Eric Kim flex

Becoming a Photographer

VLOG: Becoming a Photographer

becoming a photographer open source video download

What does it mean to be a photographer? Being a photographer means the camera is your way to engage with, interact with, and interpret the world around you.

Why the notion of becoming?

I’m starting to think and believe that progress, and “getting better“ at something is too soft of a concept. Why? It is mostly a post industrial one, in which we are trying to use numbers, and other quantitative measures to rank one another. The ethos behind that is a new religion; the defecation of numbers, or data. For example, the underlying ethos behind Google and a lot of tech companies is if data doesn’t prove it, it is not substantial.

However, to live in life in which you are just relying on data is a cowardly one. Why? I think the reason why people rely on numbers so much is that they lack faith in themselves. Rather than pursuing their own inner artistic ingenuity, like Steve Jobs, people just allay their responsibility and outsource the risk to “control groups“, or “focus groups“. There is no focus group on earth that would have initially approved Steve Jobs‘s vision of the iPhone without having a physical keyboard. Remember just a decade ago when Blackberry phones with the physical keyboard was all the rage? And when the iPhone first came up with a touch keyboard, how much criticism and critique it got? Or when Steve Jobs first made the iPad, how much hate mail he got for not having USB ports?

Detaching yourself from numbers

In today’s world, I believe that one of the best ways to become more courageous, is a “via negativa” (Taleb) one.

For example, acts of subtraction makes one more courageous. Or acts of deletion make one more courageous.

For example, physically deleting, and permanently deleting files on your computer takes great courage. Or permanently deleting email, instead of archiving it and hoarding it forever. How funny is it that we millennials disdain how our parents hoard all of this physical junk in their garage is, yet we hoard all of our data on the cloud.

Therefore, a great act of courage you could do is just delete your Instagram.

Nowadays, I think having an Instagram is almost akin to saying you go to McDonald’s. Everyone has one, thus you should have one. But then again 80% of America is obese, should you? Most people drink Coca-Cola; should you? Most people prefer to drink a Starbucks Frappuccino; should you?

When is it wise to take the harder road?

Another strange bias we have in America is that the more difficult the path, the harder is, the more virtuous it is. However, I believe this to be quite foolish. Maybe then it would be more virtuous for us to use a horse and carriage instead of an automobile car.

As for us photographers, perhaps the most basic thing we could learn actually how to do is how to build and maintain our own website and blog. Our own self hosted domain. Yes, there is some level of technical difficulty which is required of us, yet it is still a quadrillion times easier than learning how to code.

For example, I only know the basics of FTP, website domain hosting stuff, HTML, etc. I know the purest basics to just get done what I need to get done. But beyond that, I have no idea. I have no idea how to hand code my own website; I prefer to just use templates. And no, learning how to self build your own website by hand is not virtuous. I recently had a conversation with an aspiring artist hipster who said he wanted to learn how to build his own website from hand, but in reality, my sense was he was making zero progress on it. That for him, it was kind of more of an aspirational one, rather than a true reality he desired to pursue.

And this is the thing; striving to take the harder path for the sake of the harder path prevents one from actually doing it. This is why artistically and creatively, I believe it very wise to use templates, and the simplest method and technique possible. This is even why in photography, I think knowing the purest basics of photography is all we need. For example, exposure compensation, shooting in JPEG, program mode, that is all we need.

Simple is more productive

“Productivity isn’t the point of life” (often said by unproductive people)

I make a distinction behind true productivity, and superficial productivity.

Superficial productivity is just mindlessly checking your email 1000 times a day. Or checking things off your to do list. True productivity is having the courage to only focus on your most essential tasks, first thing in the morning.

As photographers, our desired end goal is to make new photos. Not to sit on our laurels. In fact, I believe the demise of Henri Cartier Bresson was that he became too successful. That within his own lifetime, he became too much of a legend, in which it suffocated him. He then believed that he couldn’t any longer match his old skills, or his old photographs, and does he retreated and retired into drawing and painting. His former self frightened him, and he lost the energy to go on.

This is not the way. The proper way is to actually see your past self as a weaker and inferior version of yourself, and believing the present and the future of yourself as superior.

Reminiscing on the past is not good

What is romanticism? Believing that the most superior version of things were in the past. Having no or zero faith in the present or the future.

Who are the great innovators and entrepreneurs? Those who disdain the past, and rather glorify the present moment and the future. Therefore, more virtuous to be a futurist than to be a retrospective one.

For example, Kanye West. Also, Elon Musk.

Take the simple path

The simplest path is often the wisest path, and requires the most courage. Also it is the most productive one.

For example, my current simple set up for photography is Ricoh GR 3X, extra small JPEG, high contrast black-and-white, program mode, auto focus. iPad Pro and USB-C to SD card adapter, and just importing photos into Apple photos on my iPad, favorite my favorite photos, and just uploading them to my blog. This is my current eternal creative return.

In just continuing this progress, and recognizing that all progress is flux. To me, progress is not advancement, or getting better at something. It is simply just doing it. To keep doing it.

Motivation in photography

Currently speaking, I am the most motivated photographer I know. Why is this? First of all, I don’t have an Instagram, and I do not upload my photos to social media. I have disabled all comments, stats, likes, and metrics of “external success“. I have already achieved all markers of traditional successes in photography, and it no longer interests me. Also, in my mind I am a billionaire (Billionaire Mindset YouTube Video) // Billionaire Mindset Podcast.

