54 Things I Try to Avoid Doing in Street Photography

Team Custom SLR

Words and photos by Eric Kim

One of the philosophies I try to apply in my life is the “less is more” ideology. I think that most happiness, success, and peace of mind is by subtraction, rather than addition in life. This can apply to many different facets of our life. I find getting rid of cameras to be more soothing than the stress of buying new cameras. This also includes showing fewer photos on the Internet than showing more.

Below is a list of things I personally try to avoid doing in street photography (and photography and life in general). Of course I am not perfect, and I fall victim to these things as much as everyone else. Therefore I am making this list as a personal reminder—and also hopefully to help give you some new ideas as well.

Like everything in life, take this list with a grain of salt. These are just my thoughts and opinions. Feel free to take what you want, and leave what you don’t want. And of course, there are always exceptions.

Things I try to avoid in street photography :

  1. Being jealous of the cameras and lenses of others
  2. Taking photos of homeless people or street performers
  3. Spending time on gear forums and gear review sites
  4. Sharing too much work online
  5. Focusing on single images instead of rejects
  6. Focusing on the work of others too much instead of focusing on my own work
  7. Participating in online debates and drama
  8. Becoming greedy for likes, favorites, and affirmation via social media
  9. Listening to the words from haters
  10. Thinking that buying a new camera will make me more creative and be inspired
  11. Spending money on gadgets instead of photography books
  12. Spending too much time on social media, instead of meeting people in real life
  13. Posting my images too quickly after shooting and developing them, instead of letting them marinate
  14. Buying more photo books before re-reading the ones I already own
  15. Photographing into the streets (with messy backgrounds)
  16. Taking only one photo of a scene
  17. Letting work prevent me from going out and taking photos
  18. Not meeting other passionate street photographers on a regular basis
  19. Never printing my work and only looking at my photos on a computer
  20. Letting fame and popularity obscure my mission of serving the community
  21. Being sneaky when taking photos on the streets
  22. Not talking to any strangers when shooting on the streets
  23. Thinking that my neighborhood is a boring place to photograph
  24. Thinking that traveling will inspire my photography
  25. Taking too many random photos, and not focusing on my projects
  26. Walking too fast when shooting on the streets
  27. Not being patient and moving on too quickly
  28. Having only one point of interest in my photos
  29. Being discouraged by my bad photos
  30. Wondering if I will leave a legacy behind me
  31. Promoting my work over the work of others
  32. Not shooting every day
  33. Talking too much about gear instead of photography with my friends
  34. Valuing popular opinion over the opinion of photographers I respect
  35. Feeling that I always have to take street photos with people in them
  36. Not spending enough time with my subjects when taking portraits of them
  37. Going out without a bottle of water
  38. Shooting on an empty stomach (find it makes me too timid)
  39. Shooting on an excessively full stomach (find it makes me sluggish and tired)
  40. Shooting without caffeine in my system (I have a wonderfully horrible addiction to coffee)
  41. Spending more time talking about photography than actually going out and shooting photos
  42. Checking my social media comments every day
  43. Not visiting enough exhibitions and museums
  44. Only looking at the work of photographers (and not other artists)
  45. Getting feedback on my photos only from photographers
  46. Spending more time looking at photographers online over the masters
  47. Shooting for others and not for myself
  48. Aiming to please others over pleasing myself
  49. Spending money on material possessions (cameras, iPad, equipment) over experiences (traveling, photo books, and paying for meals for friends)
  50. Letting the number of favorites and likes I get on a photo dictate how good the photo is
  51. Not going out and shooting when the light is nice
  52. Taking only single-subject photos
  53. Not giving enough money or time to help out photography-related charities
  54. Not taking photos as if every day were my last  
54 Things Eric Kim Street Photography

← Older Post Newer Post →