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54 Reasons Why YOU Should Be A Photographer

Upload from October 20, 2011

Being a photographer is seriously awesome. There are about a bazillion reasons why, but I’ve compiled 54 really fantastic ones for your reading pleasure.

Now, why would I bother taking the time to write this massive list?

Well, maybe you’re just curious about photography, but aren’t sure if you should really dive into it. Fair warning, these reasons will totally convince you that photography is an amazing skill to develop. I’m sure of it.

Or perhaps you’re into photography already. This list is still for you! After you read all these reasons you’ll probably be even more inspired by this medium, and be itching to get out and shoot more! Who knows, maybe you’ll get an idea or two for a new photo project! I sure did!

Here’s the deal. I think everyone should get into photography. (Yes, everyone). You don’t ever have to do it professionally. That’s not what being a photographer means (you can read more about our thoughts on that here). Being a photographer just means you really love photography. And hopefully after reading all of this, you’ll see that it can give you more than you ever imagined.

One last note before we jump in. These reasons aren’t all just made up off the top of my head. We actually just wrapped up a giveaway, and asked the question “What first got you interested in photography?”. With 250 responses we were able to get an amazing peek at what makes photography so special for lots of folks. So we read all the responses, took notes, and pulled out the common themes. That’s what makes up this list! So credit for all these awesome reasons goes to our fantastic readers. Thanks for sharing so openly everyone. You rock.

1. Capture a memory that you can have forever

With a photo you can capture a moment, and have it forever. I think we take that idea for granted, with photography being so ubiquitous these days. But seriously just take a second to appreciate that. If you did that in Ancient Greece they’d call you a sorcerer. Or a god.

Upload from October 20, 2011

2. Notice the details

Photography changes the way you see things. It’s actually quite an incredible transformation to experience. Suddenly you notice light, shapes, colours, textures, people, bulidings, trees, flowers…Everything around you looks different when you start to see the world as a photographer.

3. See The Beauty In The Every Day

Once you start noticing details, you inevitably start to see how much beauty is all around you. Every day is filled with it—in the most ordinary or unexpected places. When you start to derive happiness from seeing some particuarly awesome light, you’ll realize that photography has changed your everyday experience.

Upload from October 20, 2011

4. Live In The Present

And to round out this theme, photography, through it’s ability to help you see details and notice the beauty around you, helps you to truly live in the present. When you shoot you have to be aware of everything if you want to capture it. You can’t be thinking about the movie you watched last night, or what you’re going to have for dinner. Photography focuses you on the now, which is incredibly valuable!

5. Forget Your Worries

Photography is something you get immersed in (see above!). You lose yourself in shooting, and all your worries and daily stresses just melt away.

6. Share It With The Important People In Your Life

One of the top ways people got into photography (according to our results) was through someone important to them. People credited their mother, father, aunt, uncle, grandmother, grandfather, sibling, friend and even great-grandparents. Photography is a passion that you can share with the important people in your life. You can pass it down to the next generation, and spur their love of this amazing art.

7. Document Your Family

And the MOST common reason folks got interested in photography was because of family—particularly having their own children. Photography is a way to document the lives of your kids, and that alone is worth learning all you can about it. One day you may also be documenting the lives of your grandkids!!

8. Capture The Amazing Range of Love And Emotion In Kids

Whether they are your own, a friend’s, or a client’s, kids are an amazing photographic subject. They see the world differently, and often express a lot more love and emotion than adults. Being able to capture that is both a fantastic photographic challenge, and a profound learning experience.

Upload from October 20, 2011

9. It’s A Creative Outlet

Everyone should have a creative outlet. There’s no use pulling the excuse that you’re “not creative”. Anyone can push the button on a camera, and point it at something they think looks cool. It’s honestly that simple to be creative.

10. Make Art

And the result of that creative act? You can create art. That just flat out rocks.

11. A Great Challenge

Now, there is actually a lot more to photography than just pointing the camera at something and pressing the button. That’s where you start. But learning to become a great photographer is a serious challenge. You’ll always be learning something new, have new directions to explore, and new challenges to face. And that’s a good thing! This is a pursuit that you will never be bored with.

12. Share Your Perspective

Everyone sees things differently. Put 100 photographers in a room and you’ll get 100 different photos. The way you see the world is unique, and photography lets you share that perspective with others.

13. Express Yourself

Your unique perspective can go further than just showing people how you see a scene. Photography also lets you express yourself—your opinions and beliefs. You do this by choosing what you photograph, and how you represent it. This aspect of your photography is ever-changing as you change. You get a sense of what a photographer is like as a person by looking at their body of work. This part of photography is absolutely fascinating as a viewer, and fulfilling as a shooter.

