The Beauty of Being a Beginner Photographer

Tokyo, 2016
Tokyo, 2016

When we are beginner photographers— we want to go “pro”.

But what if the secret to creativity, happiness, and “success” was to stay a beginner?

Beginners often have the right idea

Honestly, when I was a beginner— I had the most fun in photography. I wasn’t limited by pre-existing beliefs, concepts of composition, or what made a “good” photograph. I simply had fun, went out, and lived my life (with my camera by my side).

When I started photography as a beginner, I first lived life, and photography came second.

The more “experienced” I became in photography, I started to focus on my photography first (and living a happy life, second).

This fucked me up.

What is more important?

I forgot what it means to live a happy life. I started to value my self-worth depending on how much others liked my photos. When I got a lot of likes on social media, I would be ecstatic. When I didn’t get as many likes as I thought I “should” get — I felt dismayed.

The beauty of being a beginner

Tokyo, 2016
Tokyo, 2016

Beginners don’t care about becoming famous. They just like having fun, and making photos they like. They like to share their photos with a few people— mostly their friends and close family.

Then once ambition takes over— they want to get a million followers, camera sponsorships, and have their work exhibited around the world.

Beginners for life

Portrait by Luis Donoso
Portrait by Luis Donoso

I say let us try to stay beginners, as long as we can live. If we stay beginners, we stay humble. We are more eager to learn. We become less trapped in our own thinking. We are more creative, and we have more fun. We don’t take ourselves or our work too seriously.

Keep it basic, stay a beginner.


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