Yesterday I told you about an article by Eric Kim and I wanted to write you something about it. So here we are. The article is “What if you took a photo of every movement of your life” and I found it very inspiring. Every photographer once (at least!) said “I don’t have enough time to take photos”. Eric thinks that is bullshit, because we think that we can only take photos if we travel to exotic places, if we have a super interesting lifestyle or if we have the best cameras and lenses: “All of this is just bullshit that the camera companies and advertising companies try to feed you, to breed discontent with your simple and humble life. They make you think that your life isn’t exciting enough, and you cannot make any good photos without traveling and spending thousands of dollars, or if you don’t have the newest greatest digital camera”.
So Eric began thinking: what if he started to document every moment of his “boring” life? He began to take “less seriously” his photography and it was liberating: “Now I don’t take photos and worry (as much) about how much likes I will get on Instagram or social media. I really try to take photos of anything that I find interesting, kind of like how I did it when I started off as a beginner”.
Eric realized this thing about cameras: “The bigger your camera, the less likely you are to take it with everywhere with you, and the fewer photos you end up shooting. Who gives a shit about “image quality” anymore? I mean— 99% of people look at photos on a 5-inch smartphone screen. And 99% of us photographers aren’t ever going to print our photos. Why do we need 40+ megapixels? Apparently even newspaper photographers are just shooting JPEG and submitting photos that are resized to 1500px wide”. So Eric actually says that we don’t “need” any digital camera with more than 8 megapixels and I think that he’s right, and then he really says that, no matter how boring our life is, there is always something to photograph: “Photograph a selfie of you brushing your teeth in the bathroom, take a photo of your feet when you’re standing on a weight scale, take a photo of your partner eating breakfast, take a photo of the magnets on your fridge, take a photo of your desk, take photos while you are commuting to work (on the bus or subway), photos out of the window while you’re driving (if you’re stuck in traffic, and please do this safely), of your colleagues at work, and try to sneak in some “street photography” during your lunch break and after work”.
Like Eric writes, it isn’t that we don’t have enough “time” to shoot (we have a shitload of time everyday), the problem is that we don’t feel “inspired” to shoot. Or we feel that our life isn’t “interesting” enough to document. He thinks that the secret to being a great photographer is to treat our photography very seriously and document our everyday life as faithfully as possible (and this line is the reason why yesterday I took pictures of firemen working outside my window). An Eric’s friend asked: “Why is it that we take photos of strangers with $1,000’s worth of camera equipment, but we photograph photos of our loved ones with an iPhone?”. For Eric the point is this: use your expensive camera equipment to photograph your loved ones and your everyday life: “So friend, look in the mirror. You are the best subject to photograph. Look at your friends and loved ones. Unfortunately they are all going to die one day (some of them before you)— so photograph them with as much heart, soul, love, and empathy as you can. So friend, what are you waiting for? Photograph your daily life like you won’t wake up tomorrow morning. Love life, love the moment, and love your lifestyle. Be the author of your life, and make sure it is a damn good story”.
Thanks to Eric Kim for this beautiful and inspiring article.