Finding Ikigai in Photography


Ikigai, a combination of the Japanese words “iki” (生き), which translates to “life,” and “gai” (甲斐), which is used to describe value or worth. Ikigai is a concept of finding a joy in life.

This concept is popular from a community on the island of Okinawa that having residents with highest life expectancy in the world. The secret to live long is they have “existential fuel” that motivates them to wake up in the morning and to live long and happy. Every person have different fuels to start the day.

To found that “fuel”, we need to search and explore deep inside one of us. From the Ikigai book, start with this questions; what do you love? what you are good at? what the world needs? what you can be paid for?

If you can answer this question and the answer is balanced and covered all of aspects, that’s your Ikigai.

Finding Ikigai in Photography

I would like to adopt this ideology to photography.

Firstly, I need to explore the patterns of my photography life and how I perceive every time I did a shot.

2017, Buying my first own camera mirrorless type and the additional lens. At that time having two lenses were more than enough for me. One fixed lens four third 25mm f1.4 and Zoom lens 12–32mm.

This camera has been accompanying me going to different events from sport, music and fashion festival, wedding to traveling. I tried to do street photography, portrait, fashion, nature, architectural, food and you named it. So many genres and type of photography that you can find here.

Almost I tried half of them and half of it failed due to limitation of my lens. I cannot captured landscape photography since my lens not wide enough. Also not zoom enough to do macro photography.


I need to find my Ikigai in capturing, so that I know which lens needed.

2021, 4 years exploring, I have sense of portrait and fashion photography and really feel that’s what I love. But the process is still going on, I may be trying different kind of events in the future that might change this preference.

Also, to find a perfect curation for the color-editing is still in progress. I still have to explore what makes my photo is mine. People say that I am into black and white photography, but currently I love to put colors, flowers and some sweet color or ornaments on it.

I just need time to always explore :)

Join me to start searching your Ikigai in your life and share your experiences and result on the comment below!