Why do you take photographs?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by kallisti, Mar 5, 2011.

  1. kallisti macrumors 65816


    Apr 22, 2003
    On face value, an easy question.

    It's my job, I make my living creating images that others can use....


    I want to capture the important moments in my life to safeguard or share them with others....


    I want to document the things I see around me....


    I see details in the world around me that others miss and I want to highlight them for whatever reason....


    My vision of the world isn't the same as everyone else's, I want to create images that make people see things in a different light....


    I see things in nature that are fleeting but which I think others would appreciate if they had only been where I was when I was....


    I want to create something and this is my creative outlet....



    Why do you bother taking images? What inspires you? What do you hope to achieve with your images? Why spend your time with photography rather than something else?

    An easy answer for the professional photographers out there--it pays the bills. But what about everyone else? I will post my own answer to this topic, but I don't want the thread to be about me. I'm genuinely curious about the responses of others and don't want to contaminate the thread with my own reasons before others have had a chance to respond.
  2. emorydunn macrumors 6502


    Jun 5, 2006
    Austin Texas
    Because I love to take photographs. Because, eventually, it will pay the bills. Because I want to capture what is around me and save the moment.

    The better question is 'why wouldn't I take photos?'
  3. CrackedButter macrumors 68040


    Jan 15, 2003
    51st State of America
    "I photograph to see what the world looks like in photographs." - Gary Winogrand
  4. Phrasikleia macrumors 601


    Feb 24, 2008
    Over there------->
  5. Designer Dale macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale

    Mar 25, 2009
    Folding space
    I'm no pro and I don't really have a desire to be one at this point in my life. I take photos because they engage me in the creative process in a way that I find both easy and challenging. I love the mechanics of the process. Seeing an image, taking the time to set up my gear and really look at the thing that first just caught my eye in a deeper and more complex way. It also gets me out of the house and in contact with nature, which I find good for my soul. It has also given me an avenue for sharing my work with others here in this forum. That's why I take photos. Simple, yes? No?

  6. Laird Knox macrumors 68000

    Jun 18, 2010
    I enjoy the creative outlet. That's always been my main drive. I love seeing people enjoy some of the sights I have seen.

    More recently there has been a secondary drive. Mainly a lack of satisfaction in the work I do. A lot of people seem to like my pictures so I want to start offering them for sale and maybe create a sideline that might free me from the desk one day. In that end I have been creating a web site and trying to improve my skills.

    So while the creativity is what drives me I've decided to try my hand at a bit of marketing. :)
  7. mickbab macrumors 65816


    Sep 13, 2008
    Sydney, Australia
    I take photographs mainly to keep a record of important or memorable events in my life, to look back upon later or to show family and friends.

    When I have the time, I like to use photography as my one outlet of creativity (drawing/painting/music etc. aren't exactly my strong points), and take a different look at the world around us.
  8. iceblade macrumors member

    Jun 17, 2008
    I like this response. It pretty sums up my experience. So many people around me are artistic in one way or another... But I'm terribly analytical, and un-artistic or creative. Photography allows me to substitute my analytical side for where my creative side is lacking.

    Additionally, I hope to reveal things to the world that many people miss.
  9. MattSepeta macrumors 65816


    Jul 9, 2009
    375th St. Y
    1. Because I have tricked some rubes into thinking my photos are worth $$$

    2. Because I can't paint or draw.

  10. munkees macrumors 65816


    Sep 3, 2005
    Pacific Northwest
    If I start to think of these existential questions then I might not ever take photos again.

    I take photos to try an capture beauty, but I am not good at getting the good shots yet, so I take photos to learn.
  11. LizKat macrumors 68040


    Aug 5, 2004
    Catskill Mountains
    To document unusual or fun events - big hailstone hole right through a maple leaf in a little tree outside my kitchen window last summer, totally great stir fry that looked like something out of a gourmet mag, cat doing something silly and artistic… spontaneous stuff like that. Definitely not a talented photographer like some other people in my family, so a phone cam is plenty good enough for my purposes.
  12. kalsta macrumors 68000


    May 17, 2010
    It is possible to look, and never really see. Photography is a discipline in seeing. It challenges you to stop putting people's faces in the centre of the viewfinder, and to appreciate the overall composition. It challenges you to see the incredible art that is in nature — even in the little details you don't normally take the time to stop and notice.

