Way back in 2014, I took up photography after a long absence. I wanted and needed a creative outlet. I wanted to learn, I wanted to capture the world around me and I thought at the time it would just be a hobby. But I noticed some pleasant and unexpected bonuses with my photography.

You will meet so many people

I didn’t release just how many people I would meet on my journey, some of which I believe will be lifelong friends. With digital photography becoming so much more affordable and accessible to everyone, there are so many people enjoying the same things as I do.

Photographers, for the most part, will always say hello or stop for a chat with someone else with a camera. Ask what they are shooting, how they found their gear, perhaps even offer a pointer to two, or even ask for some assistance.

Go to a local photography hotspot and you will invariably meet up with others. I think because they are in their happy place, they are only too happy to chat. That’s something that’s pretty rare these days.

Make new friends
Make new friends

You can become part of a community

Photography IS a community. There are so many forums and mini and sub-genre communities. Interested in macro bug photography, night photography or any other genre? There are groups and communities that meet, chat and have outings. Want to learn about portraits or landscapes? There are communities and groups and workshops and classes.

These community groups are inspiring and sharing and inclusive (on the whole). There are always beginners and always someone who has a bit more experience that can help. I am a member of several such communities and even have my own.

Photographic communities
Photography communities

Photography will get you traveling

I have seen more of the world since 2014 than I have in my entire adulthood. But I am actually referring more to my own backyard, city, state and country. My photography journey has shown me parts of my own suburb I didn’t know existed, parts of my state I have never explored.

I got to see things from a whole new perspective and discovered that what I have around me is incredible … I don’t have to travel the world to see amazing sights. I have them all here, too.

You may get to try many unexpected things

One thing I really didn’t think of, which was a completely unexpected bonus with my photography, was the experiences I would try. I am not a morning person (at all) but learned the sheer joy of watching a sunrise on a deserted beach or mountaintop.

I am not a camper, but to get to some amazing yet remote locations, there are no hotels. I don’t like the cold (at all), but fresh snow can be so pretty. I don’t like heights, but loved chasing hot air balloons. I have a fascination with lighthouses.

I am an introvert, but totally love teaching and public speaking (once I get over my nerves).

Sunrise at Craigs Hut
Sunrise at Craig’s Hut

Perhaps there is more I could add to this list. Some people have become much fitter and healthier, some people have changed their vocation entirely. What benefits have you found that were completely unexpected bonuses with your photographic journey? I’d love to know in the comments!