A new year is almost here (for me at least – it depends on the time zone).  There are lots of posts about inspiration and doing what you want and achieving your dreams.  I guess my post is a little bit like that, but it is more what I have realized over the past year.

You are in control.

Every action you take, every thought you have, and every feeling you have, is within you control.  (Of course, I’m not talking to people who have clinical depression and have lots of trouble controlling their thoughts).  Once you stop feeling like a victim and saying “oh I wish this was better”, then you can start empowering yourself.

Now, maybe this sounds totally cliche.  I happen to think it is.  But oftentimes, cliches are there for a reason.  Lots of times the cliches are true!

Here are some choices I have made:

Instead of planning all the time, reading how to “hack life”, and reading how to save money in the future for the future, I’ve started thinking about what I can do today.  This blog is a result of thinking about what I can do today.  My idealog is a result.  My photography website is a result (shoutout to Andrew and Shelli – thanks so much for helping me work through my site problems.)

Also, I made a choice to be happy.  Instead of getting caught in negative spirals, I decide “I want to smile, look at my surroundings, and be grateful for what I have”.

Now, of course, I will tie this into my photography.  The empowered choice based minset has let me take pictures with the gear I have, get inspiration from the surroundings I am in, and take pictures of beautiful things that might not otherwise be beautiful, instead of waiting for the “perfect” situation for the “perfect” picture.

Basically, it boils down to this.  Either love the situation or change it.  You have the choice to do either.  You are never the victim.  Empower yourself and take responsibility.  Whatever happens, happens!

(My intent is not to sound preachy.  I apologize if I do.  Learning about how to make my life happier just gets me excited!)



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Get a grip – compose yourself!

I have learned a lot about cameras in the past year.  The most important thing I’ve been learning is the act of seeing new things!

Here are some things I do to spark my creativity and get great pictures.

1.  The closer you look, the more you see. That phrase is basically my motto.  Basically, there are compositions everywhere.  In my case, I make macro photographs of small things like lightbulbs.

2.  Seek out the light. I’m sure this one just sounds like old news to everybody.  But I’ve found that looking up down, and side to side, lets you find the best light.  Since I mainly work with natural light, this is necessary for me.  It may not be as necessary for you, depending on your style of photography.

3.  Tweak your exposure. The most fun part of the shot is finding the shot.  “Great!  Look at this composition.  Aw crap!  The exposure sucks!”  You don’t need a crazy intricate knowledge of f-stops and shutter speeds.  I’ve found the most I need to know is memorizing the stops of the aperture and shutter speed.  For example, f2.8 to f4 is cutting the exposure and depth of field in half.  1/60 to 1/125 is cutting the time the shutter is open in half.

4.  Get back your childish glee. In my post-christmas happy stupor, I wrote about my childish glee on my other blog. Basically, look at the world with the excited eyes of a kid who doesn’t make judgement.  It can make your images a lot more happy and fun.  Not to mention, you more happy and fun.

I’ll leave you with an example.  I saw some light streaming through my window and liked the pattern on the wall.  I especially loved the color!  But then I realized I was wearing some sunglasses I got recently.  When I took them off the image just wasn’t as cool!  So, I solved the problem by putting the glasses over the lens and taking shots until I got the one I wanted.  Hope you like it!


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fear of action…fear of failure

This blog is basically a journal about the steps I am taking to start my own photography business. I hope to have an online/physical photo gallery with the same name of this blog – serene simplicity. My goal is to have photographs that are focused, minimalist, and bring calm into people’s hectic lives.

The hard part about this blog and business is two things – fear of action and fear of failure. I have been afraid of both in the past. Normally my fear of action is because I like planning a lot more than actually doing stuff. The planning stage is a nice place for me to hide and not actually make progress to what I really want. Since I have slowly gotten over my obsession with the planning stage, I realized that I can take action. It’ll fail though – a lot. Like this page for instance. Who knows if anyone will read this? Even if I talk about it on twitter.

Sometimes, if there are no predefined paths or steps, you have to make your own steps. I thought I could just read a guide about how to do a business. I realize now that they can help my progress, but ultimately I’m the one that has to push forward and figure out how to set up my business.


Filed under business