Do You Like Looking at Your Own Photos?

Dear friend,

A simple idea and question to ask yourself,

“Do you like to look at your own photos?”

1. Make photos you like to look at

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Make photos like you were the only one to ever look at them. This will be good, because it helps you cultivate your own taste; and helps you become the ultimate judge/arbiter of your own work.

When you’re innovating, you can’t guarantee whether others will like it or not. But you can control whether you like your own photos!

2. Would you still make photos if you couldn’t share them on Facebook or Instagram?

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Do you make photos for your followers, or for yourself– or a bit of both?

Just ask yourself,

“Would you still make photos if you couldn’t share them on Facebook or Instagram?”

Or another question:

“If Facebook or Instagram (or other forms of social media didn’t exist), how could you share your photos with others?”

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My suggestion: Start your own photography website/blog and use it as a public visual diary for both yourself and the public/others.

3. The joy of looking at your own photos

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Photography is fun for many reasons. There is fun when you’re in the process of making photos in the streets. There is also fun when you’re looking at your own photos, and there is great joy when you’re “editing” your photos (selecting your photos, and deciding which ones are your favorites).

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To me, the joy of looking at your own photos is awesome. Why? A lot of us seek to entertain ourselves by looking at the artwork of others. We try to entertain ourselves by watching movies, film, tv shows or the artwork/photos of others. But just ask yourself:

“What if you could entertain yourself by only consuming your own artwork?”

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To me, this makes you so much more robust as an artist!

4. Revisit your older work

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Recently I’ve been re-looking at some of my old photos, and they bring a huge smile on my face! It helps me appreciate the progress I’ve made in my photography (from the past until now)! But the fun thing is also looking at my new work, and being grateful that I’ve made a lot of progress, and that I’ve evolved as a photographer/visual-artist.

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5. The joy of categorizing your work

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It is also fun to organize/categorize your work. For example I like to just do simple categories, like categorizing my photos by composition (looking up), color (blue, orange, pink, purple, red), or subject-matter (SUITS, Cindy Project, photos shot in America).


I think there is a joy of categorizing your work, because it is a fun challenge– which also gives you the opportunity to re-appreciate photos you’ve shot in the past.

Enjoy your own work more!

So the takeaway is this:

Don’t just get joy from making photos on the streets, or from getting ‘likes’ from others. Get joy from your photography by just looking at your own work, appreciating your progress in photography, and also by categorizing/editing/sequencing your work!


Photography Philosophy

Cindy with framed hands. Saigon, 2017

Why do you make photos? Reflect in PHOTO JOURNAL: