To be a better photographer, we must see, notice, and appreciate the world around us more!

My first photography book

To pre-order our upcoming new children’s book on photography (My first photography book) email Cindy at

First of all, recognize you’re not just a photographer. You’re also a visual artist! That means, you’re an artist who uses your camera as your image-picture creating tool. You can just as easily use a paintbrush, a pen, a pencil, water colors, crayons, or anything else!

Now that we’ve established you’re a visual artist; rejoice! A whole new world is open to you! You are permitted to photograph anything and everything! Don’t worry about making photos that will get a lot of likes on Facebook and Instagram (it’s all controlled by algorithms anyways), just make photos of anything that puts a smile on your face!

To see means to see from the eyes of a child. Imagine, you’re born. You open your eyes as a baby, and see the bright lights of the world. You’re sensitive to light, sound, touch, temperature, etc.

You start exploring the world; I noticed this when my niece Amelia was only 1 year old. She touched everything with so much curiosity, and she inspired me so much! She pointed at everything and said: “Wow….!” She pointed at trees, I encouraged her to touch different textures like wood and steel, and she was always amazed and impressed!

So to see as an artist, visual artist, is to see the world from the eyes of a child. Like you saw the world for the first time! This is why we love to travel, all the sights are so novel and new! Traveling to India for the first time is like being born again for the first time, everything is colorful, foreign, and interesting!

Amelia running around her room, with a flash. Orange County, 2018
Amelia running around her room, with a flash. Orange County, 2018

A practical tip: crouch down and see the world from a lower perspective. This will stimulate your creative vision. Or use your tilting LCD screen and put your camera on the ground, or use your phone and shoot from the ground.

Another idea: touch whatever you photograph before you shoot it. Photograph various textures, colors, and color combinations which interest and excite you!

Also, treat photography like visual play! Have fun with it. Treat photography like your own personal jungle gym.


Travel to places that are foreign to you, to refresh your eyes. Then go back home with newfound appreciation for your own home!


When shooting textures, use a macro lens or anything that allows you to focus close to fill the frame. I like the RICOH GR II in macro mode. Experiment shooting some textures with and without a flash.

I also recommend shooting closeups on your phone, or using a micro 43rd camera to focus closely (I really like the Panasonic Lumix G9 and 12mm lens).

Study sculpture

Study sculptures, statues, to find inspiration on how you can render three dimensional objects in photos!

See the world from the eyes of a child

To pre-order our upcoming new children’s book on photography (My first photography book) email Cindy at

HOW TO SEE: Visual Guide to Composition, Color, & Editing in Photography: Your personal guide to seeing more, appreciating more, and shooting more photos!


red selfie ERIC KIM eye flash

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