14. Tell A Story

Photography is a fantastic story-telling medium. Whether you’re telling a story with one image, a sequence, a series, or an entire portfolio, the possiblities are endless. Just ask yourself what story you want to tell, and photography can get you there.

15. Capture An Adventure

One very common way people get interested in photography is through travelling. Who doesn’t pack a camera with them on a trip? The more you practice and learn about photography, the better you’ll be able to document your adventure.

Upload from October 20, 2011

16. The Best Souvenir

Photographs are the best souvenir from your travels. They are personal, beautiful, and have a story behind them. The trinkets you buy in markets inevitably break, or clutter up your home. A stunning photo on the wall is personal art that puts a smile on your face as it reminds you of that exciting adventure!

17. Take You Somewhere You’ve Never Been

Maybe you haven’t been to an exotic locale, but photos can practically transport you there like a Stargate. They can show you the people, the food, and the sights. Or maybe you want to share your own travels with friends and family. They get to come along with you when you take awesome photos!

18. Get Close To What You’re Interested In

Photography is a fantastic gateway into anything else you’re interested in. Really fascinated by the music world? Become a music photographer and you’ll get to meet the musicians and observe the inner workings of the industry. We are really into coffee, and got to spend an entire day touring a local coffee roastery and shooting it. We loved the experience and they loved the photos—win-win all around.

Upload from October 20, 2011

19. Make You Feel Emotion

Photos make you feel. They can produce every emotion, from happiness, to sadness, fear and excitement. There is so much contained in one small frame—learning to produce them, and read them certainly opens you up to feeling.

20. Can Make Other People Feel Emotion

Your photos can make people happy. They can make people sad. Through simply showing your images you can evoke an emotion in someone else. With the internet you can affect so many people at once. Photography can really connect people in that way.

21. Can Make Other People Think

With your images you can also make people stop and think. Just a glance at a powerful image can stop people in their tracks. Some images can change the way you view the world for the rest of your life. Strong stuff.

22. Capture the Essence of a Person

A photo can capture the essence of a person, sometimes in just one frame. This is the goal of master portrait photographers everywhere, and an enormous challenge. But when it is achieved, it’s an incredible thing. Sometimes it takes a series of photos to express the nuances of that person, but either way photography has a way of showing those subtleties that can be hard to describe in words.

23. Remember Someone Who has Passed Away

After someone has passed, photos of them become treasured items. Without getting too morbid, everyone will die, and photos are potentially the best way to preserve the image and spirit of a person.

24. Learn More About Yourself

Photography involves a lot of introspection over the course of a career. The deeper you get, the more you realize that it’s all about what you are interested in, how you feel about it, and what you want to say to the people who view your work. As you shoot, you learn more about yourself, what you value, and how you see the world.

Upload from October 20, 2011

25. Preserve The Big Moments

Life is filled with “big moments”. Births, graduations, weddings, first steps—these are all moments that should be documented for family history. And a lot of the big moments aren’t times when you’d hire a professional photographer. Learning more about photography prepares you to capture those big moments for yourself.

26. Enjoy Photos And Memories with Loved Ones

Imagine you’re sitting around a big box of photos with friends and family. There would be a lot of talking, laughs, stories, jokes, and maybe even a tear or two. It’s an amazing way to connect.

27. Enjoy The Work of Other Photographers

History is filled with incredible photographers. The more you learn about photography, the more you appreciate their work. What makes Annie Leibovitz’s work so great? Why is Ansel Adams such a big name? Learning more gives more enjoyment.

28. Shoot Anytime, Anywhere

Photography is so accessible that you can shoot at any moment. You might not always be able to pull out a canvas and some oils to paint with, or grab a guitar and start to play if a creative urge strikes you, but a camera is so small and portable that you can shoot anytime, anywhere.

29. Connect

Photographing someone is an intimate experience. You connect with people in a completely unique way with a camera in hand and your full attention on them. It’s easier to talk, easier to just look at them—seriously, it’s cool. It’s especially wonderful when you photograph someone you love.

30. Capture a Feeling, Not Just An Appearance

Photographs can show more than just how something looked. They can capture how something felt. Especially if the photographer felt it themselves.

Upload from October 20, 2011

31. Help People See the Beauty In Themselves

It’s a funny thing. A lot of people I know think they aren’t photogenic. And a lot of photographers I know believe that everyone is beautiful. Photographers (especially the great portrait photographers) know how to see the beauty in someone that might not even see it themself. To show that to them in the photos is an incredible gift.

