25 Inspiring Reasons to Learn Photography

When it comes to taking great photos, how would you rate yourself?

If you were to hit the ‘delete’ or ‘trash’ button on those photos that aren’t really worth printing, what would you be left with on your memory card or in your iPhone gallery?

Until recently, I hadn’t given much thought to the quality of photos I’ve been taking with my digital point-and-shoot camera.

Or to the fact that I have several memory cards and folders on my computer cluttered with a lot of fairly average photos.

If you read this post, you’ll know I’ve recently been inspired to take my photography skills to a new level (or, to be honest, to any level really, because those photography ‘skills’ have been so far non-existent!)

And you’ll be impressed to know that, considering what  a hopeless procrastinator I can tend to be, since writing that post, I’ve taken massive action!

In the last several weeks, I’ve:

  • Started a photography course at our local community house.
  • Sold three books on ebay, adding another $32 to my camera fund (OK, so maybe not ‘massive action’, but at least action!)
  • Been fortunate enough to borrow a Nikon D70 digital SLR camera from my gorgeous friend Jane – to ‘play with’.

And I’ve put together this list of 25 reasons and some great links to websites and blogs that might inspire you to take your photography skills to a new level:

1.  Never forget the places you’ve been and the people you’ve met along the way.

2.  Capture forever the milestones and special occasions with family and friends: the new baby, your son’s first day at school, family holidays and Christmas celebrations, your daughter’s wedding, your dad’s 80th birthday.

3. Capture the beauty of nature’s amazing moments: the snow-covered mornings, the beautiful sunsets, spiders’ webs and roses in bloom.

4. Create beautiful gifts for birthdays, Christmas or ‘just because’, like Debbie Olson’s Printer Tray Family Collage. Or like the calendar I made in Photoshop and Artscow using a 2-Page Calendar Kit (with 2011 Date Overlay) from The Shabby Shoppe.  (The calendar was printed with Artscow, who offer great discount coupons at Christmas and all through the year to email subscribers.)

5. Give your scrapbooking pages that little something extra – a whole lot more often! For inspiration, check out these blogs: Lisa Truesdell’s The Moments In Between and Susan Weinroth’s A Little Bit of Me.

6. Personalize your handbag, purse or camera bag at Artscow. You can even make your own Photo Umbrella!

7. Decorate your home with unique creations all of your own: Framed scrapbook pages, Memory boxes, Printed canvas frames, Framed photos.

8. Create unique labels for kid’s toyboxes, bookshelves or your pantry shelves using a home laminator.

9. Capture the “befores” and “afters” of your transformations – the new garden patch, the bedroom makeover.

10. Record the progress of your business – from kitchen table to successful empire!

11. Document the progress of those special projects you’re working on, to remind yourself of how far you’ve come.

12. Share your beautiful food creations with others. Be inspired by Bea Peltre’s blog La Tartine Gourmande , by Julie and Yvonne at The Alkaline Sisters , by Canelle et Vanille and by the amazing creations of Bakerella.

13. Make your blog your own. You’ll find some gorgeous photos on Kevin and Amanda’s blog, and over at The Fancy Farm Girl and Pancakes and French Fries, where blogging skills and photography skills meet.

14. Learn to create stunning works of art! Check out Trey Radcliffe’s work at Stuck in Customs, as well as his free HDR Tutorial.

15. Play with your photos using Instagram or Photoshop.

16. Share with the world on Flickr, on Twitter using yfrog or Instagram, or with your friends on Facebook.

17. Make some extra pocket money selling your photos on iStockphoto, SmugMug or Red Bubble.

18. Add that special touch that makes all the difference, like Paint the Moon’s Photoshop Actions.

19. Share your experience and knowledge with others, as Darren Rowse does on the Digital Photography School website.

20. Have some fun creating your very own ‘Styled Shoot’. For inspiration, check out the shoot that Matt & Katie Photographers did for Sweet Stella.

21. See the world in a different way with Vivienne McMaster and be inspired by Andrea Scher to share the way you see it.

22. Explore who you are and the journey you’re on.

23. Display products in your Etsy shop as beautifully as Liz Lamoreaux, author of the book “Inner Excavation” and Emerge instructor.

24. Inspire others, as Kim Klassen does. Kim is one of many inspirations for my inspiring quilter and photographer friend Lizzie.

25. Create your own unique header and graphics for your blog or website. (This is right up there on my list of priorities now that I have camera at hand!) Be inspired by The Farm Chicks and Jaime Ridler Studios.

And a bonus!  26. Because you won’t regret it!

I don’t know about you, but having seen what’s possible – with knowledge, skill and practice – I’m no longer satisfied with the idea of “Point and shoot, cross your fingers that it looks OK, and quickly hit that ‘trash’ button if it doesn’t”!

I’m sure you can think of even more reasons to learn how to take amazing photos, and would love to hear your ideas in the comments below.

If you’d like to read more about my photographic adventures and discoveries, along with some ideas and inspiration for how to be creative and pursue your dreams – while dealing with the clutter, the housework, that tendency to procrastinate… – I’d love for you to sign up to receive my blog updates directly to your email inbox.


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