Five years ago, a life-altering event happened: my son Nikita was born. This milestone also marked my entry into the world of photography.
Armed with zero prior knowledge and a newly purchased Sony A7III, I embarked on a journey to capture the unique moments of my son’s childhood and our family’s special times.
Fast forward to today, and this hobby has not only enriched my life but has also led me to launch this very blog, OhMyCamera.
If you’re a new dad looking for a meaningful and rewarding hobby, you’re in the right place. In this article, I will outline seven compelling reasons why photography is a great hobby for new dads.
Here’s Why Photography is a Great Hobby for New Fathers
#1. Saving Important Family Moments
When my son Nikita took his first steps, I wasn’t just a happy dad cheering him on. I was also the one taking pictures of that big moment. This isn’t just about taking a quick photo; it’s about saving special times you can look back on.
People often think they’ll remember every detail of big moments, but memories can fade. Taking pictures helps you keep those moments alive. And what’s better than looking at a photo album years later and seeing your child’s first steps or first birthday in clear detail?
For example, just the other day I was browsing my Lightroom photo library to find a cover photo for another blog post. I stumbled upon a really cute photo of my wife holding Nikita in her hands on her birthday in 2018. Without this photo, and many more from that day, I would never remember this moment or what Nikita looked like at that time.
#2. A Fun Way to Relax
Taking care of a newborn is hard work. You’re often running on little sleep, and you have a long list of new responsibilities. I’ve found that photography can be an amazing way to relax and take a break from all of it.
In fact, I’ve written a previous blog post about how taking pictures can improve your mental health. During the early days of learning photography, I used to head out on my own with my camera. I would walk around the neighborhood, looking for interesting things, people, or places to photograph.
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This solo time with my camera was like a form of meditation for me. The focus required to get the right shot allowed me to forget about my busy day-to-day life, if only for a moment. Even now, after five years and a more settled family life, I still enjoy these solitary photo walks.
It’s like the famous photographer Ansel Adams said, “When words become unclear, I shall focus on photographs.” Whether you’re a new dad or a seasoned parent, a few quiet moments spent capturing the world through your lens can be incredibly calming. It offers a peaceful break and a chance to reset, making you better equipped to tackle the challenges of fatherhood.
The photo above was captured during one of my solo walks by the Baltic Sea in Jurmala, Latvia, with my camera in hand. Though it’s a very simple photo, I appreciate it for conveying a sense of calmness. It serves as a gentle reminder to slow down and savor the small, precious moments life offers.
#3. A New Skill Opens New Doors
Picking up photography not only allowed me to capture precious family moments but also opened unexpected doors in my life. When I first started, it was all about learning a new skill for personal enjoyment and family memories.
As I documented my learning journey on my personal blog, OhMyCamera.com, the hobby unexpectedly turned into something bigger. I found myself immersed in photography, sharing tips and tricks for beginners, and crafting in-depth articles and YouTube videos to help others kickstart their photography adventure.
One day, while playing around with the camera, my wife started showing interest. I taught her the basics, and she began to experiment. Through this process, not only did we both learn to take better photos, but we also developed patience and an eye for detail – qualities that invariably made me a better dad and her, a more observant individual.
Now, she’s a professional product photographer, working with various brands and e-commerce stores. But it’s not just about turning a hobby into a career.
But it’s not just about turning a hobby into a career. Photography is a valuable skill that can be handy in many different jobs and life situations. As a digital marketer myself, having photography skills proved invaluable. I could create original visual content for articles, ads, catalogs, and campaigns, enhancing my professional work with a personal touch.
Understanding photography can indeed open new doors and opportunities, even if it’s not in the realm of a full-time career. It’s a testament to how acquiring a new skill can enrich your life in unexpected ways, providing not only personal satisfaction but also professional versatility.
#4. Quality Time Through the Lens
Photography has been a fantastic way for me to spend quality time with my family. Working side by side with my wife on her photography projects has not only helped us create beautiful images but also strengthened our bond. We share laughs, collaborate creatively, and enjoy each other’s company in her studio, making each project memorable.
