter 6. The Blueprint to Success in Photography
- Chapter 7. HOW TO BE BOLD
- Chapter 8. How to Sell Out
- Chapter 9. GO AGAINST THE GRAIN
- Chapter 10. EXTREME ABUNDANCE
- Chapter 11. Photography Experience Economy
- Chapter 12. Why You Should Make Money for Your Photography
- Chapter 13. How to Become a Famous Photographer
Photography Business 101
How to Make Money with Photography
- How to Charge More Money in Your Photography
- Why You Should Not Pursue Photography as Career
- Can Photography Make You Rich?
- How I Earn $200,000+ a Year From Photography
- How to earn $10,000 a month as a photographer
- Why you must be an expensive photographer
Photography Marketing 101
- Why Have More Followers?
- Why You Should Do Photography Work For Free
- How I Became an Internet Famous Photographer
- Photography Blogging Ideas
- Why You Should Promote Your Own Name
- How to Build a Following
- How to Stand Out as a Photographer.
- HOW TO GO VIRAL AS A PHOTOGRAPHER.
- How to Master Marketing
- How to Sell Yourself
How to Hustle.
- Entrepreneurial Advice to My 18 Year Old Self
- How to Become Insanely Productive.
- 5 Lessons From Hesiod on Hustling
- It is Better to Beg For Forgiveness Than Ask For Permission
- The Free Way to Become Rich
- JUST DO IT.
- 7 Steps: How to Make a Living From Your Passion
- How to Do What You Love for a Living
- How to Create an MVP (Minimum Viable Product)
- How to Fail Big
- How to Invest in Yourself
- How to Be Bold in Photography and Life
- Mission: Cover Your Rent and Food
- 1,000 True Fans
- The “10x Principle”: The Only Difference Between “Success” and “Failure”
- Make More Value Not Money
- We Live in a Photo Utopia
How to be a Full-time Photographer
- How to Make a Living From Photography
- The 3 Principles of Making Money With Photography
- Advice for Aspiring Full-Time Photographers
- Don’t Go Into Debt For Your Photography
- How to Brand Yourself as a Photographer
- Trust: The Most Important Thing You Need to Succeed as a Photographer
- How to become rich from photography blogging
- How to Make a Living with Blogging
- 50 Blogging Tips For Beginners
- How to Start Your Own Photography Blog
- A Photographer’s Guide to SEO, Blogging, and Social Media
How to Teach Photography
- How to Become a Photography Teacher
- How to Teach a Street Photography Class
- Why I Teach Street Photography Workshops
- Why I Deleted My Instagram
- The Social Media Blackbook for Photographers
- Why Do You Need More Likes or Followers?
- Instagram is Going to Be the Next Facebook
- Don’t Trust “Free” Photography Social Networks
How to Save Money
Unleash your creative potential:
- November 28-29th, 2020: ERIC KIM MARKETING MASTER CLASS - NOW LIVE!
Be notified of when new workshops are live here.
Master photography >
THE OG STRAP >
JUST SHOOT IT!
Master street photography >
Own a piece of street photography history > For you >
- Henri Shoulder Strap $ 169 – $ 179
- 30 DAYS TO JUMPSTART YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY Mobile Edition $ 10
- I SHOOT STREET PHOTOGRAPHY Artwear $ 29
Ultimate Beginner's Guide to Mastering Street Photography Book
- PHOTO JOURNAL Print Edition + Free Mobile Edition $ 19
- STREET NOTES $ 19
Henri Wrist Strap Pro
- LAUGHING LADY: Collector's Edition Artist Proof Print $ 499
- STREET HUNT: Street Photography Field Assignments Manual Mobile Edition $ 10
- STREET HUNT: Street Photography Field Assignments Manual Print Edition $ 19
- MASTERS Book: A Distilled Street Photography Primer $ 50
The Digital Nomad [FLASH SALE]
- Embark On Your Own Photography Adventure Flowchart $ 1
ERIC KIM Wrist Strap Mark II
- MEMENTO MORI Artwear $ 39
- SUITS by Eric Kim Limited First Edition Hardcover Photobook $ 350
- FREE ERIC KIM Lightroom Presets $ 0
MUSE by KIM
- HOW TO SEE: Visual Guide to Composition, Color, & Editing in Photography $ 10
- TRAVEL NOTES: Mobile Edition $ 12
- SHOOT FILM Artwear $ 29
- VITRUVIAN CAMERA - Women's Artwear $ 39
- FILM NOTES Print Edition $ 19
- THE CITY OF ANGELS by Eric Kim $ 1,290
PHOTOLOSOPHY: Photography Philosophy Course
- Henri Wrist Strap CHROMA LIMITED EDITION $ 49 – $ 79
- ERIC KIM Case $ 99
- VITRUVIAN CAMERA - Men's Artwear $ 39
- Photographer's Hand ARTWEAR $ 39
- DARK SKIES OVER TOKYO by Eric Kim $ 1,290
- My First Photography Book Limited Edition Hardcover + Free Mobile Bonus $ 10 – $ 29
- CINDY PROJECT by Eric Kim $ 495
- Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Photography Entrepreneurship Online Course
- STREET NOTES MOBILE EDITION: PDF & KINDLE $ 19
- Camera Straps $ 49 – $ 169
- The Film Shooter
- New Henri Neck Strap Mark III $ 139 – $ 149
- ZEN OF ERIC: Empower Yourself with Philosophy and Photography
- RICOH MAFIA Artwear $ 29
- MODERN PHOTOGRAPHER: Marketing, Branding, Entrepreneurship Principles For Success $ 19
Street Photography Starter Kit
- ERIC KIM Neck Strap Mark II $ 119
- HAPTIC HOODIE ARTWEAR $ 49
- Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Mastering Photography Online Course
- CREATIVE EVERY DAY $ 29
- TRAVEL NOTES: Photography Assignments & Inspiration Manual $ 20
- MASTERS Volume 1 Mobile Edition $ 15
- CREATIVE EVERY DAY MOBILE EDITION: PDF & KINDLE $ 10
- FREE Photography Visualization PDF Resources $ 0
- FILM NOTES Mobile & Printable Edition $ 19
LIMITED EDITION HAPTIC NOTEBOOK x ERIC KIM
PHOTO JOURNAL: Mobile Edition
Henri Wrist Strap (Crema Brown)