Along with photography being a great hobby to get outdoors and see the world differently, I find it is a great creative outlet that greatly benefits my work as a web designer. Photography helps me break away from spending many hours staring at a screen (at least until I get back to edit them!) while still allowing me to use my creativity and be productive with my time.

I started photography a few years ago using just my phone camera. This opened a whole new world of creativity for me. As my skills grew and I felt limited by what my phone camera could achieve, I decided to go on the hunt for an affordable DSLR camera. I researched what was out there and settles on a crop-sensor Canon body, which had all the features I would need, and I could afford to purchase some extra lenses.

When I started my new job in Dublin, my commute extended quite significantly. This gave me a great chance to improve my skills as a photographer, to wander around and take photos during the commute – and in the long run it has also improved my skills in web design.

I found that as I progressed, I started to see the world around me as if I was composing a scene. I would take more notice of colour, lighting, flow, balance, placement, movement, and I would look around for subjects – even if my camera wasn’t immediately available. The ability to do this has enhanced my web design work dramatically, and I have become better at judging my layouts, balance, scaling and spacing of elements. I also noticed that I was using leading lines more often in my web designs, drawing the user’s attention to specific elements on the page.

Beyond the obvious benefits that photography has brought to my work, it has also become more beneficial on a practical level. Learning photography has allowed me to make my own assets, and offer a more personal level of service to client who require custom photographs and assets on their website. It also become another great creative service that can be offered to increase potential income.

At the end of the day, the real value that photography has brought to me as a website designer is that it is a new creative endeavour and allows me to explore and develop different ways of seeing and thinking about digital mediums. It is a great tool to progress my understanding in different foundations of design.

This post was written for publication in net magazine, which will be released in an upcoming issue.

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