My son Nikita also plays a significant role in my photography journey. The other day, we visited a Riga Motor Museum, and his excitement while discovering retro cars was priceless. Each photograph I took not only captured his emotions but also documented a delightful father-son day out, preserving precious moments of joy and wonder for us to look back on.
Photography, in this way, becomes more than just a hobby. It’s a meaningful activity that allows me to connect deeply with my family while capturing the essence of our shared experiences and adventures. Each click of the camera is not just taking a picture; it’s creating a lifelong memory, making our bonds even stronger.
#5. Saving Money While Building Memories
Photography might seem like a big investment initially, considering the cost of cameras and accessories. But when you compare that with hiring professional photographers for every special occasion, owning your own gear starts making financial sense.
For each milestone, from birthdays to simple family outings, I’ve been my own photographer. This self-reliance means I’ve created a vast gallery of high-quality shots without repeatedly shelling out for professional sessions. The spontaneity of capturing daily moments, ones that a scheduled session can’t replicate, is invaluable.
My collection now boasts thousands of professional-grade photos of my son, Nikita. It’s not just about the events but the everyday moments too, from his laughter to our family adventures. These images are treasures for us as a family, and I know Nikita will relish looking through them as he grows older.
The real saving? While there’s a definite monetary advantage, it’s the wealth of memories I’ve captured that’s truly priceless. With my camera, I’ve not only been budget-smart but have also given my family a treasure trove of memories to revisit.
#6. Sharing Moments, Bridging Distances
With families often spread out across countries or even continents, staying connected can be challenging. Photos bridge this gap beautifully.
My parents, for instance, eagerly anticipate each batch of photos I send of Nikita. Their excitement is palpable every time they call asking for more pictures. Over the years, I’ve seen them curate several photo books, each page a memory of Nikita’s growing years. They often spend their evenings reminiscing, flipping through these albums, reliving every captured moment.
But it’s not just about physical albums anymore. Digital advancements have made sharing even more instantaneous. Many new parents I know have invested in digital photo frames, a modern marvel that allows them to directly upload and share pictures.
Imagine grandparents waking up to a fresh set of their grandchild’s antics every morning! It’s a way to make distances feel a bit shorter, ensuring loved ones are always a part of the growing-up journey.
In a world where we can’t always be physically present, photos become our messengers, our storytellers. They ensure that no matter the distance, the family remains close-knit, sharing every smile, and every milestone.
#7. Embracing the Outdoors, One Click at a Time
Bringing my camera on our family outings always adds an extra sprinkle of excitement. We not only soak up the beauty of being outside but also freeze those magical moments in time. Our day out at Tarzans, a theme park in Sigulda, showcases this beautifully.
Nikita’s reactions throughout the day were priceless. From laughter to wide-eyed wonder, I captured a series of candid photos of Nikita that truly embodied the essence of the day.
Every trip we take becomes an opportunity for beautiful photographs. And, through the lens, we find reasons to step outside, breathe in fresh air, and let the surroundings paint our day’s story. The joy of photography not only allows us to document our memories but also inspires us to create more of them.
Camera Gear Recommendations for New Dads: My Top 3 Picks
Below are my top three camera recommendations for new fathers who are interested in taking up photography as a hobby. I’ve selected these three based on my personal experience, as well as the experiences of other parents and friends.
The transformative journey of fatherhood offers countless memorable moments, and photography allows us to capture them in all their authenticity. For new dads, a camera is not just a piece of equipment; it’s a tool that helps cement memories, fosters learning, encourages exploration, and even strengthens family bonds. From the uncontainable giggles of a child to the subtle, shared smiles between family members, the magic lies in those split seconds of pure emotion.
My personal experience with photography—starting as a hobby and blossoming into an integral part of our family life—has shown me the myriad ways it enriches our lives. From bonding moments with Nikita and collaborative projects with my wife to sharing the joy with family far away, it’s been a rewarding adventure.
If you’re a new dad, I highly encourage you to consider photography as a hobby. Not only will it offer you a creative outlet, but it will also provide you with an invaluable collection of memories that your family will treasure for years to come. Remember, it’s not about taking perfect shots but about preserving precious moments. So, pick up that camera and start capturing the love, laughter, and milestones that define your family’s journey. Happy shooting!