Home Forums Let’s Talk Photography What do you like about Photography?

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    In the interest of conversation and general nosiness (and also because I wrote a blog post about it yesterday) I was wondering what people here like about photography? Is it just a job like any other or is it your passion, or both?
    I work full time in a job I don’t really care for and rarely make money from photography (I sell the odd print), it’s more a hobby than anything else. I’m working on making it a source of income and i’m currently building up points towards a degree so I run workshops for beginners etc. I also want to do photography walks and maybe the odd wedding or a bit of portraiture to make ends meet. I’d much rather do something I love and earn less than the job I do now, which I won’t go into but I can assure you that every day a little bit of me dies inside!
    Anyway, photography. I’m hooked. It’s become an obsession, I dream about it, talk about it incessantly and I’m never without a camera. For me it’s a freedom I don’t get with other past times. I like power kiting, illustration, reading, cycling and sometimes rollerblading (though i’m getting a bit long in the tooth and achey in the knees for that now) but none of that gives me the satisfaction of taking a good picture. It’s a never ending journey of education, there’s always something to learn. I love the way everything is a trade off with something else. The way I feel i’ve mastered something and then realise I haven’t at all, there’s always some new to consider. The equipment can be quite exciting too.

    Worst Case Scenario

     I’d much rather do something I love and earn less than the job I do now

    That’s handy as theres no money in photography.

    there’s always something to learn.

    I started using Photoshop when it was version 2. I use it  for at least 6 hours, pretty much every day. I would consider my self damn good at it. Yesterday I learnt two new PS tricks

    I love the way everything is a trade off with something else.

    Realizing that (with a Z : ) Is a very good start!

    What I like about photography? Well these days I like the fact that I can sit in a nice warm office, listen to music, drink coffee and make great images on a huge screen that print out looking exactly like I wanted. I had 20 years working in freezing cold or boiling hot darkroom that stank of chemicals had noisy machinery and never produced prints that were exactly the colour I wanted.


    I like the way photography has changed the way I view the world around me. I see beauty or interest in everything around me. I see opportunity. My vision of the world around me has changed dramatically.

    I like the freedom involved in the type of work I do. I work for absolutely no one but myself. I shoot exactly what I want, when I want and if someone wants to pay me for that later, then bonus. That may be shooting my son’t baseball glove when I am bored and stuck in the house on a bleh day or it may involve a mission that is half military operation and half Indiana Jones movie. (In all seriousness, two business expenses planned for this year are a kayak and a grappling hook.)

    That said, I also like the business aspect of it and figuring out something I want to shoot that also has future sales potential. (That is why I asked the name of the falls yesterday as how saturated the market is on a particular subject has a lot to do with how much money there is to be made with it.) So far, I have been able to shoot things I enjoy and turn that into an actual monetary return on the time and money spent shooting them.


    I used to really love photography, then I got a bachelor’s degree in it. The main things I learned in school were how to please instructors with wildly varying opinions, and how to bullshit my way through a critique. Everything else, I’ve had to teach myself. (I already knew the basics including darkroom from a summer class in middle school.)

    I’m working on rediscovering my love for photography, with very little luck. Every time I see someone on this forum tell someone else to go to school, I want to say, “Don’t do that! It will destroy your passion for photography!” Maybe I just had a bad experience.

    Manual Mode

    @Gnork I am currently finishing a photo degree (2 classes left) and I could not agree with you more.  While I do believe that taking a class for the basics is a good thing, and in a class it kinda forces you to learn the basics in a defined direction rather than haphazardly, the teachers do tend to vary wildly in their opinions and skillsets. That being said, teachers with vastly different criteria for what makes a good shot is a lot like a customer right? sometimes your going to get the ones who know their stuff and others who like dreadfully underexposed superb HDR.

    As for what I love about photography, I love the challenge and the excitement of getting a useable shot.  I shoot landscapes and studio work and both take time and patience to get a useable shot (notice I didn’t say good lol).


    I disagree partially about the school thing. I think it’s really important to learn some of the basics in a formal setting. Self-teaching can be done, but usually it takes longer and some people who don’t go through harsh classroom critiques are often the ones who feel critiques are personal attacks when they aren’t. Or so it seems. But formal education shouldn’t just be in photography- I feel I benefited from college courses in a few different types of art, digital software, photography, and a business class. I didn’t take an extensive amount of courses in any of those subjects, but “enough” (if there is enough) of them to get a pretty decent feel for it. I also had some really great professors who inspired me a lot. Actually, while I was in the courses, I felt like I struggled a lot. Now, a few years later, and with more experience under my belt, my mind constantly makes connections to my own discoveries and new things I am learning to those basics I learned in school, which has given me a more complete understanding.

    Photography for me is my creative outlet. I love making beautiful things. It has been a hobby for many years, and now a source of some income as well. I try to challenge myself often with making all of my work better. I also really enjoy meeting and connecting with others who share the same feelings.


    I can understand the comment about school. I did photography at college, left, and went into a totally different career. Going to school/college/uni for years doesn’t help you become a good photographer IMHO, it makes you good at taking pictures. Photography for me is about the artistic creative element and making a picture come to life, rather than just pressing a button whilst stood in front of something that looks pretty. I think you have to have a natural flair for art and creativity to become a truly successful photographer.

    Just my humble opinion though 🙂

    Manual Mode

    @browneyedgirl89 I completely agree with your assessment of photographers (or artists) needing the critique experience. Its great to be taken down a few notches when you walk into that first Crit lol. Its how you use the critique information that matters in the end. I have seen students take things completely personally like its an attack o their very being that someone would criticize their work. The critique process can be a humbling and valuable tool to grow as an artist if you let it.  I always take critique with a serious ear, but a grain of salt. I want to do my thing my way, but I like to hear what others think I can do to take it to the next level and I always take this to heart. In some situations suggestions have worked for me and in others not this is the process of getting better at what your working towards.

    As an aside I’m not a photographer whos got an axe to grind with anyone just someone whos been a fan of the site for a while and started to add my 2 cents 8)


    I love that it’s ever changing, always learning, always wanting/needing more.  I like that I can see other peoples lives, thoughts, feelings through the photographs they make.  I mean… How incredible to be able to communicate without words, and have it be pleasing/interesting to the eye enough that other people are completely able to understand it as well, or at the very least be drawn in.  I want to learn how to communicate as clearly as I can with my images.  It’s fun to just goof around as well, but there is nothing quite like that feeling you get when you are satisfied with a shot, and you see it in your hands for the first time.  Serious happiness when that happens.  I wish it happened more.  I was contemplating taking the selling of my work more seriously, but do you know what happened when I did that?  I stopped shooting, felt like I was trapped in a “I have to please my current audience” box.  I began to dread it, I kept procrastinating on moving forward with trying to make more money. Seriously, months went by and I started hating the idea more and more.  Nope, I think I’ll just shoot the way I want, when I want, and just keep selling a finished print or two now and then without pushing it or working at it, and trying to make all my shots fit some sort of mold that I unknowingly or knowingly created.  Big changes ahead for me.  More family snaps and personal shots, more street, shooting wider, taking things LESS seriously, and most of all shooting more both with intent, and without outlandish expectations.  I’m gong mirrorless, so I can keep my camera with me at all times, instead of “accidentally” forgetting my DSLR and craptasticly heavy bag at home.  Very excited to learn my new camera, and see where it takes me.

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