    And besides that, it's fun. :)
  13. srf4real macrumors 68030


    Jul 25, 2006
    paradise beach FL
    Well, I was looking at this girl at the beach one time and she said, "why don't you take a picture - it will last longer." but I didn't have a camera. So I got one.:D
  14. wonderspark macrumors 68040


    Feb 4, 2010
    I feel my purpose in life is to bring smiles, laughter and joy to people. Photography is one of the mediums that I use. I take photos to please others.
  15. Doylem macrumors 68040


    Dec 30, 2006
    Wherever I hang my hat...
    That was my starting point too. I've been photographing for many years, but, against expectations, it's only in the last 3-4 years, with a move to digital, that I feel I've found my 'voice'. These days my photography is about the landscape and the light, and the way that light can change even the most familiar landscape. I've developed a very simple way of working, that's about looking (rather than fiddling with the camera), and I really enjoy the way that just being in the landscape will produce photos. The world of cameras and gear can becoming all-engrossing, if you let it. Being in the landscape, and taking photos, is satisfying on so many levels... and I have plenty of uses for the pix I take, including books, magazine articles and stock sales.
  16. jdavtz macrumors 6502a

    Aug 22, 2005
    It's pretty much the only creative thing I get chance to do, and that's important to me.

    Otherwise, the usual themes of recording events, travels, and being able to share them with family and look back at the photos and remember things months or years later that otherwise are lost to memory.

    I'm still struggling with being unsatisfied with image quality from and usability of compact cameras (that you can easily carry around to capture interesting moments, e.g. in restaurants, houses of friends, the park, etc.), and the effort required to carry the DSLR+lens(es) around. Wondering if the Fuji X100 might help solve some of this, or whether it will be an expensive toy that doesn't change things much.
  17. JDDavis macrumors 65816


    Jan 16, 2009
  18. iPhonetherefore macrumors regular

    Jul 8, 2008
    Taunton UK
    Two guys at work invited me to the rally of Britain a couple of years ago. They were having so much fun I thought I should buy an SLR and join in. Havent looked back since!
  19. glocke12 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 7, 2008
    Lots of reasons, but ultimatley, for me it comes down to the following:

    1) To capture a fleeting moment in nature that would have otherwise been lost forever;

    2) To capture images of people or animals (i.e. my dog) that are important to me;

    3) I see details in the world around me that others miss and I want to highlight them for whatever reason....
  20. VirtualRain macrumors 603


    Aug 1, 2008
    Vancouver, BC
    It's interesting... I've never thought about this, but I don't think I take photographs for any of the reasons cited in the original post. At least not consciously. I need to think about this. :confused:
  21. Designer Dale macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale

    Mar 25, 2009
    Folding space
    Although what I said in my first reply to this thread is true, I can't really say that I have any kind of Grand Plan is mind for photography, either. It's more like "Let's go shoot something" and it just evolves from there. I'm not trying to impress anyone or make a statement in the big picture sense.

  22. AxisOfBeagles macrumors 6502


    Apr 22, 2008
    East of Shangrila
  23. epb87 macrumors member

    May 14, 2006
    Honestly I started just a month ago taking pictures with a camera other than a point and shoot. I stumbled upon the POTD forum and it made me grab one of my dad's DSLRs to practice with.

    I have since purchased a decent piece of glass and a polarizer to accompany me on a trip to Hawaii. Hopefully I'll have some great photos to share upon my return!:D

    I don't really have a desire to become a pro. I love photography as a hobby so far, and I have so much more to learn.
  24. VirtualRain, Mar 6, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2011

    VirtualRain macrumors 603


    Aug 1, 2008
    Vancouver, BC
    Yeah, re-reading your's and other's (crackedbutter, jdavtz, iceblade, etc.) posts I find myself thinking that photography motivates me to get out, look at things differently, and provides an outlet for what little creative talent I have. But it's not just an art... there's also a deep element of science to it as well which I think really appeals to my analytical brain. Photography is such a deep subject that it keeps me engaged from a learning perspective. When you combine that with the complex and huge selection of gear, and the fun and rewarding post production computer work, it's a hobby that has it all for me.

    There's nothing more satisfying than looking at a picture I've taken and processed, and thinking... "wow, did I really take that... it looks like it's right out of National Geographic" (that last part is self-inflated ego :eek: but you get my drift). EDIT: And there's nothing more motivating than looking at the pictures on here... this forum is super inspiring!
  25. John.B macrumors 601


    Jan 15, 2008
    Holocene Epoch
    I got into this "hobby" with a Canon A-1 that was given to me in the '80s for a college "Intro to Photography" course; add in one amazing professor and it forever changed how I see the world. :cool:

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