32. Document History

The present is the history of the future. You never know when you’ll be right in the middle of a world changing event, and your camera will create the record for generations to come.

33. It’s Really Damn Fun + Exciting!!

A lot of these reasons are pretty heavy on the emotion, but photography is also just really damn fun and exciting! Shooting is a blast, and can often get the adrenaline pumping like crazy!!! It’s a trip.

34. Cameras Are Mechanical Art

Gears, dials, shutters, lenses—cameras are seriously cool. There are so many types: film, digital, instant, toy, point and shoot, SLR, TLR,  rangefinder, medium format, large format to name a few. And a lot are gorgeous machines. It’s a blast to learn more about them, and appreciate what they can do!

35. Make Others Happy

Photos make people happy. Whether you captured a great portrait, snagged a shot of a special moment, or took a few photos to help a friend’s new business, photography can spread a lot of joy. That’s awesome.

36. Brings Families Together

Having photos taken as a family can bring you together. The act suggests that you want to remember each other, just because. And the resultant images show the love you share. An excellent reminder on those particularly cranky days.

37. Capture The Personality of Your Pet

Pets are an important part of your life too! And they all have personalities of their own. Photos let you capture them in all their glory, to share with the whole world!!

Upload from October 20, 2011

38. Take Better Family Portraits Than You Had

Maybe you grew up with awkward family photos, and don’t want to put your own progeny through that. Learning to take great photos can help kids actually enjoy the process (it’s true!!).

39. Take Better Photos for Yourself

A lot of photography is shared, and that’s awesome. But there’s something to be said for taking great photos just for yourself. No one else sees them, comments on them, or has to like them. It’s rather freeing.

40. Capture Raw Emotion

People are incredibly interesting. And emotion is a part of that. Seeing how the face changes during a laugh, or how body language reflects mood are all fascinating studies, and photography helps you capture that.

41. Freeze Movement

Photos have the incredible ability to freeze movement. From shots of Olympic athletes, to the ever-hilarious jowling, and stuff exploding, photos show us the world in a way our eyes can’t see.

42. Bend Reality

Along those lines, photography can give you a different look at the world. Time lapses, HDR shots, light painting and more. Photography is just as good at bending reality as it is at capturing it.

Upload from October 20, 2011

43. Enjoy Infinite Possibilities

There are literally infinite possible photographic subjects. Literally.

44. Enjoy The Process

The process of photography can honestly be super enjoyable. Shooting is obviously a blast, but there’s more to it! Sorting and editing your images is an essential part of the process, and doesn’t have to be painful. The more you learn about it, and come to understand the *why* behind it all, the more you’ll enjoy it. It’s like spending some personal time with your photos!!

45. Healing. Therapy. Meditation.

Photography can be all of those things. It can get you through the hardest times in your life. Don’t believe me? Take a look at the original responses. This story popped up multiple times. It’s amazing.

Upload from October 20, 2011

46. Create Something For Your Kids When They Are Older

Photos gain in value with every single day. Not many stocks can boast that. Each passing day brings you farther from that moment, but the photo holds it in place. Your kids might not appreciate all the photos you take of them right now, but when they are grown up, those images will be incredibly valuable.

47. Surprise Yourself

When you shoot a lot you’ll always surprise and amaze yourself. As long as you are always pushing yourself, you can be sure that photography won’t ever get dull! You’ll upload your photos and suddenly say “Wow! I can’t believe I took that!”. It’s really cool.

48. Witness Love

Photography brings you into a space where you get to really witness love. It’s amazing. You might not even notice when you’re shooting, but, looking at the photos afterwards, you spot that smile, that look in the eyes. You’ll see how much parents treasure photos of their kids. How an image of a loved one makes someone smile. It’s almost like photography gives you a pair of magic glasses and you put them on and all of a sudden BAM! You can see love all around!!

49. Help People

There’s something pretty special about being able to help people while doing something you’re passionate about. Photography is like that. Through volunteering you can give something of immense value to those who will really appreciate it.

50. Experience Different Emotions From The Same Photo

Photos have real depth. They can elicit different emotions from you at different times. As you change, your perspective changes, or the world changes, a photo can mean something profoundly different. It’s fantastic to experience.

51. Travel In Time

Photographs let you travel through time without the use of a DeLorean. They can bring you back to a moment that you experienced, and you can remember just how you felt. Or they can bring you waaaaay back to a time before you were even born. Then you can wonder about how others felt!

