Photography is as much about the process as it is the end result. Sure, we all love that feeling of getting “the shot.” It’s a drug like no other. However, it’s as equally important to enjoy the process of shooting as well as the subject matter. If you’re looking to experience that feel-good factor with your photography, below are some themes that will help you release all the endorphins.
Some of you reading this may be quick to think, “All types of photography make you feel good.” That’s not true. I speak with many photographers who struggle with the type of photography they shoot. It’s mainly photojournalists and documentary photographers as they struggle with PTSD due to the intense subject matter. I also commonly listen to groans from wedding photographers as they become frustrated with the demand of their craft.
So, below are photography themes mainly free of stress and that will provide a nice feeling when you practice them.
Unless you’re dead inside, animals are a sure-fire way to make you feel all warm and fuzzy. There’s something beautiful about spending time with animals, especially fan favorites like cats and dogs, and having a photoshoot with them. We have featured plenty of pet photographers on the site, and all of them share how good the work makes them feel. If you’re yet to do it, find a pet or photograph your own; you’ll undoubtedly enjoy the process.
Look and you’ll see there are plenty of projects in your local community requiring the services of pro photographers. Most of them are dependent on donations, so they won’t have a budget to pay a photographer. This is the perfect opportunity to use your skills and give something back to the world. And while making a difference in the lives of others through your vocational photography, you’ll also feel good about your choices. (Altruism is a myth!)
I believe every human should visit the beach each year. The coast has wonderful healing powers for one’s mental health. Taking along a camera reinforces the process of detaching and being present in the moment. Think of the crisp, fresh air, the warmth of the sand on your soles, and the glow of the sunshine illuminating your surroundings. Now of think of being able to document that with your favorite camera; the feel-good chemicals are flowing right now, right?
Children are beautiful subjects. Not just for their cuteness, but because most of them are yet to understand the pressures of the world, which allows them to bring a high level of positive energy to any environment. Sure, they can be little terrors, and posing them isn’t without its challenges. But for the most part, capturing childhood innocence will melt your heart and leave your brain in a happy state.
It will also guarantee other people smile.
Photographers travel far and wide to find the types of subjects they want to document. The reality is that rewarding subjects are far closer to home than many think. Maybe it’s because many take the family for granted, but it seems we overlook those closest to us when it comes to creating photographs. Your family is likely proud of your skills. Using that skill to document those who gave you a chance in the world can be highly rewarding. Records of people are important: they’re even more important when you create them.
And always remember that family means different things to different folks.
Stop looking at what’s in front of you and start looking within. Turning the camera on yourself can be highly rewarding. Not only are self-portraits a great way to discover your body and mind (while learning to love these parts of you), they’re also an excellent opportunity to be silly and let your inhibitions down. So, if you’re struggling for ideas for some feel-good subjects, stand in front of your lens and see where creativity takes you!
Time to Enjoy the Process
If you’re not currently enjoying photography, or you’re struggling with the demands of clients and topics, use the photography themes above to reconnect to what you love. All of them will help make you feel happy, which is what photography should be about.
What types of photography do you enjoy doing the most? Let us know in the comments below. Thanks for reading.