9 Reasons Photography Is a Great Hobby (in 2021)
What makes photography such a great hobby?
People become interested in photography – serious photography, not just the occasional snap or selfie – for many reasons. It might be a major life event, such as a new baby, a wedding, or a special birthday. It might be that your phone’s photo capabilities frustrate you enough that you want to get real about photography. Or perhaps photography just sounds interesting and you want to try it out.
Whatever the reason, photography is incredibly fun, plus it comes with a whole host of benefits you probably haven’t considered. And that’s what this article will share: the 9 reasons you should definitely start doing photography right now!
Let’s dive right in, starting with reason number one:
1. Photography will help you record events and memories
Photography allows you to create images of special events, times, and places. It lets you record the specifics of an event – and it also allows you to share that event with friends and family, long after it’s done and gone.
By capturing a special moment in time, you can always remember it in crisp detail, even as your mental memories begin to fade. Plus, those memories will eventually become part of your history, perhaps even family lore. And they won’t just be passed down through stories; they’ll be passed down through images, too.
As the saying goes, “A picture is worth a thousand words.”
This was a photo from a memorable moment: I saw a rare falcon!
2. You’ll have fun
You can have so much fun with a camera.
You can head out with the family to the beach or on a picnic, shoot a local sports games, randomly roam your city streets photographing strangers, stalk wildlife, hike up a mountain for a stunning view, or stand under the stars at 2 AM and watch the Milky Way slowly move across the heavens.
In other words: Photography offers many opportunities to do new, interesting, and fun things with your camera – things you may not have done otherwise.
Plus, all sorts of things become interesting when they can provide you with material for photographic adventures. Cultural festivals, parades, sports events, a wander along the beach, exploring parts of your city previously undiscovered, architectural details on buildings, intricate details of flowers, people-watching, wildlife, meeting people who have different interests and hobbies, and much more; thanks to photography, it’ll be tons of fun.
Hanging out with the zombies at a Zombie Run event.
3. Learning a new skill is good for your brain
Research shows that learning a new skill helps the brain and improves memory. And the more difficult the skill, the more you benefit.
Given that photography has so many elements – the science of light, the technology of the camera, the creative artistic side – there is a lot to learn.
So whatever your age, now is the perfect time to start a photography hobby.
4. Photography will improve your health and fitness
Photography won’t just keep your brain in shape; it’ll keep your body in shape, too!
Getting out of the house, walking, and even hiking are common side effects of interest in photography. Do you like landscape photography? Then you’ll need to go where the landscapes are, and that often means some form of exercise. Do you want to photograph people? Then you’ll need to walk the streets, which requires plenty of physical activity.
Of course, not all forms of photography require strenuous exercise. If you prefer a more easygoing approach, that’s okay, too; genres such as macro photography and portrait photography will get you out of the house, but won’t make you feel like a marathon runner. Make sense?
One caveat: Camera gear is heavy, so it’s important to be aware of any health or safety concerns. Carrying a camera on a strap around your neck (plus a backpack on your back) for a long time can be quite painful. Fortunately, there are many lightweight cameras available, not to mention excellent camera-carrying devices, compact tripods, and other burden-easing equipment.
5. You get to be creative
In her book, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear, Elizabeth Gilbert writes about creativity and inspiration. She says that creativity is good for us as individuals, and that the feeling you get when you finally capture an awesome sunrise photo, the feeling you get when you finally capture the image, is a wonderful thing.
But being creative is something we rarely do as adults. Enter photography, which is hugely creative and allows for endless flexibility in shooting and artistic style. That style can grow as you learn more and start to experiment with different genres.
Bottom line: Creativity is fun, and it provides a necessary counterbalance for the stressful demands of a modern lifestyle.
6. Photography will get you traveling
Here’s another likely outcome of taking up photography:
You’ll travel all over the place, from different parts of your own city or country all the way to the other side of the globe. There is so much interesting stuff to photograph in other places, including landscapes, wildlife, architecture, and people from other cultures.
Now, travel broadens the mind and exposes you to new concepts and ideas, plus it’s an excellent learning opportunity. It provides so much creative variety and possibilities for personal growth.
Also, travel is just tons of fun!
So if you do take up photography, make sure you jump on the opportunity to travel, even if you only go a couple of hours away. It can provide entirely new situations and vistas! Be brave and venture forth.
7. You’ll meet lots of new people
Looking to meet new people and make new friends? Well, meeting interesting people during your photographic adventures is pretty common. For instance, you might ask a local for advice on how to find a certain viewpoint – and they’ll end up showing you the way!
Or you might start talking with someone who is curious about your photography, which can lead to a great afternoon of conversation.
Once you get serious, you can even consider organizing a meetup with local photo enthusiasts in your area. And who knows? You might make a new adventure buddy and a new friend!
By the way, if you are friendly and courteous with your camera, many people are often happy to pose. Engaging with other people ensures you make more of a connection, and the resulting images are often powerful and emotional. So while keeping personal safety in mind, be brave and say hello.
The photography community – both online and in person – can be very supportive. After all, sharing your passion with other people around the world who speak your language, understand your challenges, and have had similar experiences can very helpful.
So I highly recommend you engage with a photographic community of some sort.
What communities are best? Well, online forums and social media platforms can be good places to find those secret local waterfall spots, where certain rare birds might be nesting, etc. People may be willing to give assistance with problems, critique your images, and provide an all-around welcoming place to hang out and chat about your hobby. (The dPS community on Facebook is a great place to start!)
Of course, you can also look at in-person options, such as camera clubs, meetup groups, photowalks, and more.
A photographer in their natural state on a photowalk.
9. You can develop a style that is uniquely yours
No matter your passion, you can explore it via photography in whatever creative way you want. When starting out, it pays to have an understanding of the basic guidelines for composition and light, but don’t let them limit you. Challenge them, break them, and see what happens. It might work, it might not, but either way, it will be a learning experience.
Eventually, you’ll start to approach the world in a way that is specific to you. That’s when you’ll have developed a style of your own (which is a wonderful feeling, by the way!).
There are many different types and styles of photography, and you can adapt whatever you do to your individual desires and needs. There is space for all different approaches, from the classic landscape, nature, wildlife, street, portrait, and sports styles, to all the different variations in between. So don’t feel like photography constrains you – instead, you shape it!
Reasons why photography is a great hobby: final words
Photography adds so much value to our lives – by recording special events, people, and places, while also helping us learn and grow as people. It allows you to share your life and experiences in meaningful ways, and it allows you to engage and have fun with other people.
Photography is a hobby that offers so many possibilities for creative expression and technical expertise. Age is not a barrier to learning a new hobby, and if all you have is the camera on your phone, that’s okay; you can start with that.
So here’s my challenge to you:
Head out sometime today and take your first photo.
Now over to you:
Which of these reasons speaks to you the most? Have you already started photography? What is your favorite photographic genre? Share your thoughts in the comments below!