Never Stop Growing as a Photographer

Hanoi, 2016
Hanoi, 2016

One of the first things I learned as a blogger is to write “evergreen content” — blog posts that will be relevant forever.

Avoiding what is trendy

I used to write a lot of camera reviews, because it is what got a lot of traffic and page views. But the problem is that writing gear reviews isn’t “evergreen.” Once the camera becomes outdated, the blog post will become outdated.

Rather, I have been focusing on trying to write blog posts that will be as relevant today, and hopefully a thousand years from now. Because no matter how advanced our cameras, equipment, or gear is — we will always face creative self-doubt, dips in motivation and inspiration, and ‘photographer’s block.’

Seek to stay green

I get the biggest inspiration from nature.

The tree that inspires me the most is the redwood tree. It is one of the biggest, most beautiful, and sublime trees out there.

The redwood tree grows slowly, over time. And day by day, year by year, decade after decade, century after century — it steadily grows. And one day, it reaches great heights, and can block out the sun.

I think that with social media, we get too focused on the short-term gains. What we should be seeking is to be like the redwood tree— long-term, sustained growth.

That means to grow slowly, over time — and to never die.

It means that we won’t become great photographers overnight. So let us not think about days, months, or even years in our photography. Let us think about our photography in terms of decades.

Let us seek steady and slow growth, and never rush ourselves.

Then one day we can become as great as a redwood.

Tips to keep growing as a photographer

Some practical tips to keep growing in your photography (slowly):

  1. Learn from the masters: The masters of photography have timeless wisdom, that has existed over the decades. Seeking their wisdom will have less noise than looking at what is contemporary and trendy.
  2. Seek inspiration everywhere: Gain inspiration from music, sculpture, architecture, literature, and theater. Don’t limit your creative inspiration just from the narrow confines of photography.
  3. Avoid becoming an expert: If you become an expert, your mind becomes closed-off. Rather, seek the mind of a child or a beginner— forever curious, and forever playful.


Learn more: Motivation >