Thanks to technological advancements and the world wide web, photography has grown into an art form, a hobby, and a career; even simply studying photography helps to expand skill sets and confidence. Studying and practicing photography is no longer solely for training to be a photographer. With the proper equipment, mindset, and vision, photography can transform your life and career. Listed below are some of the benefits of studying and practicing photography.

Memory and mental cognition. In 2013, the University of Texas at Dallas published a study done by researchers looking to determine if learning mentally challenging skills helps improve memory in older people. Results showed that the groups who had to learn challenging mental activities, such as photography, showed significant gains in memory. The results of the study suggested that through engaging in fun, yet challenging activities (photography) humans can add more years of independence and high-quality living.

“As a society, we need to learn how to maintain a healthy mind – we know how to maintain vascular and heart health with diet and exercise,” said Denise Park lead researcher of the study. Further research is needed in this area to learn how we as a people can live longer, healthier, and more independent lives.

Free Schedule. Say goodbye to the concept of the 9-5 sitting at a desk career. Photography gives people the ability to stay on the go, to travel, or open up a studio and set your own hours there. Photography allows people to have flexible schedules. So if you prefer to wake up late in the afternoon and work into the night, you can schedule evening photos and then spend the night editing. How you want to get your work done is up to you.

Career Options. Photography allows for individuals to find work in a variety of fields, including:

  • Social photography – weddings, celebrations, and families.
  • Fashion photography – creative model poses, magazine and catalog clothing
  • Scientific and medical photography – recording scientific research, capture nature, and wildlife, or record medical conditions and treatments
  • Editorial and advertising photography – adverts, photo libraries, and magazines
  • Corporate photography – promotional material for industrial and commercial organizations

Life skills. If you aren’t interested in teaching or pursuing photography as a career, there are still many life skills one can gain from the practice itself. Decision making, communication, self-confidence, collaboration, digital understanding, and presentation are essential elements of photography, and these skills are also crucial to life outside of the art.