Essentialism For Photographers: Doing What Truly Matters

Clement Eastwood | The Art Shire
3 min readSep 27, 2022
Photo by Jakub Dziubak on Unsplash

You can choose to listen to this on YouTube instead of reading here.

In this article I’m going to be sharing with you three lessons photographers can take out of the book Essentialism by Greg McKeown. Essentialism is more than a knowledge-based theory. It is practical and has many advantages in business and personal life.

Now, Greg defines Essentialism as a disciplined, systematic approach for determining where our highest point of contribution lies, then making execution of those things almost effortless.

The idea here is that if you don’t prioritize your life, someone else will.

Lesson #1: Less is Better

How is less ever better? We live in a world where having more means you’re happy. We live in a time where we own a lot but have no satisfaction in what we own. When it comes to photography, this applies as well. There are lots of niches. Does that mean you should do them all? No! it’s not possible, and neither is it wise. You should choose one and give it your attention. Trying to do it all will not give you enough time to attain mastery in even one.

McKeown writes — “Only once you give yourself permission to stop trying to do it all, to stop saying to everyone, can you make your highest contribution towards the things that really matter.”

Lesson #2: Are You Investing in the Right Activities

Any the time we spend on something is an investment. The results will show if it was a wise or foolish investment. Essentialism is not about how to get more things done, it’s about how to get the right things done.

It’s about making the wisest possible investment of your time and energy in order to operate at your highest by doing what is essential. Find the things that are not important to you and eliminate them to have time for the right activities — the things that will help your business and life.

What things can you take out of your life to make you more productive, to make you focus on what is essential so your focus is not distracted?

Lesson #3: Living by design

Instead of going with the wind, essentialism distinguishes the vital few from the trivial many. It eliminates the non-essentials. In other words; it removes the obstacles so the essential things have clear and smooth passage.

This way, you live with a plan. What I realized in all the book is living your life with intent. Treating your business with intent. It’s surprising how we don’t do things intentionally. Broke people were never intentional about their finances. If we don’t prioritize tour life, someone else will.

To be intentional is to choose something and neglect another.

Focus on what’s important now.

Thank you for reading. See you in the next article.

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Clement Eastwood | The Art Shire

Assisting photographers in transforming their passion into a source of income. | Author