15 Photography Motivation Tips

It ain’t a matter of being a “good” or “bad” photographer; it’s a matter of having fun in photography!

Some practical tips to help motivate you in your photography:

The joy of composition: shoot monochrome and just look for simple shapes and forms (diagonal lines, curves, sharp lines, etc).

1. Pure shapes and forms

2. Hand gestures

When you’re shooting, photograph hand and body gestures.

3. Reflections

Look for shiny surfaces or reflections. I like to visit Apple stores; there is so much beautiful architecture and a lot of people!

4. There’s no perfect decisive moment

When you see an interesting scene, just work the scene. Note the “myth of the decisive moment”; every moment you shoot can be decisive. There’s not just one “best” moment.

This means when you see a certain scene, work the scene! Experiment with different distances and compositions/framing.

5. Analyze your compositions after the fact for fun

Analyzing your photos afterwards is also part of the photographic process! I like sketching my compositions with Procreate on my iPad for fun, to better understand my photo compositions:

6. Animated GIF

Turn your photos and sketches into animated GIF images (I make them in Procreate). This is fun because you can see how your photos dance!

7. Look down; photograph gritty textures

Look down, and photograph textures.

Why are textures interesting? My theory:

The more grit in a photo, the more “beats” and “rhythm” a photo has.

The white space in-between the black parts of your photos constitute certain “beats”. Looking at your image as a whole, there is a certain music or rhythm in the photo.

8. Three subjects

For multiple subjects in a photo, stick to 3 subjects.

Three subjects can create a triangle composition, which has a nice balance of dynamism and stability.

9. Surreal photos

Shoot insanely close to people, shoot a lot, take risks and identify photos you’ve shot which look surreal (like this photo where I only included the man’s ear):

10. Look for eyes

Photograph scenes where you can identify many eyes.

11. Facial expressions

When you see an intense eye expression or facial expression, shoot it!

12. Bodily gestures

Crossed legs, people sitting on benches, or in any other public spaces.

13. Shoot at the library

Visit a public library, and shoot there!

14. Photograph nature (flowers)

There is much beauty in flowers. Monochrome is great with flowers because it allows you to focus on the shapes and forms.

15. Photograph what’s meaningful to you

I’m Korean-American: I saw a Korean war veteran, which inspired me deeply!

Photograph things, people, or symbols which mean much to you.

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