I first took a photograph when I was six years old, in the days of film when there was no live screen – and even then I was told I had a knack for photography.
Clumsier photographers had the bad habit of cutting people’s heads and feet off on photos. But not (mini) me!
So I was predisposed to picking up a camera of my own. Ten years later I bought my first camera, and photography soon became one of my favourite hobbies. I think it’s a brilliant complementary pastime to software development – so with summer time approaching, let me explain why I recommend paying more attention to your holiday snaps if you work in the field of software development…
Everyone needs photos. That organisation hosting an event, that friend getting married, that family lunch you are attending… and the opportunity to record what you and your team are up to as you create brilliance. Once your skills are sufficient, there will always be plenty of opportunities to put them to good use.
It gets you out of your chair
The nature of our work as technologists means we tend to spend a big chunk of our time seated inside. Having the excuse of taking photos is a great motivation to get out there, breath some fresh air, and wipe the cobwebs away. And that makes you feel more motivated when the time comes to sit back down.
Opportunity to meet people
While you are out shooting you will meet strangers, make new friends and get to know other photography enthusiasts. Welcome to the tribe! And since photography offers a satisfying mix of technical and creative thinking, the people you meet are often very interesting people…
Building on that point above – developers are often very logical and analytical people. Since photography is an art, it’s an opportunity to give the other side of your brain a moment to have fun and exercise!
Trains your patience
These days, everything happens fast and everyone is in a hurry. Photography forces you to slow down, to breathe before taking the shot, and wait for the right moment. It’s like a hunter-prey game (but nobody gets hurt)! Yet more skills that are useful anywhere, not least the workplace (I mean the patience, not the hunting).
…and also your attention
When you slow down, you become fully aware. You start to notice curious events, patterns and behaviours. Not only is this mindfulness a useful counterpoint to the rush of our everyday lives, but it’s good for spotting bugs too (I am a tester in the day job…)
Offers you unique moments
Ultimately, this is why I’d say I take photos, rather than make photos. I love capturing the moment, the candid. Most of those events are unique and will never happen again in the same way. So take the opportunity to look up from your screen once in a while and admire the world (even if it’s through your camera screen)!