Photography as a Valuable Life Skill

Dog with camera

F-stops.  Aperture priority.  Shutter priority.  White balance.  Exposure bracketing.

It’s enough to confuse and scare off most beginners to photography.  Yet, for me it has been a saving grace and one of the best hobbies I ever took up.  If you are interested in photography, I strongly suggest pursuing it to see where it may lead you. For me, photography is much more than art.  It has also taught me valuable life skills.

Photography lets you see the world differently.  Many people have a negative or fatalistic view of the world.  The camera lets us find beauty where we might not have thought existed.  It sees the world differently and we, to become masters of this art form, must also learn to see the world differently.  Spending time behind the camera has helped me in this regard.  For some, it is the window into his or her soul.  Time stops for the person looking through the viewfinder and seeing the world as a camera sees it.  Time stops for the person when his creative juices start to flow and he get excited at the very thought of creating something from nothing.  Time stops when he is able to help others view the world differently.  It might be as simple as canting the camera or changing the perspective of the object being photographed.  When time stops, living in the moment begins.  Living in the moment is why men ride motorcycles, write, or wood-work.

Photography has helped me to become more sociable.  All it took was for me to pick up my camera on my own cognizance and start taking photos for my club.  Soon, I became the unofficial, official photographer.  Later, I would be honored by being asked to take photos at a region-wide dinner banquet and then by a friend who recently got engaged and wanted me to take her engagement photos.  Being asked brought me a feeling of achievement that I was actually good with the camera, which certainly builds up confidence.  It has also taught me to be more assertive, to command people to pose for the camera.  It has helped me build confidence in my skills as a person, too, able to freely mingle and wade through a crowd.  I find myself having to get into places and positions where most normal people would be too shy to get into, just for that perfect shot.

Photography is also a lot of fun!  Volunteering to photograph different events, I also got to meet people from all walks of life.  If you love people-watching, as I do, then you will love photography.  The camera is more than just a bunch of mechanical parts and plastic pieces.  It has a life of its own—and showed me what is possible with mine.


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