52. Communicate Across Language and Culture

Photography is like music. There are no language barriers or culture barriers. You can communicate with people around the world with an image. And you can connect! Once you start getting your work out there, you’ll be amazed at the connections you make because of it.

Upload from October 20, 2011

53. Make Money

Oh yeah, and you can potentially make money from photography! Pretty nifty, earning money from something so cool. But hopefully you can see that this is just one small reason to become a photographer. Even if you never make a dime at it, it’s definitely a worthwhile pursuit!! (Please see above for reasons why.)

54. Develop A Love for Life

After all these reasons, this one should just make sense. With all the beauty, joy, love, connection, variety, history, adventure, movement, emotion, and awesomeness that makes up life, how could you not be stoked to get out there and experience it?? With camera in hand, of course.

Let’s wrap it up here. Anyone can become a photographer. It doesn’t matter if you’re young or old, what country you live in, or what language you speak. Just get your hands on a camera–any camera–and start shooting. Practice, think about your work, and open yourself up to your experiences. Keep at it and you’ll see firsthand why being a photographer is so gosh darn awesome!!

Your Turn

Can you think of any other reasons to be a photographer? Share them with us in the comments now!

Lauren Lim

Hey friend, I’m Lauren! I’m a photographer and head ninja here at Photography Concentrate. I’m downright obsessed with photography, and love sharing it with super cool folks like yourself. When I’m not shooting, or writing, you can find me cooking (and eating!), traveling, and hanging out with wonderful people.

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Discussion

32 Comments // Leave a comment

  1. Impress the ladies…

    Just kidding. But not really.

    I would add:
    "Inspire others to be (better) photographers"

  2. I tell folks, photography is "catch and release", like in fishing. I just enjoy the process of making a photograph and I agree with every one of your reasons. A really top notch insightful article that I will share with others!

  3. MOHD SABRI AG HASHIM says:

    We’re everywhere I love talking to other photographers about photography. There is an instant bond between photographers. When I’m at an event, I’ll run over to the photographer and shake hands and say hi. If he or she has a moment we will inevitably talk shop. When I’m the designated shooter, I always take a moment to talk to someone who comes over and asks me a question. It’s the code. We all need each other, to learn and be inspired by each other.

  4. A few years ago, I found myself in a tiny room photographing the last few moments between a young husband and wife before the lid was placed on the woman's cofin. It changed the way I see photography and gave me one of my favourite photographs. I had an epiphany as I pressed the shutter and at that moment I went from not wanting to be there, to feeling that I was so privileged to be invited in to such an intimate moment.
    Great post

  5. I love this list, thank you for inspiring me!

  6. *@Evan:* Lol!! You are hilarious. But I think it's pretty true. ;)

    And I really like that point. Inspiring others to pick up a camera and shoot is wonderful!

    *@Ron:* Thank you so much for the very kind words! I'm so glad you enjoyed this post. And I'm so grateful that you'll share it!! I love your point of enjoying the process. Too many times we get frustrated at the results, and forget that the action of shooting is part of the joy!

    *@Mohd:* Wonderful point! Photographers absolutely have an instant bond. It's so fantastic to experience! That's so awesome that you are so open and always introduce yourself. I'm too shy about that kind of thing, and need to open up more like that! Thanks so much for sharing!

    *@Derek:* Wow. Thank you so much for sharing that story Derek. That's so moving. I love how photography really can transform a situation like that. It really is a privilege to get to photograph such intimate experiences.

    *@Heather:* Thanks so much for the comment! I'm so glad you enjoyed this!!

  7. One of the things I love about this blog is that you focus as much or more on the WHAT of photography as on the HOW. I get so caught up in the minutiae of photography (settings, colors, vividness, etc.) that I tend to forget what drew me to photography in the first place. Thanks for the reminder and encouragement!

  8. When I was young, I was interested in photography. But when so many people told me that it was an overrun career path, I turned away from it. I have always liked taking pictures, but since becoming a stay at home mom, my husband has been encouraging me to find something that I want to do that I will enjoy. This post helped me remember why I was interested in photography in the first place, and is definitely making me seriously think about trying to develop my skills. Thanks so much!!

  9. I can relate to several of those reasons as to why I love photography and why I have taken well over 40,000 photos in 2012 (and I do not plan on slowing down anytime soon). I find it is a great de-stresser for me and a way to unwind. I am not in it to make money nor do I want to put that pressure on myself. If I have a shot someone wants to buy than that is a bonus. If someone wants me to do a family shoot I am game.

    I think that if I tried to make a career out of it the fun of the “hobby” would be lost.

