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Friday, August 22, 2014

Photography And Happiness

Summarizing today's post: How photography is linked to happiness, photography as an amplifier, carrying your camera with you at all times.

46mm, ISO 200, f/5.6, 1/125th of a sec, on-camera fill added
Photography equals happiness. At least it does to me.

More specifically, photography is an amplifier--a megaphone--to whatever makes you happy in this life. 

To me, I find happiness in photography in two ways. One, I find joy in the process of taking photographs. The mechanics and science behind getting that perfect shot. It simply "floats my boat" for some reason I can't explain.

Some people eat and breathe football, racing, boating, hunting, fishing, (etc, etc.) because it makes them happy for some reason. Can they explain it? Perhaps. But it's just something about that sport or hobby that makes sense to them and they can loose themselves in it. It makes them happy. Although I find joy in other hobbies, nothing compares to photography. It makes me happy simply to pick up my camera for a couple of hours at the time and just play (for more, see here).

So...that's the first way happiness is linked photography. The process and science behind getting that perfect shot. Only the amateur photographers out there, like myself, truly understand this. And that's okay.

The second way I find happiness in photography is what most people can identify with. That is: I find joy in capturing images of things in this life that make me happy all by themselves. This is where the majority of people find happiness in photography. I could put hundreds of photos up on this page to show (broadcast) what I find joy in, but I picked Gavin today. He gives me extreme happiness. I could have just as easily picked a photo of my wife, other family members, photos of the beach, mountains, sunsets, cloud-filled skies...the list goes on and on. All give me joy.

All people like to look at photos of whatever makes them happy in this life. It amplifies their happiness to do so.

How many times do you start looking at photos you have on your phone, camera, or computer, and suddenly have a crowd of people looking over your shoulder smiling? 

Perfect example was when I was taking a family photograph of us a few weeks ago while on vacation. Most everyone wanted to see the photos on playback mode right then...and as they were looking, they were smiling. It brought them happiness, as it did to me too.

David Hobby--the famous modern-day photographer--calls photography his "special sauce" (see his blog post here). What he is referring to is this: Photography does not define who you are (even if you're a professional), it simply is a wonderful skillset you possess. And with that skillset, marvelous things can be accomplished.

What David calls his special sauce, I call my megaphone. Megaphones amplify your voice to allow many people to hear what is already being said. In the same way, I use photography as a tool to broadcast what I love in this life, what I find joy in, what I find happiness in. So can you.

40mm, ISO 200, f/5.6, 1/60th of a sec, on-camera fill added
I always encourage folks to open their eyes to the beautiful world in which we live and pause for a bit, just to take it in. While you are there, take a photo. Cherish it long after the moment has past.
Carry your camera with you at all times, and broadcast your happiness. It's what I call the Camerawith! Challenge (for more, see here).

I hope that you can now see how photography is linked to happiness. Even if you know nothing at all about a camera and can only snap photos with your cellphone, that's fine. Take tons of photos of whatever you find joy in, and broadcast it for all to see. You will become a happier person and you will bring happiness to others as well.

I challenge you to find a creative way to capture a few images of something today that "floats YOUR boat" and post them on your Facebook page, Twitter or the like. Or simply email them to a friend. 

Spread your happiness. Get out your megaphone.

Thanks for reading!


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