RED ERIC KIM by CINDY NGUYEN
RED ERIC KIM by CINDY NGUYEN

To succeed as a modern photographer, you must learn how to HUSTLE.


SUCCEED.

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Marketing, Branding, Entrepreneurship Principles For Success

MODERN PHOTOGRAPHER is your new philosophical and practical primer to succeed as a modern photographer in today’s digital world.


I’m a hustler, baby.

ERICKIM by CINDYNGUYEN

Growing up, money was always tight. My mom hustled to pay the rent, holding three part-time jobs doing menial work. But no matter how hard she worked, it was like pouring milk through a sieve— my dad would just gamble away the money.

What taught me to hustle in life was:

Ain’t nothing in life is certain or guaranteed. In order to succeed, you must hustle hard, and take fate in your own hands.

Therefore, I got no handouts from my mom — because she literally had no money to give me. She wanted to — but that’s what breaks my heart the most… she literally couldn’t.

When I was 15, my friend Eric Moon taught me how to build computers. I started my own side-time business to build computers to sell on the side. I made about $1,000 in profits, and bought my first car (1991 Nissan Sentra XE). It was probably the happiest days of my life — I was a self-made man. Much more pride than a rich kid at school whose parents bought him a BMW.

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Therefore if you want to succeed in photography, realize that your success depends all on you, and only you.

Never blame fate or anyone else.

Also another tip: realize that the difficulties in your life are actually advantages!

For example, growing up poor was good for me. Why? I learned how to be scrappy and to hustle. I didn’t waste money. I worked hard. And that’s really the only ethic I think you need to succeed as an entrepreneur — to be a hard worker, and to be a hustler.

Hustle like you’re broke

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I don’t think you can force yourself to be a hustler and be a hard worker. I think a lot of it is rooted from how you were raised and how you grew up as a child.

But one line I like from Kendrick Lamar, who has tattooed on his arm:

Hustle like you’re broke.

I know for myself, the more money I’ve started to make, I started to get lazier. I lost my drive and hustle.

Now, I’m doubling down on my hustle — thinking of myself like a broke high school kid. To think of how I can use my own resourcefulness and cleverness to make money and find control in my life, rather than becoming fat and flabby from having too much money.

Live like a broke college kid

I remember when I was a broke college kid. I would pretend not to be hungry when going out with my friends, because I couldn’t afford the $9 for dinner. That fucking sucked.

But, still — it was good for me. I learned how to be economical. Not to piss away my money.

Even now, Cindy and I make over $200,000 a year from photography, but I’m still shooting with a $600 RICOH GR II camera. Even when we eat out, we eat at cheap Indian restaurants, and share 2 dishes. We live BELOW our means, and find more joy living a simple and economical life.

Hustle to live a more meaningful life

Red ERIC KIM by CINDY NGUYEN
Red ERIC KIM by CINDY NGUYEN

For me ultimately — I’m happiest when I’m hustling. When I have a sense of purpose in life. When I have that inner-fire and drive, to make stuff. To make art. To explore, to share, and create.

Too much money makes you lazy. Living too fancy makes you flabby and disinterested, and bored.

So friend, why do you gotta hustle as a photographer? Because it makes life more fun, exciting, challenging, interesting, and meaningful.

HUSTLE HARD,
ERIC

Learn HUSTLE 101 from THE MODERN PHOTOGRAPHER.

Photography Entrepreneurship 101

ERIC KIM x HENRI NECK STRAP  by HAPTIC INDUSTRIES // Portrait by Benjamin Thompson

MODERN PHOTOGRAPHER: Marketing, Branding, Entrepreneurship Principles For Success

MODERN PHOTOGRAPHER is your new philosophical and practical primer to succeed as a modern photographer in today’s digital world.


Why Become a Photography Entrepeneur?

Take control of your own photographic destiny:

  1. Photography Startup Manual
  2. PHOTOGRAPHY ENTREPRENEURSHIP MANUAL

THE MODERN PHOTOGRAPHER

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Photography Entrepreneurship Articles

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PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOPS 101

CAMERA MONEY GBP by ANNETTE KIM


KEYS TO SUCCESS

Table of Contents

Learn how to make a living from your passion:


Photography Business 101

How to Make Money with Photography

CAMERA MONEY USD by ANNETTE KIM
CAMERA MONEY USD by ANNETTE KIM

Photography Marketing 101


SELLOUT ERIC KIM

How to Hustle.

Entrepreneurial Principles

How to be a Full-time Photographer

Photography Blogging

How to Teach Photography

Social Media

How to Save Money

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