9 Life Lessons I learned From Photography

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All photos are original to the author unless otherwise noted. 

9 Life Lessons I learned From Photography

This blog post may contain affiliate links.  I may earn a small commission for any purchases made through these links. Click here for the disclosure statement.

All photos are original to the author unless otherwise noted. 

Photography has been an integral part of my life. From capturing precious memories with family and friends to exploring new places and capturing stunning landscapes, photography has given me so much joy. Beyond just a hobby, photography has taught me some valuable life lessons that have impacted me significantly. 

This post will discuss some of the most important life lessons I have learned from photography. These lessons include patience, creativity, attention to detail, and the ability to look at things differently. These skills have not only helped me in my photography journey but have also helped me navigate various challenges in my personal and professional life. By sharing my experiences and insights, I hope to inspire others to pursue their passions and embrace the valuable life lessons that come along with it.

1. You’ll Never be Good at Something on the First Try

Photography Tips Header Image - roll of film unraveled from left to right.
Photo from Unsplash

Learning something new can be intimidating, especially when you want to be good at it immediately. Photography has taught me to accept being a beginner and embrace the learning process. When I first started taking photos, I was disappointed with my results compared to what I had envisioned and saw in others’ work. But over time, I realized that every photographer has their own style and journey, which requires practice to improve.

To embrace learning something new, setting realistic expectations, and not comparing yourself to others is a vital life skill. Start by learning the basics and practice regularly. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes; use them as opportunities to learn and grow. Remember that everyone starts as a beginner, and you’ll improve with practice.

2. Life Requires Patience

Photography is an art that requires patience. Capturing the perfect shot takes time, effort, and staying focused even in challenging situations.

To develop patience, set realistic goals, stay positive, and focus on the process, not just the result. It’s also essential to take breaks when necessary and recognize that failures and setbacks are a part of the learning process. With time and practice, these qualities can become second nature and help in all areas of life.

3. Appreciate the Little Things

Photography has taught me to appreciate the little things in life by forcing me to slow down and observe my surroundings. When I’m out taking photos, I’m not just looking for the big picture – I’m searching for the small details that make a scene unique. I’ve learned to appreciate the way the light falls on a leaf or the intricate pattern on a piece of bark. These small, often overlooked details can add so much to a photograph.

4. Embrace What Makes You Unique

Photography can be an excellent tool for self-discovery, as every photographer has a unique style reflecting their personality and viewpoint. When you start exploring the art of photography, you learn to express yourself through images, experimenting with different techniques and approaches. Through this process, you discover your strengths, weaknesses, likes, and dislikes.

However, not everyone will appreciate your style, and that’s fine. Photography teaches you that you can’t please everyone and it’s okay not to be liked by others. Embracing your uniqueness and individuality is essential in photography, which also applies to all aspects of life.

5. Appreciate Others’ Differences

The most valuable life lesson photography taught me is to appreciate others even if their style is not ours because photography is a form of artistic expression, and every artist has a unique style and perspective. When we look at photographs taken by others, we can see their point of view through their composition, subjects, and editing style. We can learn to appreciate their vision and creativity even if it doesn’t align with our own.

Appreciating other people’s style and individuality in photography also translates to our daily life. Each individual is unique, with their own thoughts, feelings, likes, and dislikes. When we take the time to appreciate and acknowledge these differences, we can embrace people’s unique identities and love them for who they are rather than judging them based on our preferences. Ultimately, photography teaches us to appreciate and embrace the beauty of diversity, promoting inclusion, understanding, and empathy toward others.


close up photo of vintage camera lens

Through photography, one learns that there is always room to grow and improve how we see and capture the world. As beginners, we learn the basics of photography, such as composition and lighting. But as we progress, we realize there is always more to learn. We experiment with new techniques, try different subjects, and challenge ourselves to create something unique. 

This constant learning reflects life in that we should always seek to expand our knowledge of people, places, and things. We may think we know everything there is to know, but in reality, there is always more to learn. By embracing this idea, we can grow and become better individuals. Photography reminds us that life is a journey, and we are never done learning.

7. You Don’t Have to Be the Best to Be Good Enough

Photography can teach us the valuable lesson of not constantly striving for perfection. As photographers, we may compare ourselves to others or feel our work isn’t good enough. However, we often receive positive feedback and praise when we share our photos with others. 

This reminds us that we don’t have to be the best to be good enough. People are easily impressed and can find beauty in what we may see as flaws. By embracing imperfections, we can focus on enjoying the process of capturing moments and creating art rather than striving for an unattainable goal of perfection. Through photography, we can learn to appreciate ourselves and our work and find joy in creating without the pressure of being the best.

8. Self Confidence

Photography can give us a sense of purpose, accomplishment, and self-confidence. As we take photos, we learn new techniques, styles, and ways of seeing the world around us. It can be incredibly empowering to see evidence of our progress and a reminder of our ability to learn and achieve.

Challenging ourselves to learn new skills and take on challenging shots can also build self-confidence. Mastering a shoot we’ve been working on can provide a sense of pride and validation for our hard work. This can lead to a positive feedback loop where we continue challenging ourselves, further improving our skills and confidence.

9. Be Adaptable and Let go of Expectations

Black and white images of a camera lens with a lens hood attached.
Photo by slon_dot_pics from Pexels

Photography teaches individuals to let go of expectations by forcing us to be flexible and adaptable. For instance, feeling disappointed for not capturing the envisioned shot can lead to overlooking a potentially incredible picture you captured. Being rigid and inflexible towards a vision may cause a photographer to miss other creative opportunities. Additionally, unfavorable weather conditions or unexpected situations may require the photographer to shift gears and adjust the original plan. By embracing this change, photographers learn to let go of their expectations and develop the ability to discover new possibilities.

These same practices can be applied in everyday life by teaching individuals to let go of fixed ideas or beliefs and remain open to new possibilities, solutions, and experiences. People who can navigate life’s ups and downs with flexibility, adaptability, and resilience tend to inspire others, have better relationships, and experience greater overall satisfaction. Learning to appreciate the present moment reduce stress and creates joy in unexpected outcomes.

In conclusion, photography has taught me numerous life lessons beyond just capturing beautiful images. It has also taught me to appreciate beauty in the simplest things and look at the world from different perspectives. Through a camera lens, I have learned to embrace imperfections and seek out the unique beauty that exists in everything and everyone. More importantly, photography has taught me to slow down and appreciate the present moment, to reflect on the past, and to envision the future. These lessons and experiences have enriched my life and continue to inspire me to grow and learn as a person and a photographer.

Author Bio

Author Bio Image

Delaney is a Business Analyst by day and a travel and wildlife photographer by night who is using her skills for translating complex technical language into easy to understand concepts to make photography achievable at all skill levels. You have questions; she has answers.

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