Having a camera in my hand gives me an excuse to say and do silly things to get people to smile. Imagine the looks I'd get if I said “cheesy pickles” with empty hands.
Having a camera in my hand gives me a reason to stand back and blend in. When taking portraits, the camera is my reason to be silly, but it also serves as a reason to blend in and capture people, candidly, too.
My hobby is my job. 'Nuff said.
I get to make other people look good. There's just something about seeing someone realize their own beauty when they see their own portraits.
I get to explore different ways of looking at things. I love taking an everyday object and presenting it from a different angle.
I get to travel to unique places. There's only so many things you can take pictures of in your own backyard. I've discovered things from abandoned bridges just a few miles from home to places with entirely different cultures.
I can freeze time. Even if I never make any more money as a photographer, I will always be thankful for the ability to capture my own memories.
I get to shoot things. I've never really had the desire to shoot a gun. But last fall, I “shot” an eight point buck right out of my side yard.
I get to meet new people. I've chatted with people that I never would have stepped out of my comfort zone to meet without my camera.
I have an appreciation for anything old. That old wood box someone was going to throw out? Perfect photography prop. Old film cameras? Even better.
I've learned to appreciate what I see. Anyone can enjoy a sunset, but only photographers note how the sun is hitting the abandoned, beat-up shack over there.
I can't draw. I love having a creative outlet, but my outwork outside of photography is usually pretty scary.
I get to try new things. Without being a photographer, I would've never stood right next to an alligator wrestler to get the perfect shot (I'm not kidding either).
I get the best seats. Watching football is much more exciting when there's the threat of being squashed by a 300 pound linebacker.
I have a good excuse to get a good computer. I won't tell you how much I spent on my laptop and editing programs.
I see people in a different light. Photographing someone's portrait is almost intimate. You notice everything about them and have permission to stare (with the camera of course).
I can linger. I've always liked taking my time. When I have my camera, I have a good reason to.
I get to speak—without words. I'm a writer, so words are important to me, but I'm always intrigued by what I can say with my camera instead of my pen.
I can make my own wall art. I love to decorate with images I've created myself.
I get to tell my kids how I climbed uphill in a snowstorm both ways...to take that picture. Seriously, that whole walking to school joke is old. But I do get to teach my kids about hard work, and that's something I'm thankful for.
There's always something to shoot. So many more people are taking pictures—so it's a challenge to shoot something new, but when I do, that challenge is worth it.
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Photographers as a whole sometimes get a bad rap—we're artists, and, well, sometimes artists tend to be a bit odd. But I, for one, am thankful I'm a photographer—I certainly wouldn't have stood next to an alligator without my camera in hand (see #13). Here's 21 reasons why I'd rather be a photographer than a doctor or lawyer any day of the week (well, except maybe payday).