This was an old hobby which became a bit of an obsession. It got to the point where I was shooting weddings every weekend and also working as a full time GP. When my son came along I think I hit breaking point and realised that I was spreading myself too thin and so something had to give.
Alas it was the photography. Five years on, my equipment is all but obsolete but I still feel the urge to get back to this past time. Recently, I’ve started to take the camera out with us on walks etc and try to get back into this.
As far as a hobby goes, there are a few things to know:
Time – Anything from seconds to hours (or even days if you go on a trip with your photo-buddies although I would suggest making sure you’ve got plenty of “partner-points” in the bank before doing an extended photo junket).
Equipment – Basically you could do most things with a phone camera as they are so good nowadays. However, I would suggest that you invest in an DSLR if you are going to take this past time seriously. That doesn’t mean that you have to spend thousands. That said, a few hundred for a reasonable body and two or three decent lenses is certainly worth shelling out for. Kit lenses area usually rubbish. First lens you should get is a 50mm f1.8. Cheap and fantastic. Just have a look at Henri Cartier-Bresson’s work. Essentially all 50mm.
Cost – £ to £££££. You may already have a camera or a camera phone so you need no further purchases. In saying that this is a hobby I would warn you about getting overly into unless you are completely committed. My DSLR is effectively obsolete and regularly online ogling the latest versions. However, I don’t think I spend enough time on this activity anymore to justify new equipment.
Difficulty – Moderate. It’s easy to take a photo. It’s really hard to take a good one. Things like the “rule of thirds” and remembering to keep your horizon straight take a decent memory or lots of practice. Fortunately, some people are naturals and you might be one of them.
Partner annoyance factor – In many cases this is both a positive and a negative. I do an annual photo book which catalogs every picture I’ve taken that year. Also my wife loves the fact that she never has to take a photo… ever! Having said that she gets properly miffed when I decide to stop and set up the camera for a long exposure shot which may take several minutes and multiple attempts. Pick your battles would be my advice!
Family – Good for visual storage of memories. Kids and partners might have zero interest in this hobby but going to new places with the family will encourage adventures and outdoor activities.
Rewards – I found this one of my most pleasurable hobbies of all time. It’s extremely absorbing and seeing the results on the computer (or more importantly in print) are unparalleled. However needs a fair amount of commitment and the main frustration comes from not having enough time to take the shots you want. A real one for the techno-geeks though.