I just turned 30 years old — here are some personal life lessons I’ve learned so far:
In celebration of Eric’s big 30th birthday, I (Cindy) made a list of 30 top things I’ve learned from Eric Kim—the generous educator, experimental photographer, and open and honest friend.
STREET HUNT is your personal guide to push yourself outside of your comfort zone, and to embark on new, exciting, and fun street photography adventures!
“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” – Leonardo da Vinci
One of the greatest joys of being alive is having the opportunity to talk, engage, and interact with other humans.
Adventure awaits! CHOOSE YOUR OWN PHOTOGRAPHY ADVENTURE is your unique opportunity to find inspiration through helpful photography assignments catered to you.
What is social media, why use social media, and what are practical strategies we can implement?
Download your free and exclusive PDF guide: “How to Monetize Your Photography” by ANNETTE KIM.
What is fear in street photography, and how can we conquer and overcome it?
What holds us down and holds us back in life? Often our fear of failure that is self imposed by ourselves.
What is entrepreneurship? To me, it is taking risks for the sake of the collective of humanity, and discovering knowledge, wisdom, and utility for our fellow human beings.
As I write these lines from my laptop, while standing (with laptop on top of a microwave in the Airbnb kitchen of our apartment in Lisbon), we are preparing our last day with our moms.
First sent out to ERIC KIM NEWSLETTER
My mom, Cindy’s mom, Cindy and I had a phenomenal time here in Lisbon — enjoying the absolutely delicious spicy frango chicken, and also the epic home-cooking that our moms have been doing for us.
Every day, our moms (while Cindy and I are usually still in bed), go to the local Lisbon farmers market, buys fresh groceries, fresh meats (most chicken/pork being around 1-2 euros for a kilogram (2 pounds)), and also go on little expeditions with one another.
Cindy and I have been working on some really cool video projects while in Marseille, and while here in Lisbon, we have been spending time interviewing our moms (Cindy did a video project titled: “The Undeniable Force of Kho Khan“), and I’ve been philosophizing a lot on why Street Photography is Empowerment.
Also Cindy and I worked together (for countless hours, and with endless espressos) perfecting our new book: “Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Mastering Street Photography” — thank all of you who picked up a copy. It has been a fun challenge distilling all of my knowledge in street photography, and writing a personal, honest, and practical/philosophical guide to street photography.
Traveling with (both) our moms
Some people ask — “How is it like traveling with both your moms?” To answer shortly: awesome. Having double-mom power is the biggest blessing — Cindy and I love our time talking with them, learning more about our childhood, and also about their personal goals/ambitions in life.
For example, I have been teaching my mom how to start her own photography blog in Korean– both on her Chromebook and on her phone. Cindy has been empowering her mom to take photos, create slideshows using the free ‘Quik’ app in the Google Play store, and also how to crop/create her own profile pictures.
10 Life Epiphanies
Also some life epiphanies I’ve had:
- I prefer home-cooked food, rather than going out to fancy restaurants
- Walking is very important for my mental health — I’ve been spending more time to just go on walks with my camera (RICOH GR II x ERIC KIM NECK STRAP).
- There is never an ‘optimal’ time to publish or do anything. The secret is to just make the best out of everyday — and those little acts will snowball massively over time.
- In photography, I love shooting high-contrast JPEG color (positive film preset on RICOH GR II), program mode, shooting while walking, and just shooting snapshots. Enjoying the joy of everyday photography.
- The best photographer is the cheerful photographer.
- Better to post your own photos to your own photography blog, than post it on social media.
- Photography and art is about self-expression.
- Street photography is surrealism.
- Key to a happy life: Living a DYNAMIC (not static) life.
- Monetizing your passion for photography won’t cause you to lose your passion.
Next Stops: London, NYC, Los Angeles, Kyoto, Tokyo
Tonight we are leaving to the airport at 3am, and then heading to (hopefully warm) London.
We are crashing with our friends Simon & Lisa, and I’m teaching a London Conquer Your Fears in Street Photography Workshop this weekend.
I am also super excited that my sister ANNETTE is joining us for a new London HAPTIC Internship, where we are all going to work on some super exciting art projects for you!
Also upcoming is my 30th birthday — on Jan 31st. I hope to use this opportunity to reflect on my life, my values, and my future direction as well.
Then what is next?
