POLITE. Osaka, 2018

To me, true joy in photography isn’t finding inspiration when you’re traveling or in exotic places. Rather, it is about finding joy all around you — finding inspiration to shoot in your everyday life, regardless of how ordinary or mundane your everyday life may be.

1. Shoot colors

Blue cardboard. Osaka, 2018

You don’t need to shoot exotic subject matter. Just find interesting colors to shoot.

Look for simple color combinations, hues which attract your eyes, or any vibrant colors which you want to shoot.

Blue Nike shoe

Look for colorful things, like colorful objects, colorful shoes, colorful signs. Manmade colors, or colors in nature.

Green and red veggies, against a red background.

Red and green (Gucci colors) are a nice color combination.

Shoot colors at night:

Orange and green at night.

Look for colorful things when shooting urban landscapes:

Blue and red colors. Osaka. 2018
Blue and yellow urban landscape. Osaka, 2018
Red, yellow, blue signage. Osaka, 2018

Or look for colorful gritty textures:

Red and yellow texture. Osaka, 2018

2. Leading lines

Leading lines. Man at platform.

A good photography composition to stay inspired: look for leading lines.

Dutch angle and leading lines to Cindy. Blue, red, yellow colors.

3. Shoot your feet

My shoes Nike Freerun Flyknit RN, and red and yellow colors. And two O’s

When shooting, look down. Shoot your feet, or stuff on the ground.

4. Photograph while walking

Red wall, Cindy walking. Kyoto Uji, 2018

Photograph while walking. Don’t always stop before shooting. Shoot while walking.

Blur. Blue, orange, purple lights. Uji, 2018

Shoot your loved one as they’re walking. Try to simplify the background. Blur is okay too.

5. Photograph water

Fill the frame with water.

Blue and orange color combination. Uji, 2018

6. Shoot the ceiling

Green and red ceiling.

Look up.

Lights ceiling. NYC, 2018

7. Shoot out of focus lights

A trick I do with my RICOH GR II: put the camera to macro mode, focus on my hand, then shoot interesting lights, and purposefully make the lights out of focus (bokeh).

I like the mood this creates, and the feeling of mystery.

Out of focus bokeh lights. Osaka, 2018

8. Shoot all the food you eat

Ramen. Osaka, 2018

When I shoot my food, I appreciate it more. And when I review my photos and see my food photos, I can relive the experience of eating the food, the deliciousness, and sense of gratitude.

Salmon sashimi
More ramen
Cindy eating ramen in Osaka
Chicken meatballs and egg yolk
Kawa karage (deep fried chicken skin) with ponzu sauce. Probably our fsvorite dish. Uji

9. Photograph strangers

POLITE. Osaka, 2018

Of course— street photography, make photos of strangers candidly or with permission.

10. Shoot your selfie

Shadow selfie while walking and blur at night. NYC, 2018

Honor thy selfie by shooting more selfies of yourself.

Shadow selfie. Orange County, 2018

Shoot selfies of your shadow, while you’re walking, reflections of yourself, in the bathroom, in the mirror —whenever, wherever.

When you see dramatic light, shoot -1 or -2 exposure compensation to get dramatic selfies.

Shadow selfie and shadows. Uji, 2018
-1 exposure compensation selfie on RICOH GR II


Ryokan. Uji / Kyoto, 2018 #cindyproject

Above all, shoot because you love life. Shoot because you love YOUR LIFE.

Whenever you make a photograph, you are affirming life. You are saying,

I’m so grateful to be alive, and I’m going to show my appreciation for life by photographing it.

Remember the point of photography isn’t to become the world’s best photographer, but to live a happier life.

For myself, the more I shoot mundane and ordinary photos of my everyday life, the happier, more joyful, and grateful I am.

It doesn’t even have to be photography. Make videos on your GoPro or phone, and just document the fun and mundane parts of your everyday life.

Cindy in Yukata. Uji, 2018

Shoot everyday like it were your last, and shoot everyday like it were the first day you were alive. Shoot like a child, without any preconceived notions of what makes a “good” or “bad” photo. Just have fun.

For more inspiration and assignments to make more photos of your everyday life, buy STREET HUNT and HOW TO SEE, to never run out of visual inspiration.

Also don’t miss out on the limited edition HAPTIC PRESS BUNDLE: a reminder to shoot more and worry less about gear #BUYBOOKSNOTGEAR



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