Being a casual enthusiastic semi-professional photographer has been good for me. I truly enjoy any moment I have a camera in my hand. My family has gotten used to it over the years. I often arrive at weekend events with at least one camera. It is getting more common to hear my oldest say “Daddy, look at me, photograph this/me!”
So I have listed all the great reasons to keep doing what I do when I hold a camera. If lists bore you, this one won’t – because this is aimed at you everyone! Whether you shoot with a smartphone or an expensive DSLR, you will either get some inspiration – or you’ll nod in total agreement.
1. Creative Outlet
There’s no doubt about it, photography is a great way to express your creative thoughts easily. You know that moment when you see something that you believe would look great framed – or used in combination with another photograph to create a whole new image. That’s always a great moment.
2. Capture ‘forever’ memories
Over the years I have photographed moments which not only have looked great through the camera, thee final image is also etched on my mind. That’s the sign of a great shot. When we capture moments in our lives that reminds us how how we felt, or what we tasted or smelled, that truly is a photograph worth keeping.
3. Brings Families Together
Ever noticed that when you bring your camera out at families events, some people run for the hills … but they are happy to hold a child for a photo? In our combined families, there are currently NINE kids under five years old! Boy, do we get some great smiles and cuddles.
4. Take Better Family Portraits Than You Had
Sorry, had to say it. I see a lot of people shooting downwards with smartphones in portrait mode – who then ask me how I got such an amazing shot. Usually I explain how they can do it better, but too often they don’t want to know and say “Oh, it’s just to email family.” That may be so, but don’t you want to show them a semi-decent photo with no red-eye and all limbs in frame?
5. Document Your Family
This is important. Too often we store many photographs on our hard-drive, but never look at them again. With my camera skills, external lighting and reflectors, I capture family photographs that can easily be framed and displayed in your home for visiting family can view every day!
6. Remember Someone Who has Passed Away
It’s always sad when someone in your family passes on. But it’s even sadder when there is no facial-memory for their young children and their grand-kids to remember them by. Always take the moment to capture a photo. You’ll be surprised how many older people are not afraid of the camera. Because they get it.
7. Help People See the Beauty In Themselves
I cannot count the amount of times whilst out shooting a location that I met people who want to be photographed in the scene. With a few pointers (i.e. stand sideways to appear thinner) I show them how any sized person can and does look beautiful. People who say cameras make them look 10pounds heavier are not posing correctly.
8. Witness Love
Nothing is more awesome seeing a happy couple kiss, or when he gets down on bended knee to hand her the ring. Capturing that moment on film or digitally makes it perfect for them.
9. Create Something For Your Kids When They Are Older
Statistics say that we are printing a lot less of our photography . Every decent photograph we shoot of our young kids playing together is printed, laminated and has a magnet stuck to it – then given pride of place on the fridge.
10. Document History
As an architecture buff myself, I recognise that documenting history both in our family and our environment is very important. Always take the chance to photograph when a building is being demolished, take note of the address – and return when the next structure is completed. Progress is important.
12. Capture An Adventure
We are two weeks from moving our home, lock stock and barrel, all to Kangaroo Island :. It is going to be the biggest adventure of our life. We visit at least 6 times a year. With my wife’s parents over there, plus a new job and her honey business , it’s going to be a lot of fun. So I intend to shoot a LOT more photographs of our surroundings and life. Look out for them on my Flickr , Redbubble , Pixels and Facebook photo pages!
13. Get Close To What You’re Interested In
Always get closer to the subject matter. It’s amazing what else is hidden. I often capture macro shots of bees and ants when shooting flowers – and people notice.
14. Freeze Movement
Knowing how to use your camera properly is important. That way capturing the movement of children and animals will be no longer accidental.
15. Live In The Present
With a camera in hand, eyes and mind are focused on the immediate surroundings and not on the future. Rather than worrying about what didn’t happen or what could be, a photographer’s eye looks for what they can find in the present.
16. Make Art
Art is a word that covers so many points. You imagine art with your mind. Art is also in the eye of the beholder. So make what you perceive as art, refine it to suit a market, then do that consistently – and you may win an audience with the general population, particularly on view in their homes or offices.
18. Share Your Perspective
As most photographers will know, or realise over many years, we all see the world different ways. Some of us see the little things, some see the wide-angle, and some focus mostly on eclectic angles. I enjoy all styles, but focus mostly on directions that are unexpected. It may not appeal to everyone, but I am shooting for arts-sake – making my imagery suitable for hanging in almost any location.
19. Help People
This is probably the funniest things about photography. Wherever I am I see tourists trying to shoot selfies as a couple. More often I approach them, but sometimes they ask me to help take the shot. I shot a young couple on Kangaroo Island a few months ago with their smartphone. Then I gave them a few pointers on how to improve their shots (in relation to sun and shadows on face). She then took the phone, spoke to her partner, and they began shooting selfies again – but they changed their whole style. I have no doubt I changed their whole photo collection!
20. Healing. Therapy. Meditation. Forget Your Worries
If only for me. Actually, more often for me. Being able to walk in a quiet landscape, or a windy forest, or listening to waves on a beach, the mind can find and capture moments worth capturing with my camera. Trust me, put a camera in your hand and the world hushes.
So I hope this list helps you to find something that either reminds you why you enjoy photography – or gives you inspiration for your next day out with your camera.
Cheers, Keep shooting, keep it real, and be good to your kids!