- In NYC I am doing a Conquer Your Fears Workshop Feb 21-22nd, then also a NYC Dynamic Street Photography Composition Workshop (Feb 24-25th). If you’re interested in a returning-student discount or a special bundled discount, contact my workshops manager at
- March 31 I am teaching a Downtown LA / Conquer Your Fears in Street Photography and will hopefully spend some good quality time with Cindy’s family in the OC.
- May, I am teaching a KYOTO-UJI / Zen Creative Photography Experience (May 2-5), and also a TOKYO / Travel Street Photography Experience (May 9-13th).
Then for the rest of the year? Not quite sure. but life is all about the ride.
As always, thank you so much for supporting my journey with Cindy, and for your never-ending encouragement and support. None of this would be possible without you.
Stay updated with ERIC KIM NEWSLETTER
Cindy here: This is the last week and assignment for the free STREET CLUB WINTER SCHOOL in the Eric Kim Forum! Participate in the photo assignments and provide constructive feedback on other’s photos.
On January 31 (Eric’s birthday!) he will do a video review of all the photos submitted in Street Club and pick two winners for the grand prizes 1) Best photo and 2) Best Critique. From now until January 30, submit your photos and critiques to any of the week’s assignments.
This special feature post was written by Berlin street photographer Oliver Krumes. Check out his work here.
Negative core beliefs hold us back from many things in life – such as finally quitting an unsatisfactory job to pursue working, for example, as a photographer or leaving an unhealthy relationship to seek the love of your life. I have come to realize that negative core beliefs have even affected my biggest passion: photography.
If you want to use photography as a tool of empowerment for yourself, this book is for you.
Why is street photography so great? To me, it is all about self-empowerment.
Here are my top 30 street photography tips to get you shooting on the streets:
In Photography Entrepreneurship 101, we have covered how to make money from photography– but we haven’t quite covered should you try to make a full-time living from your photographic passion?
One of the best joys in photography is having the opportunity to express yourself.
Why is it so hard for us to stay inspired in photography? This is something that has challenged me for a long time — and I think I’ve discovered some of the solutions and secrets for myself. I hope some of my experiences can also help empower you.
In this post we will cover practical tips and guidelines on how to shoot better portrait photos. You will learn how to interact and guide your subject, and reveal their soul with you lens.
One of the reasons why I love street photography: it is the ultimate form of self-therapy– for my mind, my well-being, my mental health, and my overall optimism and positivity towards life.
To advertise my new book: “Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Mastering Street Photography“, here is a list of practical and philosophical tips on street photography, which I hope can empower you to take your street photography to the next level:
I am very excited to share my new book with you: Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Street Photography — your new personal primer to mastering the fundamentals of street photography, conquering your fears, and taking your street photography to the next level.
Photography is not possible without composition– don’t miss out on these 5 essential photography composition tips:
If you want to find more joy, happiness, and fulfillment in your photography and life — I recommend ‘Everyday Photography’:
Can a photographer shoot video as well? Here are some practical lessons I learned while shooting video and the cinematography for “The Undeniable Force of Khó Khăn” by Cindy Nguyen.
If you’ve ever wanted to learn practical monetization strategies in photography– this is advice I would have given myself:
This is a special feature post by Aaron Feser, a photographer and videographer based in Calgary, Canada. You can see more of his work here.
Shooting photographs with video has a difficulty level that falls somewhere between stills and video. It’s a hybrid tool that’s only practical for special situations. But if you like a challenge it represents a unique creative experience that might change the way you think about street photography.
I think a 35mm ‘full frame-equivalent’ lens is ideal for 90% of street photographers. Why a 35mm lens, and how do you shoot with it in street photography? Some practical ideas:
Currently in Lisbon, one of my new favorite cities in the world for food, colors, travel, light, photography, and living.
If you’re busy with a day-job, and when you leave the office and it turns dark — try out night photography.
The happiest photographer is the photographer who is cheerful — who is optimistic, looking forward to the future, excited to make new photos, and still has that child-like sense of wonder and curiosity.
You got your own style in photography; whether you know it or not.
I remember when I was 18 years old; I had no interest in making money from my photography, and I didn’t really have any ideas on making a living from my photography.
If you’re having a hard time finding inspiration in your photography and life, I recommend trying out shooting macro photography — or just photographing the details of stuff, very close.