Are we missing out on exploring our dream hobbies?

Two thirds of UK respondents wished they had picked up a hobby in the last year. Here’s why 2018 might be the perfect time to give photography a go.

22 Aug 2018

After a long day at work, it’s appealing to picture yourself sitting down at the kitchen table or opening the door to an imaginary office and getting stuck in to a hobby. Whatever it might be, you’re taking ownership of something that’s yours and yours alone.

But the average person living in the UK hasn’t learnt something new or engaged in a new hobby in over a year, despite two thirds wishing they had. That’s according to a survey of 2,000 adults conducted by Currys.

Wish list pursuits included getting to grips with a new language, learning a musical instrument and trying photography.

What prevents people from going after these goals? Stumbling blocks include a lack of time (40.95%) and a fear of spending the money thought to be required (36%). One in four admitted they didn’t start because they didn’t know how to. Interestingly, two-thirds of respondents dismissed the notion that getting older had any bearing on their ability to pick up a tool or learn a language.

With these insights in mind, Canon and Currys have teamed up to give you a taste of what it takes to become a photographer – at any age.

Through My Lens is the result: a visual diary of eight photographers who have gone from hobbyist amateurs to professional photographers. How did they hone their eye? What skills have they needed to develop? What mistakes did they make? All eight photographers talk us through their journey, from their earliest mistakes to their latest successes — a journey that has attracted them a combined Instagram audience of 2.5 million followers along the way.

Why photography? Why now?

2018 is the perfect time to ready your camera, our experts say, because social media provides all the impetus you need. The “instant feedback” of a tool like Instagram gives the creator the “incentive to take photos every day”, says Kristina Makeeva, one of our eight experts, who has over a million followers on the platform.

And when it comes to cost (a common concern borne out by the survey) Loïc Lagarde believes that people typically overinflate what they’re going to need. It’s not necessary to start with the most expensive camera known to humankind, he asserts. Instead, start with something practical and learn to develop your eye. Or as Jessica Bubb, a native of New York with 200,000 followers, puts it: “Practice makes perfect.”

Perfection is hard to achieve in an any artform, but Scott Rankin advises that you “take as many photos as you can.” Rankin’s pictures of the ice and snow of wintry Canada have seen him amass 181,000 followers on Instagram. “Now and then, all you need in photography is to be at the right place at the right time and have the right tool with you for the job.”

The right tool for the job

Canon is embracing the idea that anyone and everyone can be a photographer with its Canon Mirrorless range, which pairs Canon-build quality with an affordable price tag and an easy-to-use interface.

Within the range, the Canon EOS M50 is of particular note, offering 4K video capture and superb image quality. Better yet, it lets you snap and share photos in seconds – allowing you to get instant feedback from friends and followers.

With a camera in hand and our expert tips at your disposal, there’s no reason you can’t realise a new passion. You never know – you might just become the next Big Thing.

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