8 reasons why photography is a fantastic hobby

Are you considering taking up photography but feeling cautious about investing in expensive equipment in case you change your mind, or discover it's not for you? Then this post may prove helpful.

1 There are no age restrictions.  You can learn photography at any age and you don’t need an expensive camera - you can even use an iphone if you prefer!  However, if you wish to purchase a DSLR, there are reasonably priced models on the market which are suitable for beginners and won't set you back an arm and a leg.  Why not check out your local Curry's or browse through ebay or Amazon to see what's on offer?

The second-hand option

Ebay and websites such as Gumtree, etc., sell second-hand cameras from around £75 +. They also sell lenses from around £25 + which is really helpful if you're working on a limited budget. Choosing the second-hand option may be wise if you have a limited budget or if you don't want to spend lots of money initially until you are absolutely certain that photography is something you want to invest in more seriously at a later stage. While it's good to be aware of various purchasing options, at the end of the day your decision will be a matter of personal choice and what's best for you.

2 Photography provides a healthy challenge and sense of personal achievement.  There are endless ways to challenge yourself and there’s always new things to learn, e.g. techniques, genres, projects to discover, not to mention workshops available both online and within the local community.  Judy Laing, Aberdeen offers excellent beginner DSLR workshops for both teenagers and adults tailored to encourage users off auto camera mode and into more creative learning.  Gift tokens are also available for each of these courses.

The possibilities for learning are endless, plus the sense of achievement you experience when you reach each goal you set yourself is very rewarding!

3 You can practise photography outdoors (or indoors when the weather isn’t favourable) so it's not a hobby that's restricted by poor weather conditions!  Rainy days are also good for visiting photography forums and making lots of new online friends as well as gleaning excellent photography advice, tips and techniques from other forum members.

4 You can document everyday family life or capture anything of interest to you whilst recording all such things in a tangible way.  There are so many ways to record your images nowadays, e.g. printing / framing, uploading to a blog or Facebook page, creating a photo book, Flickr sharing, etc. 

If you're more creative-minded, you may wish to take your photography a step further and produce scrapbook memories filled with important events and all your favourite photographs.  I prefer to use digital scrap-booking, but paper scrap-booking is a whole lot of fun also.  Both provide beautiful ways of storing photographs and they make lovely gifts and family heirlooms which can be passed down from generation to generation.

"A flower doesn't think about competing with the flower next to it.  It simply blooms." - Sen Shin

5 There are no restrictions or expectations to meet.  Being a 'hobbyist' photographer gives you the freedom to create the kind of pictures you want to take without the pressure of having to please other people.  Without the pressure of meeting customers' expectations, you can experiment with all sorts of photography genres and techniques, and do so at your own pace.

6 A photograph is powerful enough to not only remind you of a happy event or detailbut it can also bring you right back to the feelings, sounds, and even the smells of the moment.  We all love to re-visit and share special memories from time-to-time and what better way than via beautiful photographs? 

7 Photography connects you to other people.  I cannot praise online photography communities enough for providing encouragement, support and inspiration throughout my photography journey so far.  Websites such as Instagram, Viewbug, Digital Photography School, etc have all provided excellent teaching platforms and openings to make friends with photographers from all over the world.  

8 Photography is also an excellent way to keep up-to-date with far away family and friends.  Photographs help people feel a little more connected to each other in addition to phone calls and / or emails.  Far flung friends and family will receive a lot of pleasure viewing images of loved ones whom they are unable to see for long periods of time.  

These are a few of the reasons why I love photography.  If you're thinking about taking up photography as a hobby yourself, I'd say "go ahead and try it, but please be warned.... it can be very addictive!"  ;D

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