Love Who You Photograph and Photograph Who You Love

Dear friend,

I wanted to write you a letter on love and photography:

Shoot with your heart

amsterdam-2015-ricohgr-doll-girl-eric kim street photograpy - black and white - Monochrome-14

First of all, one of the best ways to be a photographer is to shoot with an open heart. To let your heart guide you in terms of what to photograph (and what not to photograph).

Don’t get distracted by what isn’t important

A lot of photographers shoot with their mind. They shoot thinking too much. They think about the composition, the light, and their technical settings.

However, when we focus too much on these aspects of photography, we forget to consider — why we make photos, for whom we are shooting for, and whether or not the photos are personal or not.

1. Love who you photograph

eric kim street photography hanoi-0004960
Hanoi, 2017

First of all, do you love who you photograph?

That means, when you see a stranger on the streets and you want to approach and photograph them — is it out of love and compassion?

Or if you want to photograph something else, is it because you love it? Do you photograph trees, your dog, or your urban environment because you love it?

2. Photograph who you love

I also think that we forget that the point of photography isn’t to be a good photographer— but to live a life full of joy, happiness, and love.

Very often we forget to photograph who we love. We forget to photograph our partners, we forget to photograph our kids, our parents, or close friends— until it is too late. For a long time in my photography, I focused on photographing strangers (instead of my close, loved ones). I now try to photograph my loved ones as if it were their last day on earth.

How to integrate love into your photography

eric kim laughing lady nyc 2015

Never forget to make love your guiding principle in your photography.

  1. Photograph subject-matter that you love, and are passionate about.
  2. Photograph people that you love in your life.
  3. Make sure you love the photos that you shoot, and only share the photos that you love.


Learn more: Personal Photography >