It seems that success as a photographer in today’s brave new world of photography is 90% dependent on marketing skill, and only 10% photographic skill. It seems this is the truth.

Now, how are you to succeed and stand-out? Here are some practical ideas I’ve learned through my decade+ experience in photography, marketing, philosophy, and life:


Many photographers will say this isn’t “fair”. But reality does not care for fairness.

The truth is, the only way to get discovered as a photographer in today’s over-saturated world is to master marketing (on the internet).

Become #1 on Google

A simple first solution is this:

Become #1 on Google for whatever your photographic niche.

They call this ‘SEO’ (search engine optimization). The basic notion is this:

Keep writing and blogging a lot on a certain topic, and over time the more people who link to your website or share your website (trust-building), you will raise to become #1 on Google for whatever you desire.

This is the strategy I did to become #1 on Google for ‘street photography’. It took me about 5-6 years, and blogging at least 3 times a week. In all, it took me 2,000+ blog posts specifically on street photography to become #1.

Associate yourself with a color

This is a very pragmatic tip:

‘Brand’ yourself by using a certain color for all of your marketing and branding.

Associate yourself with a certain color palette. For me, this is this ‘crimson red’ I discovered in Kanye West’s “My beautiful dark fantasy”.

I liked the color so much, I decided to use it for all of my personal marketing and branding materials.

Color is such a primal thing. What you want to do is this:

Link yourself with a certain color, and make sure your viewers or followers instantly connect you with a certain color. So whenever they see that color– they think of you!

Stay ahead of the curve

How does one stay ahead of the curve?

Well my thought is this:

Simply follow your gut.

This is hard to quantify, nay — nearly impossible.

What this means is this:

You have a certain creative intuition inside your body and soul. Simply follow yourself, whether you are ‘right’ or ‘wrong’.

And not only that, but realize that you have a unique artistic/aesthetic/philosophical taste. It isn’t to please others; it is to create in accordance with your own personal taste.

Create a culture

I first started this notion of #streettogs, then now onto the #ricohmafia.

“Hey wussup STREETTOGS?”

For #streettogs, the initial notion was this:

There was no street photography specific hashtag on Twitter in 2010-2011, and thus I borrowed the #togs concept for @photojack, and just added the word ‘street’ to it (thus, #streettogs).

Therefore whenever I tweeted anything street photography, or made a YouTube video, I always mentioned the ‘streettogs’ notion. Soon it caught on, became a popular hashtag on Twitter, Instagram, and so forth. And now I think it has even entered the vernacular when street photographers want to just refer to other street photographers as ‘fellow streettogs‘.


After playing with all the cameras out there, I deemed the RICOH GRII to be the best digital camera — and making impressive images with it. Even creating an Eric Kim Preset to apply to the RAW Ricoh photos. My passion for the RICOH was because I genuinely believed it to empower photographers. Affordable, small, always with you, with phenomenal image quality and aesthetics. What else would you need?

Conclusion: It is all Courage

Ultimately I think marketing comes down to courage.

How confident are you of yourself, your services, your skill, your products, and your vision?

If you put yourself on a high plane (high self-esteem and high self-ego), simply share. Start your own website/blog, your own YouTube channel, and put yourself out there.

Self-promote yourself, don’t get suckered by this romantic notion of getting ‘discovered’.

And when in doubt, just share it!


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