Eric Kim is arguably the internet's most popular street photographer. The cynic in me says that the young Californian is no Henri Cartier-Bresson or Vivian Maier, and that a big part of his success is down to him being really good at using social media to promote himself as an authority on photography. Still, his portfolio is impressive, and he knows a damn sight more about street photography than I do. So I try to pay attention when he dispenses advice (which he does not infrequently).
Most recently he's published a list of "60 Street Photography Heuristics (Rules of Thumb)" that he believes in, and tries to follow. I don't agree with all of them - I certainly couldn't travel with only 2 sets of clothing! - but there is definitely some good insight and general photographic wisdom contained in his list.
A few that resonated with me (paraphrased into my own words/interpretation):
- spend money on experiences (e.g. travel) rather than material things (e.g. new photo gear)
- backup, backup, backup!
- try only to show people your best work; don't waste their time with so-so shots
- no amount of post-processing can turn a mediocre photo into a great one, so don't waste time on it
- don't get on the defensive when people critique your work; listen instead with an open-mind
- when booking accommodation while travelling - location, location, location!
- the more tourists in an area, the less interesting (more hackneyed) the place is to photograph
I’d say his list is worth a look for anyone hoping to improve their photography - or maybe just enjoy photography more.
The less time I spend on social media, the happier and more focused and productive I am.