Why do I take pictures?

I am not a professional photographer, I don’t aspire to be a professional photographer or indeed a recognised photographer of any sort. There are many people out there with years of experience and the talent to match that do a much better job than I could ever could. So why do I persevere with photography and what do I get from it?

I started photography to take pictures of my kids growing up as I remember the joy of looking through old photo albums so I wanted to try and take better pictures. I found that I enjoyed learning about photography and thus wanted to get more involved. Most of all I found that I enjoyed walking around with a camera and challenging myself.

With the film camera when I first started with 35mm and the marathon that is 36 exposures I used to be bitterly disappointed as I expected to have at least 30 or so useable half decent images. I must have thought that as I was taking more time, combined with the naive and arrogant attitude of “you know, it’s on film so it must be good” that 30 plus good (for me) images would be attainable.

It took me a while to settle down and realise what an idiot I was thinking this way and during this time I almost gave up. I’m happy now if I get one or two good images, as part of the process is practicing compositions, trying different speeds and apertures as well as learning how different films work.

Do I care if others enjoy my images, of course I do as we all like peer recognition but conversely do I care if nobody likes them, not really as it is something I do for my own enjoyment and the test is yes I would still do it if there was no social media.

There are so many steps to get to the final image; Choosing a film to try, going for a walk or fun day out to take pictures, the anticipation of the results that all combine to make my hobby what it is……something I enjoy doing and hopefully see progression with my image quality over time.

I also reconcile it this way, when I flick through my parents photo album, I’m not thinking about the focus, the composition or any other technical piece, I’m thinking of the time, the place and the memories it brings to me and it is the same with the images I take now, good or bad, it is recording memories and for me that alone is satisfaction enough.


3 thoughts on “Why do I take pictures?

  1. Yeah, I had similar expectation for ‘hit rate’ when I started. I then realised that, when you think about your favourite photographer and add up all their published images from a whole career, you realise that a handful of great pictures a year is pretty racy…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Agreed. I’m graduating this year with an art photography degree but I don’t foresee myself becoming an artist. I’m a double major, so journalism seems to be my real focus. I take photography seriously but don’t necessarily think I need to become a professional to justify taking classes. At the same time, photography feels like more than a hobby to me. Time will tell. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

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