Don’t desire to photograph foreign places; strive to photograph your own local city and neighborhood! Some tips and ideas for you:
1. Just shoot with your phone
I am a huge fan of shooting with a phone, and processing photos with VSCO (a6 is my favorite for color).
The bias against shooting with a phone is that it isn’t “legitimate”. This is false. All cameras are good (and legitimate) cameras.
If you find yourself shooting more with a phone, just shoot with your phone!
2. Just go for a walk around your neighborhood
Better to make interesting photos in your “boring” neighborhood than than to make average photos in an extraordinary or exotic place.
When I’m feeling cooped up at the house, I like to just walk around the block with a phone and just snap whatever random stuff I find along the way. This is a good visual exercise to keep my eyes sharp.
3. Document your own city
I am currently in Little Saigon with Cindy’s family, and I realized– there are so many interesting Vietnamese-American things to photograph here!
Why is it that we have no pride in our own home city or neighborhood? Why is it that we always desire to be somewhere else? What if we desired instead, to be exactly where we are right now?
Document certain themes, concepts, or ideas you find interesting in your own city. For example,
- Cultural customs
- Ethnic communities
- Foreign vs local
- Urban landscape
4. Photograph indoors
Don’t just feel like you must shoot in the streets. Also enjoy shooting indoors!
Shoot inside coffee shops, and anywhere you are!
5. Practice your composition and colors
It don’t matter how boring your city is. You can always practice your composition, framing, and colors.
Represent your own city!
- Have massive pride in your own city. As an experiment, don’t allow yourself to shoot outside of your own city for a month. Seek to make the best possible photos in your own city!
- Imagine if the devil came to you, and told you that you were cursed and could never travel outside of your own city until you die. Would you still be able to live a happy life as a photographer?
- Don’t overthink photography. Just shoot it!
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