Everyone needs a hobby. All work and no play can drive us insane. Your brain needs alternate activities to distract it from the harsher responsibilities of life. Just like sleeping resets your neural pathways and refreshes you, hobbies can take your mind off your troubles and larger responsibilities. Then, when it’s time to go back to those responsibilities, you’re ready to tackle anything thrown your way with renewed vigour.
The hobbies that help with this mental rejuvenation the most are ones that have both cognitive and physical aspects. Photography does this in spades; from setting up your shot to exploring new locations to capture with your lens, photography can be a fantastic way to not only unwind but also fulfil you in a way that few other things can.
Photography is a great pursuit for people with different levels of interest. Novices who just want to start learning or need a casual distraction on weekends will have no trouble at all getting into it. Experts are always finding new techniques or challenges to engage them. It’s rare that a hobby can be both entry-level and professional in difficulty. However, even with just a basic grasp of the fundamentals, beginners can quickly develop their skillset.
If you fall into this curious category of general interest about photography, but maybe either don’t know where to start or are intimidated about how to begin, then here are 7 reasons why you should pursue photography as your new hobby.
Remember that one cute picture of you as a baby? Of course, but only because someone had the foresight to immortalize that moment in time forever. Since you were a baby, you had not yet developed long-term memories, and therefore that adorable moment of you smashing cake in your face or whatever was happening would be nothing but a family story for you. Because someone snapped a pic at that moment, you and everyone else can enjoy and reminisce about that particular memory. Photography helps us to reinforce our memories by providing a physical snapshot of a key moment. Learning photography is a great way to forever enhance your memory, whether through creating a photo album or selecting your moments.
It might seem obvious, but a hobby should be fun. Photography can be a very versatile hobby with either a set of rules and guidelines to strive toward or a lot of people like to just keep it casual. Some people enjoy the challenge of getting that one specific shot just right; the sense of accomplishment is relishing. Others like to stroll through a park and just click off a few frames about whatever happens to be around. Whatever your level of interest, photography can be both fun and rewarding in very different ways.
Just like photography can run on both ends of a spectrum of capability, so can your level of creativity. For those that want a creative challenge, photography can offer some very intriguing scenarios. Getting the light and composition just right for a portrait, or discovering a unique angle that delightfully captures the spirit of a scene, can satiate your creative prerequisite. Photography can provide a creative outlet to rip you out of your doldrums. Imagine sitting at a desk for 40 hours a week, staring at the same stark walls day in and day out. Now imagine looking down on an entire city from an overlook at dawn just as the sea of fog recedes. Which would you rather capture?
Meet new people
Believe it or not, even the most introverted person can suddenly become outgoing once they have a camera in their hands. When you’re looking through a viewfinder, all of a sudden the world looks a little different to you and it affects the way you interact with other people. From behind the camera lens, you can see people in a different light, taking a picture of a side of their personality that isn’t always so evident. Photography allows you to get engaged with new and interesting people, whether it’s to take their portrait or to just photograph a fun scene. Even complete and total strangers that would otherwise tell you to get out of their way might act differently when a camera is pointed at them. Photography can break down the barriers we construct around our personalities, not just for the subject, but for the person behind the camera as well.
Discover your style
Would you say that you have a certain aesthetic? You might be surprised at how your preferred photos turn out. When you start taking pictures, you might begin with simple angles and basic focus techniques. But over time, you start to see how lighting and composition affect the look and feel of a photo. You might even develop specific preferences and before you know it, a signature style so that people will know without even asking which photos are the ones that you took.
It’s great exercise
Photography is a fantastic way to move your feet and put some miles behind you. Get your blood pumping by finding the right scene to take a photo of, or getting a few choice shots while you stroll through the park on your lunch hour. Photography is an exceptional method of getting up and out of your chair to move around a little, instead of sitting still all the time.
Explore new places
Literally, you can reach new heights with photography. It’s a hobby that encourages you to explore new and exciting venues, like the peak of a mountain or the corners of an abandoned factory. New settings that you would otherwise never bother to explore will yield amazing backdrops for your photographic endeavours. Take the plunge and photograph the ocean floor. Discover the intimate details of a model railroad. Wherever the place is that you choose to explore, make sure to bring your camera with you!
It’s easy to see why so many people these days have got the photography “bug”. So if you are looking for a new hobby this year, look no further than photography.
Photo credits: Kav Dadfar – All rights reserved. No usage without permission. Dreamstime.