Fellow photographers, let’s reflect for a moment on our mutual passion for this amazing art form, and maybe even do a little bragging about it. Photography is an incredibly rewarding hobby; in fact, it’s so rewarding that I believe it to be the best hobby one could enjoy. Here are five reasons why.
1. Photography complements many other hobbies
If your other hobby involves any physical thing, well then, you’re able to take beautiful photos of it! Whether it’s gardening, cars, or cooking, being able to skillfully photograph the things you spend your free time doing, only enhances the pleasure you take in those activities.
This principle also extends beyond the photographer. My mom spends all of her free time in the summer taking care of her numerous gardens (about five different flower gardens, a vegetable garden, an herb garden, and two shade gardens). She loves to see photos of the many plants that she puts so much time and energy into cultivating (and of course I love taking them; the photo below is of a daffodil that was grown by my mom this spring).
2. Photographers get to beautifully capture their loved ones
Anybody with a camera tends to take a billion photos of their kids, especially while they’re so little and cute – it’s pretty much impossible not to. But only photographers are knowledgeable about window lighting, reflectors, bouncing a flash, or using fast glass to make the best photos in poor lighting situations. Especially for an active little one, it takes a photographer who knows how to take control of the camera settings to get a shot that’s not blurry.
Aside from the kids, folks are always grateful for the photographer in the family who takes photos during holiday gatherings and special occasions. Unless the photographer corrals everybody into a group shot, it usually doesn’t get taken. There are also the candid photos of genuine moments while families enjoy each other’s company. While selfies and food photos abound, a true photographer is more focused on the meaningful moments.
All of those everyday moments matter, especially when it comes to one’s immediate family. I’m 30 years old, but I still spend Sunday evenings over at my parent’s house for family dinner. None of my immediate family particularly likes getting photographed – but every now and then I sneak in some candids. The older I get, the more these kinds of photos are cherished.
3. Photographers get to relive their magic of vacation all over again
All of the wonders that we spend our hard-earned money to see make the trip back home, packed up into a few tiny memory cards.
There’s no doubt that anybody with a smart phone is snapping away their entire vacation. But it takes some specialized gear to really capture the most amazing travel photographs. It also takes some post-processing knowledge to make those photos wall-worthy.
For example, wide angle lenses are crucial in capturing the majesty of a stunning landscape, or perhaps some ancient architecture. Just the right amount of HDR will really bring out a landscape, or an intense black and white conversion might be the perfect touch for an architectural shot. Photographers know how to work their digital toolkit to really make the most of those beautiful vacation memories.
4. Photographers get to see the world from a different perspective
Photography often propels us forward into new territory, that we otherwise wouldn’t experience. If there’s any beauty to be captured, we’re willing to accept the uncomfortableness that might go along with it.
Getting up before dawn on a weekend isn’t most people’s idea of a great way to start the day, but capturing a sunrise photo makes it all worth it. Dirty hands and knees are often required for getting the perfect floral or insect shot.
Photography connects us with nature in ways that wouldn’t exist without our cameras. I truly believe that the heart of a photographer is just a little more wild, a little more adventurous.
5. Photographers are a part of one big, awesome, online community
Whether it’s Flickr, 500px, your favorite online photography forum, or maybe even your local photography club -photographers support each other. For the most part, we are ready and willing to help, to share our process, and to share what the conditions, settings and equipment were for those really amazing shots.
When you go looking, there is an almost never-ending source of support and encouragement for your photography. It is one of the few creative realms where we’re able to teach one another, even if we’re separated by half the planet. And that, my fellow photographers, is quite the blessing!
Does anybody have any other perks that they love about being a photographer? I’d love to hear some more reasons why photography rocks in the comments below.