NYC mad men, suit, cigarette, Pentax 645z

Master Photography for Yourself

NYC mad men, suit, cigarette, Pentax 645z

Master your own style, aesthetics, and vision in photography.

Master photography according to yourself, to your own vision; disregarding what others may think of your photos.

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What does “mastering” your photography even mean?

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To me, mastering your own photography means to NOT be the slave of the opinions of others; meaning, you make photos to please yourself, and you don’t really care what others think of your photos.

Three kids Chicago eric kim black and white street photography

If you’ve mastered your photography, then you can look at your own photos with admiration or approval, and judge your own photographs.

You can look at your own photos and say,

This photo is good or bad, because of “x, y or z”.

To me, this is the best feeling, because you can be a more independent photographer, who can find joy in your own photography, without being dependent on others.

Learn from the masters (then kill them)

Jazz hands eric kim street photography

I also do believe that in order to master photography for ourselves, we need to learn from the masters of the past. Why? By studying the work of the master photographers that came before us, we can learn what makes a good photograph, what makes a good photography project, and how to have your own unique aesthetic style and vision.

Black and white dark skies over Tokyo eric kim street photography

But once you’ve learned from the masters of the past, and have learned the history of photography, it is important for you to kill your masters, to shun them, turn away, and start to follow your own gut, your own intuition, and to pave your own path.

You must essentially, become your own master.

Ignore others

Downtown la flash

On your own road to becoming your own master in photography, you must creatively isolate yourself. Spend a period of time NOT uploading your photos to social media, Instagram, or Facebook. This will help you get in a creative zen zone, when you start to let your own inner voice speak, and finally to have enough peace and quiet to actually hear your inner-voice talking to you.

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For example, the best thing I’ve done to follow my own voice and direction in photography/visual art is to delete my Instagram, and discover more innovative ways to share/publish my photos (more publishing to this blog, making slideshows of my photos, and making my own beats).

Why do you make photos?

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Also to master photography for yourself isn’t just mastering your camera, your equipment, your post processing, but also mastering the philosophy/psychology behind photography. It means that you must know why you make photos, and for whom you make photos for.

There is no right or wrong answer here — you just need to know the answer for yourself.

You’re making the right path for yourself!

Dance Chicago low angle wide lens

Become your own master in photography by standing on your own two feet, and building confidence in yourself, building confidence in your own photos, and knowing that you’re on the right self-paved path!


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