Nowadays, everyone is a sort of photographer. Some of my fellow photographers would kill me for this statement. That’s why I had to say “sort of”. But, the truth is that everyone takes photos. Learning photography is not necessary, you can just take your smartphone and snap. Even the people that couldn’t care less about photography skills, use their phones to capture something. Be it a child making first steps, or a pet in some hilarious action, or just a vacation site, people just take photos all the time. Modern technology, especially smartphones have allowed us to be able to take photos wherever we are.
While I dislike when I see a tool in ignorant hands, I must say that I like this development when it comes to photography. Posting a video on YouTube doesn’t make you an actor or actress, recording yourself singing doesn’t make you a singer. It’s the same with photography. Uploading a selfie on Instagram will make you neither a top model nor a photographer. But, an opportunity to see the world through a camera lens will attract some new people to master photography skills. Connecting and sharing are some of the fundamental human needs. Photography is a great way to do both.
Obviously, it’s easy to take photos these days. So, why you should learn how to do photography? If you enjoy taking or just looking at great photos I can think of a million and one reasons to learn photography. Apart from lack of time, I can’t think of one not to. Here’s why.
To Take Great Photos
This is the simplest reason, but in a way, it permeates all other reasons. Your photos from vacations and family reunions will always be attractive to you. It’s because they revoke your memories and emotions. But, they can be pretty dull for other people. Have you ever experienced to show your photos to your friends only to get a polite nodding?
Well, learning and improving photography skills will allow you to take interesting and amazing shots in both ordinary and extraordinary situations. With a proper skill set and knowledge, your images will be attractive and alluring. A great photo tells a story, captivates the audience, and induces an emotional response. The same scene can look beautiful, intriguing, and breathtaking in one photo and dull, flat, and ordinary in the other. There’s no such beauty in the world that you can’t impair or ruin with bad photography skills.
Your eyes and your camera lens see things differently. If you just take a shot of what you see, the photograph can never be as beautiful as the scene you’re looking at. However, if you search for better angles, get your composition and exposure right, your photo can be even more beautiful and intriguing than the real site.
So, isn’t it great to stir some thoughts and emotions with your images, instead of courteous nodding? Not to mention your own satisfaction and pride when you create memorable and outstanding photos.
“The two most engaging powers of a photograph are to make new things familiar and familiar things new.” – William Thackeray
Capture Important and Beautiful Moments in Your Life
This is probably the number one reason for most people to take their first photo ever. But, this desire never fades away. Birthdays, family reunions, unforgettable travels, you can document them and hold on to it forever. Once it’s gone, you can’t replay it to take photos. Whether you want to become a professional photographer or to enjoy it as a hobby, you’ll always want to share your images with others. Learning some photography skills will allow you to take nice photos. Through images, you can share your personal experiences with your friends. Would it work better with captivating photos or with boring ones?
It Stimulates Creativity
Taking photos may be your hobby or your passion. Or whatever you make of it. But, you will need to use your creativity. It’s a little bit overrated word if you ask me. Creativity is not a divine gift that allows you to create miracles. It’s more of thinking outside the box to solve the problem when you don’t have regular tools to deal with it. And using your imagination. And we all have it, don’t we?
Anyway, photography pushes you to search for better angles, more effective poses, to experiment with different light conditions, to come up with the best possible composition. Creative solutions bring a special kind of satisfaction. As you grow as a photographer, you will notice that you use creative approaches in other segments of your life more often.
Photography Is Good for Your Brain
If you’re twenty-something, you probably don’t have to worry about it. However, some mental abilities peak in the twenties and then slowly decline. We learn a little bit slower, can’t memorize like we used to, and things like that. On the other hand, new research shows that it’s possible to slow down the decline and develop some new skills as long as you train your brain. It’s sort of “use it or lose it” situation. But, it’s not the puzzles, crosswords and other repetitive exercises that will keep our brains as sharp as we once thought. Mentally challenging tasks and abstract thinking are a better way to keep your mind sharp and clear. Photography is one of the top ten activities recommended to improve and maintain mental abilities.
By the way, the aging brain naturally strengthens connections between distant parts of the brain. This allows a better noticing of connections between different sources of information. As a result, the aging brain gets the big picture easier. In a way, with age, your brain can’t see all of the details on a tree but becomes better at seeing the entire forest.
Develop an Eye for Details
Have you ever watched a detective series on TV? All these guys solve their cases because of their power of observation. They see a detail that no one else sees and use it to solve cases. I am not implying that you can become a detective after the photography course, but noticing details can be useful and fun in your everyday life, as well as in your work.
Photography skills will improve your power of observation immensely, there’s no doubt about it. It will become your second nature to notice unusual, peculiar, and interesting details.
“Great photography is about depth of feeling, not depth of field.” – Peter Adams
See The Beauty Where Others Don’t See It
Once you start noticing details your world changes. Ordinary routes where you used to walk your dog, transform and uncover hidden beauty at every step you take. Yeah, I know it sounds like it’s an overstatement, but trust me, it’s not. A ray of sunlight between the buildings, a drop of water on the edge of the roof, morning dew on a flower. All of them and many more can make your day and provide a great scene for your shots.
“Beauty will save the world”. I am pretty sure that Dostoevsky didn’t allude to photographs when he wrote this. But, capturing a beautiful image can save your day, and make you happy for a while.
It Is Good for Your Health
I’ve already mentioned memory and brain benefits, but it doesn’t stop there. Photography can be a sort of therapy. It allows you to get away from everyday stress. While you’re shooting you will forget your worries and focus on creating great photos. If you’re into landscape photography it’s even better. You will walk more and walking is good for your health. While you look for beautiful landscapes, you will get some exercise as a bonus. In any case, you will be more active. And that’s good for your health.
Photography Evokes Emotions
We live in a hectic world, rushing through the day, that we often don’t have time to feel. A photograph can and should trigger emotions. It can make you happy, joyful, amazed, sad, or nostalgic, in the blink of an eye. The more you feel, the more you’re alive. And it’s not all about you. Your photos evoke other people’s reactions and emotions. So, it’s another way to communicate and connect with people.
You Can Create Art
Whatever you do to make a living, you can put in some artistic touch. But, if you like to share your vision by creating fine art, photography is one way to do it. There’s no strict line that separates fine art images from some other photography genres. Roughly, an artist doesn’t capture or document the moment. He offers his interpretation and his personal vision of the scene. Anyway, photography can be your way to express your artistic ideas and concepts.
It Can Become Your New Career
If you like taking photos and you’re talented, you may become a professional photographer. Learning photography will improve your images. And even if you do it occasionally and just because you love it, great images will be noticed. So, you don’t have to go all-in. You can be a part-time or hobby photographer and just wait and see where it gets you.
I can think of many more reasons to learn photography, but I believe that the aforementioned ones cover the essence. Photography can grow on you pretty quickly. It becomes a passion before you know it. And the best part is that there are countless ways to pursue it. There are dozens of genres and you can choose any level of commitment. From capturing memorable moments to a leisure activity, to a full-fledged career. Each approach will bring you a lot of joy and satisfaction. So, get your camera and tell us your story.