Play the long game.
Let’s do a thought experiment:
What if I knew with 100% certainty that you would live to be 120 years old in excellent health. How could you live your photographic life in which you never run out of inspiration until you’re 120 years old?
Some simple ideas:
1. Never stop traveling:
Some of my best pictures happened to me while traveling (Seoul for my umbrella lady photo, Marseille for my sleeping beach man, nyc for my laughing lady photo).
2. Evolve with technology: Don’t shoot with one camera and lens until you die.
It’s good to switch up your equipment once your style and approach in photography evolves. There is no such thing as a perfect camera or lens. I encourage you to experiment with different cameras, systems, and formats. But once you’ve found a system that works about 90% “good enough” for you, just stick with it for several years, and try to master it, and make great photos.
3. Photograph anything and everything:
I’m genre-agnostic in photography. To me, it is all photography. Don’t worry about genres or definitions. Just shoot anything and everything. This will keep you inspired. Shoot landscapes, portraits, street photographs, cappuccinos, whatever.
4. Focus on longevity, and don’t forget to have fun!
If you plan on shooting for many more decades, don’t make it painful or torture for you. Have fun! Shoot like a child! No rules. Make up your own rules, and have fun in your photography. When your photography is no longer fun for you, you’re doing something wrong and need to switch it up somehow.
Have fun, and never stop shooting!