A thought: The productive photographer (the photographer who shoots and publishes a lot) is the happiest photographer!
What is a productive photographer?
When I say ‘productive’, I don’t mean to say answering a bunch of emails, or doing “busy-work”. When I say ‘productive’ photographer, I mean the photographer that PRODUCES a lot. The photographer that bears much fruit. The photographer that shoots a lot, makes a lot of photos, and publishes a lot.
This is my rationale:
- I am happiest when I am shooting photos. The more I shoot, the happier I am. And the more I walk, the more I shoot, and the more I shoot, the more I walk (thus, I can kill two birds with one stone).
- When I publish my photos, I feel a huge sense of relief. It is like the photos no longer burdens my mind. I feel empty and free once I have published my photographs to the digital ether (online).
- Once I publish my photos and reformat my SD card, then I feel open, free, light, and excited to start shooting again! And this encourages me to go out for more photography adventures, to walk more, and to continue to shoot more.
True happiness in photography: Never stop shooting (until you die!)
I am convinced: the happiest photographer/artist is the one who can find inspiration/motivation for his/her entire life.
For example, I was studying the work of Matisse, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Van Gogh, Paul Cezanne, and Claude Monet and was quite surprised that these artists made hundreds and thousands of paintings in their lifetimes. Sure, we remember the famous ‘masterpieces’ — but I think these artists found the most joy in the creative/experimentation aspect of their art.
To take Monet for example, take a look at how he re-painted several of the same scenes, over and over again, experimenting with his technique, his colors, and compositions — very subtly, until he was satisfied with the result:
Enjoy the process
As photographer-artists, how can we be happier/more productive?
First of all, we must enjoy the process of photography and picture-making. We must enjoy the process of walking, the process of hunting for a good scene, the process of getting disappointed on occasion, the process of going home (with excitement to look at our photos), the process of importing our photos and selecting our favorite photos, the process of post-processing our photos, and the process of sharing/publishing our photos online. If we do not enjoy the process of photography, what gives us the incentive to keep on going?
For example, if you want to exercise more, you must enjoy the physical movement/exercise you do. If you want to write more, you must write more of what you enjoy. If you want to read more, read more books you actually enjoy. If you want to be more social, spend more time with people whose company you actually enjoy.
Don’t “force” yourself to shoot more or be more productive as a photographer or human being. Rather, ride the wave of enjoyment in photography, in order to be more productive/prolific as a photographer.
80% Good Enough Principle
I am a ‘satisficer’ in life (I seek for an 80% ‘good enough’ solution in life, and move on– rather than being a perfectionist). This has helped me grow quicker, evolve quicker, and learn more/become more empowered at a much faster pace, than if I were a perfectionist that publish/share anything. I do believe it is good to work really hard at your artwork to the best of your ability– but you shouldn’t let perfectionism cause you to become paralyzed (what happens to a lot of us photographer-artists). For example, there are some photographers who are such perfectionists in their craft that they never end up sharing/publishing any photos.
I say this:
Share photos which you think are 80% “good enough” in your own eyes.
The more you publish/share your photos, the more confidence you will build in yourself. And the more you publish, the less creative constipation you will feel.
“Will this photograph help inspire/empower/motivate one other human being?”
A good way to overcome perfectionism is this:
Ask yourself, “Will this photograph, picture, or artwork inspire/motivate/inspire at least one other human being on planet earth?”
If the answer is “yes” — then it is worth sharing/publishing.
To me, I believe the purpose of life is for us to empower other humans, to empower humanity (present day humans, and the future of humanity). We must be “selfish” and self-focused/self-centered in ourselves in order to be productive for the greater good (the eventual final goal we have is to help empower others).
Realize: there are so many humans out there who lack inspiration/motivation/creative power in life. If your photos, ideas, videos, blog posts, essays, books, or information can help empower others– it is your duty to share it with others!
Inspire yourself to shoot more!
If you need motivation/inspiration or a creative stimulus to create more photos, here are some articles which I hope can inspire you:
- 7 Tips How to Shoot More Photos
- 10 Practical Life Hacks to Have More Energy, Motivation, and Inspiration
- Keep Desiring to Create More, Not Obtain More
- The More Productive I Am, the Happier I Am
NEVER STOP SHOOTING,
Just shoot it:
- Make Today Count!
- How to Break Through Photographer’s Block
- The Joyful Photographer
- The Dancing Photographer
- The Kaizen Process of Gradual Self-Improvement in Photography
- It is Your Duty to Make Beautiful Pictures!
- Making Pictures IS Happiness!
- NO EXCUSES.
- The Pomodoro Photography Technique
- The ABC of Photography
- Just Shoot It.
- How to Change the World With Photography
- How to Find Inspiration in Photography and Life
- How to Overcome Resistance
- Create Against the Past
- How I Motivate Myself to Make Photos
- Wear Your Camera Like a Necklace or Bracelet
- Have Your Photos Come to You
- How to Level Up in Your Photography
- How Not to Give a Fuck of What Others Think of You
- How to Overcome Procrastination in Your Photography
- How to Reinspire Your Photography
- What is Your Mission in Photography and Life?
- How to Overcome Photographer’s Block
- Be a Photographer Now
- How to Overcome Boredom with Photography
- Never Stop Growing as a Photographer
- Why Do You Need “Inspiration” to Shoot?
- Just Shoot.
- 5 Things to Do If You’ve Lost Your Passion for Photography
- How to Have Unshakeable Confidence in Yourself
- Don’t Give Up On Your Dream
- Don’t Waste Your Potential
- Unlock Your Potential
- Empower Others With Your Photography
- Why You Shouldn’t Follow Your Passion in Photography
Take your street photography to the next level:
- August 27 (Friday): SEATTLE MASTER STREET PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP - [NOW LIVE!]
- September 11 (Saturday): DOWNTOWN LA ADVANCED STREET PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP - [NEW!]
Be notified of when new workshops are live here.