Does Photography Make Me Happy?

Does Photography Make Me Happy?

Recently, a friend, when hearing that I was pursuing photography again, asked me, “Does photography make you happy?” I hesitated for a split second before answering, “Yes.” But truthfully, photography doesn’t necessarily make me happy. Happy is too simplistic to describe how photography makes me feel.

More than anything, photography challenges me. Photography, and any creative pursuit, is uncomfortable. Specific examples for me include asking a stranger on the street if I can photograph them, mastering technical skills such as lighting, cold calling photo editors and art buyers, and ultimately facing my own self doubt over and over again. Photography doesn’t make me happy, it makes me uncomfortable.

This discomfort inevitably fosters personal growth though. That is the beauty of creativity, it’s not easy, but it’ll push self-imposed beliefs. I repeatedly face my fears, expanding the boundaries of courage and self-confidence. Photography expands my comfort zone. This doesn’t offer happiness, but it does offer fulfillment.