How I Got Into Photography and Why You Should Too!

Bringing out the photographer within you can be a cathartic experience from which you can benefit throughout your life.

Adrian Nenu 😺
Long-Term Perspective


Follow on Instagram: cardinal.photograph and 500px

Why should I try another hobby?

I have been trying a few things over the years. Many hobbies come and go (in my case that’s playing the piano). Some I pick back up, later on, others dry out entirely.

Photography was initially purely utilitarian for me.

With time, I started taking better photos with only my phone, by trying multiple angles and light settings. My girlfriend recommended that I build a personal album to track my progress and the rest is history!

It has become a very satisfying part of my life.

Take photos as you go through experiences just to keep a record of them, not with any specific intent for the photo to be particularly good.

No need to become advanced in it to get great results! It’s super easy to get started.

Compare it to playing piano or drawing. It takes quite a long time to get to anything that you will be happy with. That means you need long-term dedication and a lot, A LOT, of practice. Photography is more accessible, in my opinion.

Because the barrier of entry is low, you can choose how deep you want to go into photography and still have a great experience no matter what!

Added benefit is looking hilarious in public

What is in it for me?

I consider it a good break from everything else in life. A constant that does not hold any pressure, has no deadlines, and needs no extra investment if none is desired.

It helps me discover new places and find new perspectives in places I already visit very often. I am often mesmerized by how extraordinary the ordinary seems and with just the click of a button, I can capture it! As an introvert, it helped me immensely to get out of my shell without having to talk with others.

Photography can be a meditative and mindful experience. A calming hobby that is done purely for yourself and for self-expression.

What camera should I start with?

I use a Nikon D3500 DSLR Camera with AF-P DX NIKKOR 18–55 mm f/3.5–5.6G VR Lens and a SanDisk 256 GB Memory Card.

After doing quite a bit of research, I have discovered this camera to be the most cost-effective one for beginners. It has easy modes that you can use without fiddling with the manual configs at all. It also has many of the features you may expect from a professional camera to get you used to handling a DSLR instead of a purely digital one.

I have also added another useful lens to my collection: AF-S Micro NIKKOR 40mm 1:2.8 G. This one is useful for close-up shots, such as plants and water drops. The lens the camera comes with is more general purpose, and useful for distance shots. A wide-angle lens can be a lot of fun too! But the default one will serve you well just by itself!

While I did invest in a DSLR Camera, I still take many shots with my iPhone 12, and they often come out better than with the DSLR camera in certain situations.

You don’t need to invest in a DSLR to make a fantastic start!

What if I am scared of sharing my photos?

Don’t fret too much about your work. We are inherently self-critical creatures, afraid to get hurt. Show your photos to a few close friends. Experiment with different photo-taking techniques, and create a small portfolio to track your progress.

This will allow you to build up a set of good photos on your platform of choice (try Instagram or 500px, or your own blog/website).

However, you do not need to share your work with others at all. Do it for yourself as a meditative experience.

Get a cheap album and fill it as you go. Every now and then review past photos and compare them to the newest work. You may be surprised to notice all sorts of trends and improvements in your photos!

I found this to be quite a cool process to go through! You won’t notice the improvement you’re making as time passes as they are quite minimal, but when you look at the bigger picture — comparing the distant past with the present — you may see the fruits of your labor more clearly.

What should I photograph?

Start simple — like with things from your daily life!

I took the following pictures while on my daily walks around my neighborhood. All of them were taken on my iPhone.

It will take a bit of trial and error to figure out what your style is and what you are into. I would never have guessed one of my focuses would be close-ups of flowers for example. So you may end up finding out some things about yourself you never realized.


Try it out. It’s free! Your phone is probably already in your hand, so point and shoot!

Build a private repository of shots and play with the lighting and angles of the places you visit daily. Take a photo while out and about, and once you have a few, compare them to one another. Why do you consider one better than the other? Which angles do you prefer? What about lighting?

You may be surprised at the excitement and meditative experience that can come out of exploring photography.

Follow me on Instagram and 500px to support my own photography! Let me know if you create your own profile!



Adrian Nenu 😺
Long-Term Perspective

Software Engineer @ Google. Photographer and writer on engineering, personal reflection, and creativity -