One of the more surprising results, in my health survey of amateur photographers, was that people were finding new relationships through their involvement in photography.
That was not one of the specific questions in the survey, but rather was found in comments that were written in when folks were asked to put in their own words how photography had improved their life.
When asked to write in what benefits they got from photography, among other things they wrote:
- Meet new people
- Feel more connected to the community
- Gets me out of the house
- Don’t feel so isolated, lonely
Those were benefits I had not even considered including in the survey before all the results came back.
But when you think about it, a great deal of our physical health is tied to our emotions. How we “feel” inside is often reflected in our health and in our energy. When we are depressed and lonely, we often don’t feel like doing anything.
To see that photography could help people improve their social lives was a nice surprise. Come to think of it, although I never thought of it as a health benefit, I have met all kinds of wonderful people through my photography too.
One way to get started would be to look at Meetup groups in your area. Meetup.com offers many local community groups who get together centered around a theme. There are writing groups, and sports groups, a host of other groups on every topic imaginable, and there are photography groups.
In my area, the photography groups (there are actually 10 different photography groups in my area) chose some part of town, maybe a historic area, or church, or river walk, or scenic attraction and they all meet up to take pictures for an hour or two and then meet at some restaurant to sit and discuss the outing and share photos.
It’s great way to casually meet new people, without commitment or expectation, who share a similar interest. It’s a great way for singles to get out, have some fun and social interaction in a safe way.
Photography classes are also a great way to meet new people. It’s easy to suggest meeting up somewhere for a photo walk. Or often times, the instructor will schedule fun outings that give you an easy, informal chance to talk and interact with someone new.
Once I saw the survey results and thought about it, it really made sense. Photography is a great way to meet new people and have something fun to do. There is no end to the adventures you can share and places you could go.
I’ve also noticed, that traveling alone is so much more fun when you bring your camera along. Suddenly, you’re not some lonely traveler wandering around a strange town, but you’re a photographer on a mission to capture great things! You’re on the hunt for cool new photos to share. You’re on safari!
A simple change of thought can do wonders for how you feel.
Not content to just accept the survey results and my own personal experience, I decided to interview a professional psychologist and family therapist who specializes in divorce to get her take on all this.
You can listen to my interview with Dr. Lisa Rene Reynolds by clicking here.