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Dear friend,

A thought:

Perhaps the best end-goal in life is to just focus on your photography.

What I mean by that is this:

Whenever I meet uber-successful, rich or retired people, it seems their end-goal in life (after earning money, accolades, etc) is to just focus on their artistic photographic production.

This means using their money to travel to shoot photos, use their money on photo books and education-workshops, using their money on camera equipment, printing their work, building their website, building up their personal brand and portfolio, etc.

And the more I think about it … there is no joy in life greater than photography. Consider how photography combines all elements towards general wellness. Walking a lot, thinking a lot, practicing a lot, the joy of composition, the joy of traveling and novelty (travel and photography), and the joy of the adrenaline in the streets (street photography).

So as a simple thought — optimize your life for photography.

How to do it

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Simple ideas:

  1. Ironically NOT having a car seems to be the biggest benefit to your photography. Why? As a consequence you will walk more, see more, experience more and photograph more. Typically my street photography friends who live in a downtown city who either do not need a car, or prefer NOT to own a car seems to be the most productive with their photography. The other week my 2003 Subaru Outback (5 speed, 230k miles) that I bought only for $800 for baby Seneca to deliver him from the hospital just died (radiator hose rotted away, spilling coolant, which led the engine to overheat, and a head gasket to be blown). And as a consequence Cindy and I have been walking a ton– and I’ve noticed both my step count (and photo count) go up.
  2. Always think about the end-game: When you build a billion dollar unicorn company and sell it … then what? Instagram co-founders seem to be into ‘buying art’. Other tech entrepreneurs I know (Om Malik and Christopher Michel) like to focus on their photography after their tech entrepreneurship. And even when it comes to tech, startup, or crypto speculators… it seems their endgame is to just focus on their artistic endeavors.
  3. Think of yourself as the photographer-artist, visual artist: Invest in new ways to publish your photos (for example, PDF e-books or e-magazines using Affinity Publisher or Adobe InDesign). Or build your own self-hosted website (bluehost.com and wordpress.org). Build your own services and products, and feel free to sell them or give them away for free (all open source everything).
  4. Travel more: Can be as simple as a 30 minute walk, a 30 minute drive, a weekend trip via AirBnb, or something a bit further. Just try to get your COVID vaccine, and life will be 1000x simpler for travel. Invest your money into AirBnb, flights (Google Flights, Southwest, or Kayak) and experiences to maximize your photographic output.
  5. Share your photos more widely on your own personal blog and website, not on social media.

Make 2021 the greatest year for your photography ever!

And when in doubt, never forget our STREET CLUB motto:

JUST SHOOT IT.

ERIC KIM

CONQUER STREET PHOTOGRAPHY in NYC (Saturday, June 19, 2021)

If you’re hungry to flex and elevate your street photography muscles and skills (and conquer the streets of NYC) check out the details for my upcoming NYC STREET PHOTO MASTERWORKSHOP June 19, Saturday 2021 > (June 12 is the early-bird discount cutoff date).

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  2. STREET by KIM [PDF on Dropbox]
  3. 100 Lessons From the Masters of Street Photography [PDF DL]

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