NOTE: This post was originally published on my previous blog, Recovering Shopaholic.
The last two posts have centered on the topic of hobbies. I started out with an emotional post about how shopping has been my only hobby for many years, how that didn’t fulfill me, and how I’d like to create more balance in my life by integrating some new interests. I received so many wonderful suggestions from readers that I wrote a follow-up post listing a wide array of things to do besides shopping, broken down into meaningful categories.
Today, I’d like to share a new hobby that I’ve been exploring as of late. I will tell you about my new interest, why I took it on, and how it’s been fulfilling for me. I will also show you a few examples of what I’ve done with this new hobby thus far.
My New Hobby Is…
So what is my new hobby? It’s photography! When I started taking photos with my smart phone a few weeks ago, I really didn’t expect it to become a new hobby. My motive was to capture some images of San Diego scenery for a sick friend who has always wanted to visit California and may never be able to do so. My thought was to provide a kind of virtual tour of the beautiful area in which I live that would be the next best thing to actually making a visit. I had previously shared old photos taken by my husband of various California hot spots, but I wanted to show some recent images of where I go and what I see on my walks.
I started out by going on my normal local walks and snapping some photos along the way. What I found was that I enjoyed the walks so much more and noticed a wider array of the beauty around me. My perspective expanded as I considered what views might make a nice photograph and realistically depict the area in which I was walking. I realized that I was having fun in the process and found myself wanting to visit new areas in which to take photos.
It’s only been a few weeks, but I have visited multiple locations and snapped hundreds of photos. I’m still just using my smart phone, but I’ve been impressed with the quality of the photos taken with that device. I’ve learned about the editing functions on the phone as well as the various “modes” that can be used to take different types of photos. I haven’t experimented with all of them yet, but I have done quite a bit with “night mode” and have been happy with the resulting images.
Sharing Some of My Photos
I thought it would be fun to share a few of my favorite photos to date with all of you. I know I still have a lot to learn about taking good photos (more on that below), but it brings a smile to my face to see the images I’ve captured thus far. I always loved the photos that my husband took, but there is something very fulfilling about looking at photos that I personally snapped and realizing that some of them are actually pretty good!
Since I live near the water, all of these photos include either the bay or the ocean. But I do plan to expand my reach and visit some non-coastal locations as well. There is beauty to be seen all over this area (and all areas), but I have to admit that the waterways are my favorite places to walk and snap photos. All of the photos below were taken within a few miles of where I live, and many of the locations are within walking distance from my home. I consider myself very fortunate to live in such a beautiful area!
I want to continue to explore my new-found interest in photography, so I have decided to take an upcoming e-course taught by Tammy Strobel of the blog “Rowdy Kittens.”
I may also take on the excellent suggestion from reader Wendy to post one photo per day on Instagram. She recommended that I look for something that helped me to smile inwardly and snap and share a photo of it. Here’s what else she wrote about this:
It may sound too simple … but it makes you more mindful and aware of the world around you! It could be a flower in your garden, etc.”
“And don’t “judge” your posts … just let them reflect what makes you smile! I suspect “judging” yourself and mercilessly condemning yourself is a big issue for you!”
Wendy is very astute… or perhaps she’s just been reading this blog for a while. Yes, I definitely have a tendency to judge and condemn myself, but that’s something I want to turn around. I love Wendy’s idea and her rationale behind it. If and when I decide to start doing the daily posts, I will let you know in case you want to follow along.
For the time-being, I’m going to stick with using my smart phone to take all of my photos. In the past, the shopaholic in me would have had me rushing out to buy a new digital camera and photo editing software not long after I had taken my first sets of images. But the reformed me is content to stick with the status quo for a while, learn more, and make sure this new interest is here to stay. There will be plenty of time for me to acquire new equipment down the line if my photography hobby has staying power. For now, I’m just going to try to enjoy the process a little more.
Conclusion and Your Thoughts
I hope you enjoyed reading about – and seeing examples from – my new hobby. I plan to explore some other new interests and pastimes in the coming months and I will be sure to report back about how it worked out for me. I don’t expect to love and stick with everything I try out. The important thing is to explore new options and test the waters. Not everything will strike my fancy and that’s okay.
So far, my photography hobby has been very solitary, but I’m sure there are ways in which I can connect with others through it as well. I will be interacting with others through my upcoming e-course, but that connection will all be done via a private Facebook group. As you know, I would like to find more ways to connect with others face to face. I will be sure to seek more of that out, but for now I’m just happy to be enjoying something other than shopping. I believe I will always enjoy shopping and clothes, but I’m glad I’m taking baby steps toward becoming a more balanced person with other interests.
I welcome your thoughts on photography, my photos, hobbies in general, or anything else you’d like to share. I feel very blessed to have such a positive and supportive community of readers! I will be back later this week with my April installment of “useful links” related to shopping, wardrobe management, personal style, and more!