Cindy wearing a red scarf with red lipstick against grey and white wall in Berlin germany

How to Master Photography

The notion of being a “master” comes from the Proto Indo European “meghs” which means “big, great” (same word as magnus, and “mega” in Latin).

So how does one become “mgh” (mega, great, magnum?) Simple— here are my thoughts:

Beyond small

  • Berlin, 2019 #cindyproject
  • Cindy cloth
  • Cindy lying side me in bed; phone; berlin
  • Cindy wearing a red scarf with red lipstick against grey and white wall in Berlin germany

To become big, great and mega … it is simple:

Just go opposite. Don’t strive for small and petty. Strive for big and great.

Kill your masters

  • henri cartier bresson composition studies ERIC KIM 1
  • Henri Cartier-Bresson
  • Henri Cartier-Bresson Composition Simplified GIF

We love our masters in photography but we must go *beyond* them— to metaphorically kill them. As Buddhism says:

If you meet Buddha on the road, you must kill him.

The poetic interpretation is:

Never see the ultimate truth in one man, person, organization, collective, or concept.

No. Insane faith and self confidence in you.

Explore it all.

  • Anave. Westerly, 2020 ANAVE Side hair cut black and white minimalist composition

It is all of photography. Master it all. All genres, all modes of creative expression; all is all!


“When one teaches, two learn”. This means:

As you teach, you better understand the underlying philosophy or logic behind photography and the visual arts. To have to explain gives you the opportunity to discover what you really think and believe in.

Never stop curating

  • Cindy minimalist Hanoi
  • Cindy minimalist Hanoi Composition
  • minimalist hands ERIC KIM cindy face
  • cuba ERIC KIM best
  • cuba Cindy best photo
  • ERIC KIM contax iiia film john-golden-small 2010

Dynamic portfolio. This means as time goes on, you keep adding to your portfolio, and keep *removing* and subtracting from your portfolio. It is dynamic, not static. Digital portfolios are the future.


Your best photos are always in a state of flux.

Keep learning: How to Make a Digital Portfolio


Dear friend,

If you’re new to photography, start here:

  1. The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Mastering Photography
  2. Free Photography Bootcamp
  3. 100 Photography Tips for Beginners

Photography is Everything!

Photography Tips

Photography Articles

Mad men. NYC, 2017. Pentax 645Z

Photography Techniques

Everyday Photography

RICOH GR II selfie in mirror, double eye surreal. Prague, 2017
RICOH GR II selfie in mirror, double eye surreal. Prague, 2017

Color Photography 101

Photography Philosophy

Photography Inspiration

The Fundamentals of Photography

Photography Equipment »

How to Take Better Photos »

Composition Lessons »

Photography Assignments »

Contact Sheets »

Editing (Image Selection) »

eric kim laughing lady nyc

Creativity »

eric kim Cindy project reflection flash

Motivation »

eric kim portrait by Cindy nguyen


dark skies over Tokyo eric kim

How to Create a Body of Work

AMERICA - ERIC KIM16 eric kim woman popsicle

Technical Photography Settings

eric kim mom glasses

Learn From the Masters of Photography


“He without a past has no future.”

Start here:

  1. Why Study the Masters of Photography?
  2. Great Female Master Photographers
  3. Cheat Sheet of the Masters of Photography
  4. 100 Lessons From the Masters of Street Photography
  5. Beginner’s Guide to the Masters of Street Photography
  6. Download All Articles >

The Masters of Photography

Prague, 1968. Josef Koudelka / Magnum Photos
Prague, 1968. Josef Koudelka / Magnum Photos

Classics never die:

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