Taking up photography as a hobby just a couple of years ago, I had no idea what I was doing. There have been frustrations involved (the cost of nearly every piece of equipment, trying to find people willing to be subjects so I can practice portraits, etc.) The biggest reward, in my opinion, is that photography has made me more aware of the beautiful things all around me that used to slip by unnoticed. Not just little things either. The most spectacular sunsets used to get no more than a cursory glance if I was “busy” with something else. After just a few years in this hobby, I now see beauty literally everywhere I go. From the smallest insects to a broken window to those amazing sunsets, something makes me pause in wonder everyday. The act of picking up a camera has had a magical effect on me. All the beauty of the world was there before, but this hobby has been as if I were given a new set of eyes which are more able to see life’s rich pageant. Without changing anything else about my life, it has made me a richer person in the way that truly matters. While I do hope to make better images over time, I have found that I’ve already received a bigger reward from photography than I ever expected.