Raise your hand if you know one of these people: The person who doesn’t seem to stop posting to their Instagram story, the couple who insist on having a social media account for their cat, and the parent who doesn’t really know how to use the camera on their tablet… but that never stops them.
Is your hand raised? Of course it is. These people are all around us. You may even be one of them. In 2019, photography culture has morphed from a privilege for professionals into an essential human skill. Almost everyone, if not everyone, you know owns a camera and uses it on the daily. Get this: over 1 trillion photos were taken in 2018.
Like most things in life, the bad comes with the good. Sure, some industry professionals are calling it the “Death of Photography,” but the rise of photography has brought forth some really incredible things too. It only takes a few seconds to look through some of National Geographic’s photo collection to figure that out. On top of that, most of these picture-obsessed amateurs are actually probably a lot happier than you and I. Not convinced? Keep reading.
1. Experiences are more enjoyable. Based on a study performed by the American Psychological Association, taking photos during an outing or activity can actually increase your involvement and engagement, in turn making that experience a lot more enjoyable. This study found that those who captured shots were more immersed in what was going on around them, unlike those who didn’t take photos at all.
In conclusion, taking photos = a greater appreciation for life. You heard it here, Instagrammers. Taking pictures of your food will, in fact*, make it taste better.
2. The world is more beautiful. In the same study, researchers note that those who actively take photos actually look at the world slightly differently, noticing things that others don’t. Those who view the world behind the lens of a camera tend to take in so much more around them because they’re always looking for the next photo opportunity. These people are able to appreciate more, and in turn, find the beauty in the world.
3. Revisiting memories makes us happier. A different study also found in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that recalling happy memories significantly increases our happiness in the present. Most of us can relate to the feeling of pulling out an old childhood photo album and flipping through the grainy polaroids and disposable camera gems. The rush of nostalgia we get when looking back at these physical memories has been shown to increase optimism and our general outlook on life.
The APA also concluded that the more we take time to go through these positive memories and reminisce as we age, the longer our minds will stay intact and the more positive our futures will be. Sign me up!
So, there you have it. The art of photography may be “dead,” but at least we don’t have to worry about Doug The Pug being unhappy.