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When Steve Jobs unveiled the iPhone, he sparked a digital revolution.
The iPhone enabled people to do things that weren’t possible before, but perhaps the most tangible impact was this: it empowered every person who had a smartphone the ability to take great, professional-looking photographs — even people who lacked experience in the field.
What’s more? The invention of the smartphone allowed people to take great photographs within a moment’s notice. Before the smartphone, photography was decidedly not an everyday thing. It was much less accessible — a craft reserved for professionals.
But now, people have the ability to take more pictures than ever before, and much more frequently.
This is something I’ve tried to embrace in my own life. In fact, since buying my first smartphone, I’ve trained myself to take pictures every day. I take pictures of small moments of happiness with my family, and I take pictures of little instances of beauty I come across in my travels.
Engaging with photography like this helps you cultivate your inner creativity and engage more meaningfully with the world around you. Here’s why that’s an opportunity no one should pass up.
In capturing moments of importance and beauty, photography helps people revisit memories in a way otherwise not possible. Simply put, photography grants people the ability to immortalize moments in time.
But here’s the thing: it also helps us stay connected with our loved ones.
In this way, photography proves more than just art — it’s a modicum of teleportation.
It’s an amazing thing that we’re able to so easily document the more remarkable moments of our life like this. It’s a gift to our aunts and grandparents and siblings — those who might otherwise feel detached from our lives — and it’s nourishing for the self, as well. Getting into the practice of capturing your life is good for your mental health.
A lot of us tend to dwell on the more negative things that happen to us. We go on a beautiful vacation and see great sites, eat marvelous food, and interact with history, but on our flight back, we fixate on the hotel employee who was rude to us in the lobby on our last day. This is a propensity almost all of us have — this fixation on the negative.
By recording our happiest memories, however, we train ourselves to spend more time thinking about the good things. I’m not a doctor, but I find that the more I do this — the more simply interesting or pleasurable moments and images I capture — the happier I am. That’s because the process of taking those pictures in effect embeds me in those moments, forcing me to spend more time with them than the sad or disheartening moments.
How cool is that?
Of course, in addition to providing genuine joy and happiness to both ourselves and the people we love, photography is a craft, and practicing it every day will only help you improve.
We think of photography as a craft practiced only by everyday amateurs with smartphones or actual professionals with a certain amount of knowledge. But the truth is, anyone can become a great photographer with a bit of practice. In fact, practice beats talent every time.
It follows, then, that when you take photos every day, you improve in a seriously meaningful way. You might not even be trying to improve, but you do. If you do anything on a regular basis and work on your process and analyze the results, you will improve.
Don’t believe me? Start taking pictures for one full year. You might not even realize it, but when you look back, you’ll notice how your skills have been growing. That’s a rewarding experience in and of itself — and one we all have the ability to partake in.
The power of photography as art is that it serves to enhance the way we see the world.
Try taking a photo of the same object every day. What you’ll find is, by spending time studying this object — a person, or a building, or a budding tree — you’ll find new looks, styles, and angles that accentuate it in different, more interesting ways.
This kind of practice has a way of activating your brain and stimulating your inner creativity that makes life more interesting.
Personally, by practicing the art of photography every day, I’ve come to see the world differently. It’s also changed my perception of what in life is important and worthwhile.
There is beauty in the little things.
Another thing you’ll learn by familiarizing yourself with photography as art is that it’s not about what you capture in an image, so much as what sort of emotion your images reveal and evoke.
Every morning, my wife tells my son, “You make your day the moment you wake up.” It’s true. Positivity is practiced, and we have more control over the way we perceive the world than we think. Photography is one way to train yourself to take that control.
I’m not a professional photographer, and neither is my wife, but we believe that improvement in this craft starts small — it starts simple, and then you grow and evolve from there.
So to start really engaging with photography, take a photo of yourself every day for a year, and see how you change. Selfies suffice. The important thing is you learn to pay attention to the way certain elements warp, distort, or improve a photo. You’ll become more perceptive.
You can do this with objects, too. Taking a picture of your backyard every day can be an extraordinary and enlightening experience.
Again, what you photograph doesn’t matter so much as how and why you photography it. Our lives unfoil quickly. Yet most of us carry a device around in our pocket that enables us to capture the beautiful moments in life and make them tangible. That device can empower us to lead fuller and more interesting lives. It’s a gift.
It would be a shame if we didn’t take advantage of it.
Source: Medium (link)
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