How to Re-Ignite Your Passion in Photography

Dear friend,

I think a lot of us are hungering after passion in our photography and life.

I think I’m a quite passionate person. Let me share my secrets:

I. Why be passionate?

Okay, sometimes to live is an act of courage.

Life can be fucking hard. A fucking grind. I remember when I was in college, the thought of getting a job where I worked 40 hours a week, 5 days a week, at a job I hated— seemed like living hell.

A lot of us are fighting the good fight. Many of us have jobs we hate, just to make a living — to support our family.

To me, a life without passion is a life not worth living.

I need a reason to wake up. I need passion, something worth dying for.

For me, I’m willing to die for my writing, my ideas, thoughts, and willing to sacrifice myself for the collective.

Everything I write is autobiography. It is only my truth. And I think you need passion in life, to find your personal truth in life. Then finding inner Zen, then dedicating your life empower others.

II. Photograph like a child

Children are the best photographers. They don’t censor themselves. They photograph whatever they find interesting, unique, or fun.

To be more passionate, just look at children. Don’t make photos for Instagram, or likes. Make photos to play, to explore, and to express your inner-creative spirit.

Don’t photograph like an expert, or even a ‘photographer.’ There are no rules in photography; only guidelines.

Create your own rules in your photography. And ignore the advice of everyone else (especially ERIC KIM).

III. Challenge yourself

If you kept making the same photos, you would be very bored.

Imagine, if you lived for 1,000 years eating the same meal. You would hate your life.

We need variety and challenge in life– to make life interesting, fun, and exciting.

So if you’ve lost your passion for photography, maybe you gotta switch it up.


Buy FILM NOTES, and try out shooting film. Or if you shoot color, try out MONOCHROME. Or if you already shoot 35mm film, try medium-format film. If you shoot with a DSLR, try only shooting with your iPhone or smartphone.

Switch it up, try something new.

IV. Don’t seek to impress others; only yourself.

Now, I don’t care what others think of my photos. I only care about what I think of my own photos.

I will still ask friends and Cindy for feedback, but I ultimately follow my own gut and intuition for photography.

So the rule is, look at your own photos and ask:

Do I like my own photos?

If the answer is ‘yes’ — you are passionate about your photography.

Homework assignment: Uninstall Instagram, Facebook, Tumblr, Flickr, Snapchat from your phone for a month. See if you can make photos just to please yourself.


Here are assignments to inspire you from STREET NOTES:

  1. Only shoot 1 square block from your home: Find inspiration in the boring and mundane.
  2. The 10 No Challenge: Keep asking strangers to make a street portrait of them, until you get 10 people to say ‘no.’
  3. 1,000 Photo Challenge: In one day, shoot 1,000 photos — and choose your 1 favorite photo.


Inspiration from PHOTO JOURNAL:

  1. In your Photo Journal, write *why* you make photos — and ask yourself ‘Why’ 3 times.
  2. If you were to die tonight, what would you photography, and *not* photograph?
  3. Write what you *already* love about your camera– to avoid becoming a victim of ‘GAS’ (gear acquisition syndrome)


YOLO — you only live once.

So why not photograph like you were going to die tonight? Live life with no breaks on the Lamborghini Centenario — shooting at 500 MPH on the German Autobahn.


Be strong,



Garden Grove, 2016 cindy project eric kim pink shadow

Re-inspire yourself to shoot:


If you’ve hit “photographer’s block” or need some motivation, read these articles below:

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