face mask Mexico City

How to Conquer Confidence in Street Photography

Dear friends,

A thought:

Perhaps the greatest benefit of street photography is helping us build supreme confidence in ourselves.

And if I think about it, even my workshops are mostly about conquering your fears, and to build confidence in your photography (approaching strangers, photographing strangers with or without permission, and just confidence in general).

So how does one conquer confidence? Some thoughts:


1. Say hello to everyone

A funny thought while at a coffee shop today:

You have all these folks who try to look cool, seem cool, and pretend like they’re not looking at anyone else (but they are).

And typically what do you do? You both pseudo-make eye contact with one another, and check out one another, and size up one another … but you pretend like you’re not.

But why not instead–

Next time, you make eye contact with them, nod your head and say wussup, or say hello.

And funny enough a lot of these guys pretend like I didn’t acknowledge their existence, and just kind of move on.

And the thought is:

Better to have the confidence and courage to acknowledge someone else, say hello, or compliment them (and get ignored) than to pretend to be aloof.

The goal then isn’t to be aloof, or pretending like you don’t want to be seen. But in fact, acknowledging the existence of others and saying hello!

2. On ‘coolness’

It seems a lot of folks want to be cool, seem cool, or be perceived as cool. But … why? Towards what ends?

And what does it mean to be ‘cool’ anyways?

I think what people want is actually to feel superior, to feel the supreme in terms of social hierarchy and eliteness.

Why do we wear certain brands, or care? Because it signals your social class (in some ways) or how rich you are.

For example, if you wear Balenciaga sneakers ($700 USD) you are signaling:

I am so rich I can afford these sneakers, and I am also rich enough that I can afford to WEAR these 700 dollar sneakers.

It is almost like walking around with people being able to see your net worth, or your bank account balance (but on your feet).

But — does one need to own expensive things to feel superior? I say no.

3. Why does everyone want to wear their Leica M cameras around their neck, when at a photo exhibition or show?

Another funny thing I have noticed when going to fancy photography events:

All these photographers wearing these very expensive Leica M cameras around their neck, with expensive lenses and accessories (straps, etc), or limited edition bodies and lenses.

And funny enough, the ‘real’ photographers don’t even have their cameras on their neck or around them.

So this is my theory:

The folks who show up to a photography show and put their camera around their neck are low-key insecure that others may not know they are photographers. And they want to be seen as important, thus they signal their wealth and ‘importantness’ by displaying how expensive their camera is around their neck.

Kind of similar to how guys wear expensive watches (AP, Rolex, Panerai, Richard Mille, etc) in order to say:

Hey guys! I am rich and powerful and influential!

But ironically enough, the real rich guys in the room (let’s say Elon Musk or Kanye West) don’t even wear or own watches!

Kind of how the really rich folks don’t wear brand-name logos on their clothes (yet can be wearing an all-black outfit, with a $1000 cardigan without anyone knowing it). Or how a lot of the really really rich people will drive a Honda Odyssey Minivan, or even a Lexus to be more low-key.

4. Practice making eye contact and saying hello

The biggest tip is practice making eye contact, complimenting people on their clothes and fashion, and just saying hello. Or you can just make eye contact and do the ‘head nod’.

5. You are supreme

It doesn’t matter your clothes or outside appearance. Know it is that your mind, your character, your interests, your passions, and your soul is what makes you so great.

In fact, practice going to fancy elite and luxury places, and just act ‘normal’. Smile, say hello. The more friendly and gregarious you are, the better.

ERIC


HAPTIC INDUSTRIES

Become a more confident HAPTIC photographer:

  1. STREET PHOTO STARTER KIT: Master street photography
  2. MUSE: The supreme strap
  3. ERIC KIM NECK STRAP MARK II: The only neck strap for RICOH GR III
  4. Henri Shoulder Strap: For the heavyweights
  5. HENRI NECK STRAP MARK IV: Classics never die
  6. Henri Wrist Strap CREMA BROWN: THE OG

Order more than 250 USD in the HAPTIC SHOP during the holidays and get free ERIC KIM WALLET (while supplies last).

HAPTIC accepts Apple Pay, Crypto (Bitcoin, Eth, etc), credit card, debit card.

HAPTIC PHOTO SUPPLY COMPANY >

HAPTIC AMAZON >


Limited time free products in HAPTIC SHOP

  1. Travel Notes Mobile // print
  2. Photo Journal Mobile / Print
  3. Film Notes Mobile // Print
  4. Masters Volume 1 Digital / Print
  5. Street Notes Mobile / Print

Discover all HAPTIC PRODUCTS >


What is on my mind

Thinking a lot about product stuff, and social stuff:

  1. Why is showing off seen as a bad thing?
  2. The Aesthetics of Materials
  3. Extreme Durability
  4. Why do we like buying stuff or why do we like the anticipation of buying stuff?
  5. Why certain cities are more conducive to thinking
  6. MEXICO CITY V1 x V2

MORE >


START HERE

  1. Books
  2. Philosophy
  3. Photo book reviews

Get real feedback on your photos at arsbeta.com >


ARS

  1. Top photos
  2. Top users: Josep, Raymond, Brian
  3. Top portfolio: Michl

Arsbeta.com >


If this sparked any inspiration or motivation in you, feel free to tell a friend about the ERIC KIM BLOG >

Scroll to Top