  10. thank you so so so so much for this. i am doing photography for my bronze arts award and up until i read this list to help me ramble on about why i chose it, i absolutely hated photography and couldnt wait to be done with it. but now ive read this its actually made me like it. thank you again!

  11. Thank you for this article – it was exacly what i was loooking for.

  12. Sandra Santiago says:

    I agree and need equiptment so if you know of a contest I can enter please let me know. I also am on instacanv.as/sandrasview_ if your interested in checking me out. Thank You

  13. Great article. Just wanted to let you know i linked to it.

  14. Amazing article!!!! But I still do photography for the money!
    LOL!!! Just joking

    I have been taking pictures since 2006 and it totally transformed my life. I love life and see it totally different. I thought it all comes with aging but it’s more than that. It’s an action and it’s capturing that exact moment with and every detail (something you want to see again and again). Photography is so sweet and passionate movement and at times, it could be hard to explain. It is something you love to do and could do it over and over again (and in your dreams while you sleep).

  15. Hi Lauren
    Great Article
    Me,i am a poor writer.So i enjoy good storys from other People.Thanks a lot for the funny and also great style.It is a plessure to read such a big thing in this easey way.
    Last time i do a lot in infrared.i have a D300 with 665nm-filter
    and a D80 with a 710nm-filter. It is a good thing to see contrasts,lines and structures.With the time you see this things before you take the pic.zou also learn to see in black and white.or shoul i say in white and black? because grass flowers and other plants are white in infrared.
    Regards from germany
    klaus

  16. its simply awesome, nice know….

  17. This is exactly what i was looking for it makes me feel more excited to do so
    Thank you so much Lauren :)

  18. This’s amazing!! Thank you so much I really like it

  19. “You don’t ever have to do it professionally.”
    Thank you for writing that particular sentence.
    Over the past year I have taken several photography classes because in January I fell in love with photography.
    I’ve had so many people tell me I should be a professional photographer and I’ve been feeling pressured to do just that. But I seriously don’t want to! So thank you for writing that particular sentence.
    I can take pictures just for me, just to document my family and our adventures, and that’s ok. :-)
    Have a great Sunday!

  20. This is an awesome article! I am currently at a job that I hate. I have always wanted to be a traveling photographer since 1995. Reading these 54 reasons inspire me to push myself even harder now. Thank you so much! One day, I will quit my current job, and become a full-time photographer. I deserve this chance in life.

  21. I kind of like number 28 the best .. shoot anywhere, anytime! thats the best advice I think, even if its on an iphone and you instagram it.. The best camera is the one thats always with you! : )

  22. I love this. Photography is something i am really interested in. I want to major in photography. “A picture is worth a thousand words”. I really enjoy photography and i am excited to see what i will be doing in the future. Thank You for this. I am more inspired now.

  23. This list shows a deep understanding not just of photography but of life.

  24. daniel michael says:

    Thank for the info and do i need any grades/NVQ/others

  25. BILL Griffith says:

    Interesting article and I agree with everything except the professional bit. If one is to spend a lot of time learning the craft of photography and continue learning plus spending a heap of money on decent DSLR gear which is out of date by the time you get it home from the shop, one would be wise to expect some financial return on effort. Sadly, as one of the arts, photography can be both a hobby and a paid profession. When one becomes good at something one should be motivated to earn money from it. After all, as photographers we are in the business of making memories. We are turning today’s moments into tomorrow’s memories. We are history makers and to me that needs a financial reward. After all, the people who write the history books get paid, so why shouldn’t we. Don’t sell yourself short by not wanting to make money from your photography. Somebody else will be somewhere down the track. Most chefs love cooking and they are highly paid. And what about golf? Why be a good amateur when you can be paid for being just as good?

  26. Those are great reasons to be a photographer. I think secretly everyone is a photographer. Anyone who has taken a landscape portrait or a selfie is at least an amateur.

  27. Param Sandhu says:

    Phorography & thereby photos can be a powerful medium to promote a cause, eg conservation, wildlife, tigers etc.
    It can provide a narrative and a voice for those who do not have one, eg tigers

  28. Great reasons to be a photographer! You can express yourself through your creative pics!! I am going to be a full time photographer and I cannot wait! Thank you for your encouragement!

  29. Sometimes it’s just good to remember why I became a photographer. This list really motivates! Thanks

  30. Ania Kee says:

    Man, that’s great and inspiring. I’m a year old in photography and i really appreciate your talent so far as this is concerned. Hope to get more from you. More greece to your elbow.

  31. It’s a great form of art and self expression it continuously grows on you it just something easy to do and also very fun.

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