For everything you want to become, there are reasons you want to become it. If you are curious about photography, it is advisable you dive into it. This is because it is one of the coolest hobbies. You don’t necessarily have to make it a profession. Being a photographer just means you really love photography. And hopefully after reading all of these seven reasons, you’ll see that it can give you more than you ever imagined.
1. It allows you capture lifetime memories
With a photo you can capture a moment, and have it forever. Photography allows you to create images of events, times, and places. You can record what happened and share them with friends and family, either in digital format or more permanently with prints or photo books. By being able to capture a special moments in time, you carry the memories of those events forward with you, allowing you to share and remember them with those that were there. Those memories become part of your history, perhaps family lore, not just stories passed down through the generations – but images as well. As the popular idiom says, “A picture is worth a thousand words”. This idea has been taken for granted, with photography being so ubiquitous these days. Yet, it is one good reason you should become a photographer.
2. Learning a new skill is good for your brain
Research has shown that learning a new skill helps the brain and improves memory, and the more difficult the skill, the more improvement you get. Coupled with exercise, these two things are considered important for long-term brain health and neuroplasticity. Studies show that slower learning over time helps build strong new linkages within the brain.
New knowledge will accumulate over time, as you keep putting effort into learning a new skill. Given that photography has so many elements, the science of light, the technology of the camera and the creative artistic side, there is a lot to learn. So whatever your age, now is the perfect time to start learning photography.
3. It lets you express yourself
Photography lets you express yourself—your opinions and beliefs. You do this by choosing what you photograph, and how you represent it. This aspect of your photography is dynamic. You get a sense of what a photographer is like as a person by looking at their body of work. More importantly, this part of photography is absolutely fascinating as a viewer, and fulfilling as a shooter.
4. It allows you live in the present
Photography, through it’s ability to help you see details and notice the beauty around you, helps you to truly live in the present. When you shoot you have to be aware of everything if you want to capture it. You can’t be thinking about the movie you watched last night, or what you’re going to have for dinner. Photography focuses you on the now, which is incredibly valuable!
5. Meeting new people is made easy
Meeting interesting new people in your travel and adventures is often an unintended side effect. Asking the locals for advice on how to find the way to a certain viewpoint may lead to them showing you the way. Chance encounters with people curious as to what you might be photographing can lead to directions to other points of interest. Maybe you organize a meetup with local photo enthusiasts in your area and you make a new friend, a new adventure buddy. A random chat in a cafe might lead to a new client.
If you are friendly and courteous with your camera, many people are often happy to pose. In some cultures, it may be appropriate to thank them with a small cash payment, so research that in advance. Engaging with other people, even with the barriers of language, means you make more of a connection, and the resulting images may be much more powerful and emotional. While keeping personal safety in mind, be brave and say hello.
6. It aids creativity
Everyone should have a creative outlet.There’s no use pulling the excuse that you’re “not creative”. Anyone can push the button on a camera, and point it at something they think looks cool. It’s honestly that simple to be creative.
That feeling when you finally get the awesome sunrise photo or the perfect candid, maybe the aurora or a meteor shower, or whatever your passion is, that feeling when you finally get the image, makes it all worthwhile.
Being creative is something we don’t tend to allow ourselves to do as adults. Photography is a very acceptable form of creativity that allows endless flexibility in how you adapt it to your own personal style. As you learn more and start to experiment with different things, your style also follow suit. Creativity is fun and it provides a necessary balance against the stressful demands of the modern lifestyle.
7. It helps stay healthy and fit
Getting out of the house, walking about, or even hiking is often a side-effect of getting into photography. If you are into landscapes then you have to go to where the landscape scenes are, and that often means some form of exercise. Once you have enough camera gear – likely a body, some lenses, and a tripod – it can weigh a reasonable amount and you will need a bag of some kind to carry it comfortably if you are traveling any reasonable distance.
Some people prefer a more gentle form of exercise – for health or mobility reasons. Others may prefer multi-day hikes into stunning mountain scenery. Mountain biking, horseback riding, kayaking and similar sports are often popular modes of transport to get you to a new landscape and allow for photography along the way.
Camera gear is heavy, so it’s important to be aware of any health or safety concerns. Carrying heavy cameras on straps around your neck for a long time can be quite painful. People with disabilities or limited mobility might prefer a lighter weight option and there are many available these days. Although one of the downsides of digital photography, especially if you shoot RAW, is the amount of time you can spend in front of your computer, processing the images, so that needs to be considered into your fitness regime as well.
Photography adds so much value to our lives, by recording special events, people, or places, as well as helping us learn and grow as people. It allows you to share your life and experiences in more meaningful ways via images, either online or printed and given as gifts.
Photography is a hobby that offers so many possibilities for creative expression, technical expertise, and sheer variety of ways to capture an image. Age is not a barrier to learning a new hobby and you can start with the camera on your phone if that’s what you have available. Start getting real now!