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Photography is Your Art-Work

Dear friend,

Take your photography seriously — it is your art-work, the expression of your soul, and what gives you the spirit to live!

To me, the best use of our human metabolism is to create art. Artwork which gives us the vigor to live, and artwork that can inspire and uplift others.

Why art-work?

When I was typing the word “artwork”, I had the realization that the phrase, broken down is:

art+work

To create art, we must work. We must put forth effort, attention, focus, and concentration. It ain’t easy to make art, but it certainly is fun and rewarding!


In today’s modern society, work is praised (for the sake of it). Whenever we are “working”, we are seen to be using our time in a legitimate, and “un-sinful” way (if you think of the American ‘protestant work ethic’). In American society, to NOT be working is to be sinning.

However, I want to re-imagine the word “work” in a more positive and creative way.

Let us consider the question:

Why is art-work not seen as legitimate as “work-work”?

The problem is that our art-work doesn’t often have an economic payoff– meaning, in modern society the only ‘legitimate’ work is seen as work which can earn us money. If your work doesn’t make you money, it ain’t seen as legitimate. This is the curse of utilitarianism (the modern philosophy that everything we do in our lives must have some sort of practical ‘utility’).

But this is the problem:

Not all art has practical ‘utility’ — nor SHOULD all artwork have utility!


Art for art’s sake

We should and must make art for the sake of art– which means,

You don’t need to make artwork in order to make money, gain fame, or gain power-influence.

This is the problem: as an artist, if you aren’t making money, your friends, family, and partners will say you are “wasting your time” — because once again in modern society, the only legitimate use of your time is to make money.

However what I suggest is this:

Turn a deaf ear to those telling you that you’re wasting your time.

As Nassim Taleb says, “What fools call a waste of time is often the best use of time.”


Take your art-work seriously

Your photography is your art-work. Your photography is how you make art.

You make your art-work-photos by taking the photos, selecting the photos, and post-processing your photos. Treat every step of the way in photography as an enjoyable process! The more you can enjoy every step of the photographic process, the happier you will be as a photographer-artist!

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Also consider: to enjoy photography more; make photos that bring joy and delight to your heart! For example,

  1. Photograph things and people which are personally-meaningful to you: For example, I love to photograph Cindy, my loved ones, family, friends, and others that I have an emotional connection with.
  2. Post-process your photos to make them look delightful to others; even though others may hate it: I made some new presets in Lightroom (ERIC KIM CHROMA v38 – 2018) and have been applying them to the JPEG photos on my Lumix G9, and I love the juicy look.
  3. Prioritize your art-work over your “work-work”: Your artwork is more important than your day-job. So take your art-work seriously. I think most people work their day-jobs in order to make income, hoping that one day this money will give them freedom. But once you have freedom, what do you really desire? You desire to make art! So the final end is to create art. Thus recognize even if you have a full-time day job, you can still make art!

Have pride in yourself, your art-work, and your photos.

Never stop making photos!
ERIC

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