Whether it’s Snapchat, Instagram, or a Polaroid, you probably practice photography every day. Photography can be amazingly fun, and it’s an easy hobby to pick up– here are seven reasons you should.
- Make it your own
According to the Oxford Dictionary, photography is defined as “the art or practice of taking and processing photographs.” In short, it’s pointing a camera at something and clicking a button. But when you truly look at what photography is, as more than pointing and shooting, it becomes an art form. Sure, all you’re doing is taking pictures, but once you make it yours, photography becomes so much more. One of the best things about photography is that it has no one definition– you define what is beyond pointing a camera at something. Everything from snapping a selfie to setting up a tripod and taking a picture of a sunset with a professional camera is photography. Just like with every artist, everybody has a unique style, and creating your own style is part of making photography your own.
- It’s easy, but can be challenging
That probably makes no sense. This goes hand in hand with the last in that making photography your own means it can be easy or hard. Sure, with a phone camera, there’s not much you have to do, but with a higher quality camera it can be more difficult to get the photo you’re looking for, especially if you’re unfamiliar with how the camera works or the extent of your camera. Photography is different for everybody, meaning that depending on what you do, it’s a wide range of difficulties.
- There are many, many different types
You see photography every day. Instagram, Snapchat, in your classes, and on TV are only a few examples. Each utilizes photography in unique ways. Looking through Instagram is a great way to get accustomed to different types of photography– simply scrolling through the ‘photography’ hashtag shows users beautiful beaches, adorable dogs, and gorgeous flower shots. Similarly to songs, these pictures fit into a “genre”– nature, still life, landscape, and portrait, to name a few. Devin Clark is a senior that takes aerial pictures with his drone. “For me personally, being able to fly a drone, I enjoy that kind of thing,” he said. Aerial photography is a bit special, because it obviously requires a drone, but it’s a great example of a more unique genre of photography.
- Connect with people and places
Of course, taking pictures of people is one way to connect through photography. Whether it’s snapping pics for a friend’s instagram or doing a photoshoot for a wedding, taking someone’s picture helps to create a bond with them. Forming connections goes beyond the camera, however. Social media is one of the best ways to get to know people. Sharing your pictures on social media as well as in real life allows photographers to grow and develop their own skills while getting their name out there. “(My uncle) let me use his really nice camera once, and I just really kind of fell in love with how the pictures look,” said senior Louise Niehaus. Both Niehuas and Clark have Instagram accounts to share their pictures (@ldn_gallery and @dyyymondaerials, respectively). Beyond people, photographers can also become attached to locations they shoot.
- Document your life
Photography is great for people besides yourself, but it’s also great for the person behind the camera. Having any type of camera makes it easy to document your life– taking pictures of people, places, and events that are meaningful to you allows you to look back and remember any moment you captured in a picture. Sharing pictures with friends and family or on social media makes photos more meaningful. Letting you view old pictures are why one-photo-a-day apps and Snapchat memories are popular. You probably already have pictures of events in your life taken by others, but knowing you took them makes them all the more special
- Money… duh
If this doesn’t get you into photography, I don’t know what will. It might take some effort, but making photography your passion is a good way to make some cash. Social media influencers might not seem like it, but they’re photographers too. They take pictures and edit them and use them as a source of income. Professional photographers, of course, make money off of paid shoots. Weddings, headshots, and fashion photography get photographers paid by clients they shoot– the more famous they are, the more they make– and as with any art, they can also sell their pictures to make more money. Get a quality camera, develop your skills, and you could be getting paid pretty soon.
- Notice the world in new ways
Ask any photographer, and they’ll tell you they see the world a little differently. Every picture they take involves several things: the rule of thirds, adjusting for light, motion blur, etc. Eventually, they start seeing the world as if they’re taking a picture. Noticing details and the beauty around you comes naturally with getting better as a photographer.
- It’s fun!
Out of all these reasons, easily the best is that taking pictures– no matter how you do it– can be incredibly fun. Having fun with your photography makes it a thousand times better, not only the pictures you take, but the experience of taking them. It can be easy to stress about how good your pictures are. As long as you don’t think about it too much, trying your best and having fun will produce some of your best pictures– if you do that, everything above will come naturally.