Then, what is the Brave New World of Photography, photography success, and photography motivation?

Photography blogging.


  1. First of all, you own your own digital domain. I believe that blogging your photos is 1000 times more robust than printing them hardbound. Also, 1000 times cheaper and faster. To simply pay your own website domain hosting is by far the greatest investment you can make as a photography entrepreneur.
  2. Second, flux. Websites are all about change. And there are always constantly new technical improvements to websites and blogs. For example, I have used the backend for my website and blog for over the last decade, and it keeps getting better over time. Consider this to Facebook, which gets worse over time.
  3. Third, I trust Google to store my photos forever. For example, one thing I like about (Google AMP, accelerated mobile pages) is knowing that frankly speaking, Google will do a better job of cataloguing all of my images for future prosperity. Google AMP plugin for WordPress is good. I simply put the Google AMP plugin mode to “Reader” mode, so when people Google my website on mobile, they get the Accelerated Google AMP version of it. Google Images is good. And therefore the upside of uploading photos to your own WordPress media library, and blogging them to public is that Google will store your photos probably indefinitely somewhere on their cloud and servers. To give your own personal photos freedom is good.
  4. Fourth, you can infinitely edit, re-edit, shuffle, and re-shuffle your photos. To simply re-edit, re-organize, or republish your photos is also a creative act.
  5. Fifth, zero friction. I know in the past, one of my greatest impediments to my photography progress was thinking too much in Adams. Printed things take forever, digital things take nanoseconds.
  6. Ironically enough, the Internet is still the future. Web 5. In fact, I believe the interest in crypto, is actually an Internet one. Why? If you think about cryptocurrency, and Bitcoin, the whole concept is that your money is on the Internet, and can be proved anywhere on the Internet. Blockchain is essentially a unified digital Internet ledger. So when we talk about “Blockchain“, it is just a new way of talking about the Internet and the “world wide web”. Crypto is simply a more honest internet.

What now?

Action and reaction. This is our ethos. I believe more in action than I believe in progress. Why? Notions of progress are still backed in data, and need to be qualified by some sort of external measure. Action is a physical one. Even observing Seneca grow, he is more interested in action and reaction, than anything else.

So some simple actions you can do in your photography today, now:

  1. Always photograph all of your food, your morning coffee, and always keep your Ricoh GR camera in your front right pocket. ERIC KIM WRIST STRAP.
  2. Whenever possible, always opt to travel. If you have the option of traveling, and not traveling, opt to travel.
  3. Anything that gets you out of the house is good. For example, maybe it is a virtuous thing for you to get out of the house, go out and eat, go to the local restaurant bar or coffee shop, and “waste money“. Why? Perhaps moving forward, we should simply see money as a privilege to leave your house. Why? When you leave your house it requires money. But, money as your turbo charger to explore and interact with embodied reality is good.
  4. Get iPad. Anyone and everyone can afford an iPad now. Even if you’re on a budget, just buy the cheapest one. I still believe that an iPad is the best digital tool, and the best piece of technology you could purchase for your photography. Far more than any camera, lens, or other technology equipment.
  5. Just JPEG IT. JPEG is the future.
  6. Blog it. Blog your photos of today, today. To your own website blog.
  7. For feedback, upload your photos to
  8. WHY? Question yourself and your photo ethos by asking yourself the Why? question at least five times.
  9. Buy Books, Not Gear: When in doubt, just buy a new photo book, instead of that new piece of equipment. Books by KIM // HAPTIC INDUSTRIES.
  10. Write your own thoughts and share them with others. Start your own email newsletter ( and disperse your thoughts with others. Also check out my Photography Entrepreneurship Udemy Online Video Course.

Shoot your future

Our new motto.

We have no idea what the future holds for us. But shoot through your life, and shoot through your photos. Photography flux forever.



Become yourself in photography >


  2. ERIC KIM NECK STRAP: For the reckless
  3. ERIC KIM WRIST STRAP: Conquer the streets


What to read

  1. The Iliad — PDF
  2. Publilius SyrusARCHIVE.ORG // PDF

What I’m into now

  1. Back into the gym. Squats (YouTube 385 pounds). Deadlift — chasing the 5 plates.
  2. Ready to go to Cambodia, phnom penh for the summer. Also South Korea. DISCOVER YOUR SEOUL ERIC KIM WORKSHOP
  3. Thinking a lot about the philosophy of clothes — how to wear the minimum amount of clothes possible. No socks. Vibram 5 finger shoes (no straps). No shirt. Trying to figure out the ideal and perfect shorts (black short shorts). Testing shorts with zippers in the front, but ultimately realized I don’t like zippers on the front pockets, because it adds too much friction when taking things out of my pocket (RICOH GR IIIX or GOPRO)
  4. Having fun vlogging random stuff on my GoPro Hero 10! Not using a case or any attachment accessories with it, and just keeping it in my front left pocket always. 1000x more fun than shooting videos on iPhone. Highly recommend everyone to get GoPro.

Share the wealth

If this gave you any interesting new turbo thoughts, feel free to forward to a friend!