I believe the path to the greatest happiness as a photographer is becoming more productive as a photographer. This means, literally just producing more photos.
Investing in production
For example, the secret to true wealth is through production. To produce things, ideas, concepts, etc.
I think the problem in today’s world is that we strive to create wealth through “investments” and other insubstantial sources of capital swapping. For example, let’s say you speculate in some sort of asset, and the price goes up and you sell it. Have you created any new wealth? Not really.
I believe that true wealth, true capital is created through production. For example, producing new knowledge and information, like I have done with all of my books, e-books, presets, my infamous start here page, learn from the masters, etc. Truth be told, simply through my blog and my series of blog posts, I think I’ve created more valuable information on photography education than all of the photo books out there published combined, times 10.
The education mafia?
A secret expose; Pearson, the UK-based printing house and publisher, I think they blacklisted my 100 lessons from the masters of photography through a fraud millennium take down request. There is nothing in my 100 lessons from the masters of photography book which is “copyrighted”. My theory:
Apparently Pearson also publishes photography education books. Therefore, I think they thought my ebook as a threat, and put down some phony take down request to Google, in order to blacklisted, in order to peddle more of their mediocre photo education books.
Becoming a missionary?
One of the very interesting thoughts from Peter Thiel in his zero to one book what is the difference between a mercenary and a missionary. A mercenary simply does something for money, a missionary does something because he or she believes in its true mission.
I have an unorthodox theory on “success“:
Missionaries who so insanely believe in their mission end up becoming insanely successful because they care so much about the mission.
This means, true missionaries start with a deep intrinsic mission, and strive towards it with all of their strength and might. Money success and fame simply comes after the fact.
For example, Elon Musk didn’t set out to initially to become the worlds richest and most tycoon of a man. Rather, he simply had a vested interest in colonizing space and Mars, and everything else was a byproduct of that.
So what is my mission?
For myself, my personal mission is to propagate the joy photography to all. Also, to seek practical solutions to help us seek more joy satisfaction and thriving in photography.
For example, personal annoyances and other things drive my photography. My never ending quest to seek to make more beautiful photos, practical and philosophical theories on photography as well as pragmatic thoughts on travel, living, life, fitness, etc.
In fact, most of my epiphanies, takeaways, and thoughts simply are derived from a personal quest and hunger for seeking greater answers.
A self driven mission
I think the ultimate autotelic approach, a self driven mission or purpose or end goal is predicated on the notion of pursuing your own mission for your own ends and your own personal goals. What I love about this is that with an autotelic approach in life you will never run out of inspiration and motivation because you are doing it for the sake of itself, rather than some sort of externally defined notion of success.
In fact, I believe that more people would thrive if they gave themselves permission to simply do things for the sake of itself, rather than needing some sort of explanation. Also, more photographers would thrive if they didn’t have an Instagram, deleted their Instagram, or didn’t share photos to Facebook or social media.
Why? The negative part of social media is that it attaches a numerical value to yourself and your photos. This is patently bad, because the value of your photos shouldn’t be weighed on a biased algorithm or based on fake likes from big pots, or superficial likes from people who are just seeking to kill time.
I have a big theory; If you want to strive to maximize your productivity as a photographer, I think it is metabolic and also part health related.
Supple strength in your legs, bulging muscles, straight back, 100% carnivore diet. Also intermittent fasting during the day!
Beef, lamb, innards. On fast days eat pork — pork isn’t red meat, it is “pink” meat.
2000 photos a day?
A thought; ironically enough, I don’t think we shoot enough. We got digital, why not shoot 2000, 5000, 10,000 photos a day?
Why does this all matter?
This matters because photography is our life-blood, and photography gives us deep joy. For me, photography itself makes life worth living!
For example, photography affords us new hopes to travel, see more of the world, to adventure, conquer, and push ourselves beyond. No other form of thing affords us the opportunity to both be physical, to adventure, to travel, and do something creatively productive.
If you saw it, and traveled and didn’t photograph it, certainly you can still have a great time. But to be able to experience new and great things and photograph is truly phenomenal!
Where shall you go next?
Travel with EK:
- Downtown LA MASTER STREET PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP 2023
- SOUTH KOREA WORKSHOP Summer 2024
Did a one day street photo talk in Saigon, some topics we covered:
TECHNIQUE & APPROACH
HOW TO SEE
WHY I LOVE PHOTOGRAPHY
WHY I LOVE VIETNAM
USE YOUR KIDS!
MALL STREET PHOTOGRAPHY
STREET PHOTOGRAPHY AS AN ETHOS AND APPROACH
THE SUCCESS TRAP
HOW TO BECOME A ‘BETTER’ STREET PHOTOGRAPHER
YOU NEVER KNOW!
Gonna do another talk in Hanoi in a week (new information) — stay posted.
CONQUER THE STREETS
Conquer with HAPTIC:
- ERIC KIM NECK STRAP (MARK II): For the brave and reckless
- HENRI NECK STRAP MARK IV: For the insanely bold
- EK WRIST STRAP MARK II: For the practical
Other things on my mind
- Perhaps MacBook Pro laptop is best — better than iPad Pro. Why? Sooner or later you will hit the 2TB limit, which makes iPad a dud.
- America is still the best place to be in terms of entrepreneurship
- Privacy for the sake of focus
- Upload your best photos to arsbeta.com —
- Have a chat with WHY APP? to discover deeper meaning in your life
Share the turbo
- To become more productive, maximize your exposure to natural light!
- Productivity is in your legs! Every day is leg day. ATLAS LIFT.
- Street photo is the way
Master it all: