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.
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