Photography is the science, art, application and practice of creating durable images by recording light. Let's simply call it “Drawing with light”. My LinkedIn profile claims, entrepreneur and photographer, but I am not sure I should call myself a photographer. A professional photographer earns 100% of his income from photography. So theoretically, I'm not a pro.
I do love painting with light. Visual storytelling comes natural. Let us not focus on rigid definitions, surely, the “Why” is all that matters. Let us try to throw a much sharper light on a blurry question. In my world, a photographer is an individual who sees beauty in the mundane. A photographer is an individual who experiences life fully and vividly, and can capture fleeting moments with precision and poise.
A photographer is an individual who is always grateful to be alive, to have a pair of eyes, and to be able to visually decipher complexity in the world.
Not graded by how many cameras, lenses, awards, or books he/she has. A photographer never judges his/her work by how many likes he/she gets on social media. Pushing to see the world in a unique and idiosyncratic way. Trying to find novel combinations, whether they be color, light, or shade. Finding excitement in ordinary places. Growing, developing, and refining the craft. A visual diary of life.
If that's not enough, here's ten reasons why you might want to draw with light:
Capture a memory
With a photo, you can capture a moment, and have it forever. I think we take that idea for granted, with photography being so ubiquitous these days. But seriously just take a second to appreciate that.
Notice the details
Photography changes the way you see things. It’s actually quite an incredible transformation to experience. Suddenly you notice light, shapes, colors, textures, people, buildings, trees, flowers…Everything around you looks different when you start to see the world as a photographer.
See the beauty
Once you start noticing details, you inevitably start to see how much beauty is all around you. Every day is filled with it—in the most ordinary or unexpected places. When you start to derive happiness from seeing some particularly awesome light, you’ll realize that photography has changed your everyday experience.
Live in the present
Photography, through its ability to help you see details and notice the beauty around you, helps you to truly live in the present. When you shoot you have to be aware of everything if you want to capture it. You can’t be thinking about the movie you watched last night, or what you’re going to have for dinner. Photography focuses you on the now, which is incredibly valuable!
Share your perspective
Everyone sees things differently. Put 100 photographers in a room and you’ll get 100 different photos. The way you see the world is unique, and photography lets you share that perspective with others.
Your unique perspective can go further than just showing people how you see a scene. Photography also lets you express yourself—your opinions and beliefs. You do this by choosing what you photograph, and how you represent it. This aspect of your photography is ever-changing as you change. You get a sense of what a photographer is like as a person by looking at their body of work. This part of photography is absolutely fascinating as a viewer and fulfilling as a shooter.
Tell a story
Photography is a fantastic story-telling medium. Whether you’re telling a story with one image, a sequence, a series, or an entire portfolio, the possibilities are endless. Just ask yourself what story you want to tell, and photography can get you there.
Capture an adventure
One very common way people get interested in photography is through traveling. Who doesn’t pack a camera with them on a trip? The more you practice and learn about photography, the better you’ll be able to document your adventure. Maybe you haven’t been to an exotic locale, but photos can practically transport you there like a Stargate. They can show you the people, the food, and the sights. Or maybe you want to share your own travels with friends and family. They get to come along with you when you take awesome photos!
Photography is a fantastic gateway into anything else you’re interested in. Really fascinated by the music world? Become a music photographer and you’ll get to meet the musicians and observe the inner workings of the industry. We are really into wine and got to spend an entire day touring a local winery and shooting it. We loved the experience and they loved the photos—win-win all around. Photographing someone is an intimate experience. You connect with people in a completely unique way with a camera in hand and your full attention on them. It’s easier to talk, easier to just look at them—seriously, it’s cool. It’s especially wonderful when you photograph someone you love. People are incredibly interesting. And emotion is a part of that. Seeing how the face changes during a laugh, or how body language reflects mood are all fascinating studies, and photography helps you capture that.
Along those lines, photography can give you a different look at the world. Time lapses, HDR shots, light painting and more. Photography is just as good at bending reality as it is at capturing it. Photographs let you travel through time without the use of a DeLorean. They can bring you back to a moment that you experienced, and you can remember just how you felt. (Flashback: QuikPro Video)
After all these reasons, this one should just make sense. With all the beauty, joy, love, connection, variety, history, adventure, movement, emotion, and awesomeness that makes up life, how could you not be stoked to get out there and experience it? With camera in hand, of course. Obviously, for now, stay in your photo studio ;)