If you want to be a better photographer, be a happier person!
In simple words:
First seek to be happier in your life (via studying philosophy and taking more real-life risks), and secondly — just going out more to take pictures!
Thank you Cus
Cus was the trainer for Mike Tyson (when he was young), and said:
There is nothing more deadly than a happy fighter.
This gave me a simple idea:
To be a better photographer, be a happier person!
Photograph what makes you smile
To be happier in life, photograph more of what puts a smile on your face!
Don’t try to become this ‘tormented artist’. No. Make photos that are joyful, and gives your soul levity!
This is my rationale:
If you shoot more things which puts a smile on your face, you will be happier! This is because you will notice/appreciate the small joys of your life, and also this will increase your ‘serotonin’ levels in your body, thus that will motivate you to continue to shoot more photos!
Perhaps this should also be a philosophy for doing social work:
Doing social work must put a smile on your face, or you will lose to the motivation to keep doing it!
Make pictures that you like looking at
Do you like looking at your own pictures?
For myself, I keep a lot of my photos stored in my ‘media library’ in my blog, and thus, when I am “adding media” to my blog posts, looking at a lot of my photos puts a huge smile on my face! I actually find a lot of joy looking at my own pictures, even if nobody else ever would see them.
Photograph your loved ones
I think photography is memento mori; the idea that those loved ones you photograph will eventually die. And of course you will die too.
A lot of people think that ruminating on death is macabre and bad. In my opinion, thinking (daily) about death is good. This helps you stay focused on what is truly important to you– rather than pursuing empty things which won’t actually give you true fulfillment.
For example, I love photographing my umma. Why? She sacrificed everything for me (the true way of showing love). And if it weren’t for her, I wouldn’t have become the strong person I am today. Thus, whenever I photograph her, I meditate on her mortality.
And looking at these pictures of my mom, it puts a smile on my face :)
I also see Cindy as my queen; someone who is my hype-person, and someone who empowers me. She believed in my potential, and helped me realize my potential– and she keeps pushing me to think bigger!
She got me into doing poetry because I saw her writing her own poetry [Mis-reading.com]. But also, who knows– perhaps she might die before I do. I might die before she does. Nobody knows. But I want to create photos that shows my love for her; and to use these pictures to inspire others to also (remember) to appreciate and show admiration for their loved ones!
No need to torment yourself in photography. Shoot whatever puts a smile on your face; even though the photos might look “darker”.
A lot of my photos look depressing; yet I find them beautiful.
Don’t be afraid of suffering
There is some joy in suffering. Seek a life that doesn’t just diminish suffering.
Photograph your life and your own world with no filter. Pain and suffering is what gives life flavor!
Look forward to today!
What is the best picture you’ve shot? The picture you haven’t shot yet!
Treat today as your opportunity to make new photos; to make new photos you haven’t seen yet– or perhaps the world hasn’t seen!
NEVER STOP SHOOTING,