Stop focusing on the perfect photo, and you’ll be more likely to shoot it


posted Tuesday, November 3, 2015 at 9:00 AM EDT


As photographers, we all strive to improve our work and capture the best images we can. But can we try so hard that we lose sight of what makes photography such an enjoyable endeavor? An insightful post by photographer Eric Kim on his blog (warning, NSFW language) offers sage advice on how to ensure that you don't try so hard to be a great photographer that you lose the enjoyment you should feel when capturing images.

As Eric says, "For a long time I wanted to be a 'good' photographer. More so, I wanted to be a famous photographer…But I realized, the point isn't to be a good photographer; the point is to enjoy your life." (Eric's emphasis). When you focus on enjoying each and every day, you naturally capture better images, but life is really about investing yourself into good experiences and sharing them with others. 

LA 2012. Credit: Eric Kim

"If you're not enjoying the photography process, you're doing something wrong," writes Eric. He hits the nail right on the head. Going out for the sole purpose of getting good images can often lead to disappointment, whereas going out without any expectations can lead to the best results. He advises that we live in the now and that we concern ourselves with having the best possible experiences rather than creating the best work.

For Eric and his own photography, one of his goals is to become slightly better each and every day. His tempered expectations help him both to be happy and to create the best work that he can. There will always be someone better than you, he writes, so just find a way to be satisfied. In addition to trying to become slightly better each day, he also tries to be slightly less disappointed with his work. I think that this second goal is important, and a valuable life lesson extending far beyond your photography.

Downtown LA 2015. Credit: Eric Kim

Readers, how do you create your best work? Let us know in the comments below! For more of Eric's excellent work, see here