Modern life is generally quite busy and distracting.
It demands that we constantly rush from place to place. In many ways, photography and other creative pursuits are the complete opposite of that. When you're out shooting, you often get your best results when you slow down and take the time to compose yourself with your surroundings, rather than being rushed and frantic. This requires you to be in a mindset that is slow, purposeful, and considered.
I stumbled upon the Japanese concept of "yutori" one day while scrolling Instagram. Yutori essentially means "space" or "time latitude" - the idea of having the space to breathe. This concept is tied to other Japanese ideas like "ikigai" and "kaizen," but at a broader level, it refers to having spaciousness in one's life.
Living in Korea, spaciousness is not something that is actively practiced. This is reflected in the dense cities, cramped living spaces, and chaotic rush hour commutes. Coming from a country with wide-open spaces, this was something I struggled with at first. But, over time, I've come to accept the realities of living in a crowded city like Seoul.
Exploring the concept of yutori, I've found that it aligns well with my approach to photography. The Japanese have identified eight factors related to yutori, including things like economic wealth, free time, environmental amenities, and behavioral freedom. In my own life, leaving my 9-to-6 desk job was a way for me to create more time freedom and focus on my creative pursuits like photography and videography.
I've found that applying this yutori mindset to my photography practice has yielded positive results. Instead of frantically trying to capture as many photos as possible, I now take the time to slow down, compose carefully, and simply enjoy the process. I'm less stressed about getting a certain number of "good" photos and more focused on being present in the moment.
Shooting with Fujifilm gear has also contributed to this sense of spaciousness. The ability to get pleasing results straight out of camera, without getting bogged down in extensive editing, frees up more time for me to focus on the actual act of photography.
Ultimately, I believe yutori is a concept that we could all benefit from embracing, not just in our photography, but in our lives more broadly. It's about carving out time and space for the things that bring us joy and fulfillment. I encourage you to explore how you might apply this philosophy to your own creative endeavors and lifestyle.

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