Pedro Quintela is a history teacher, talented photographer, and one of the most inspiring people on 500px. To see more of his work and advice, follow him on 500px, check him out on Facebook, or join his Photo Reflections FB group. Recently, he launched a brand-new You Tube channel—be sure to check out his new videos.

How can photography truly benefit your life? In my personal experience, it can be a lifesaver—one of the most magical things that you can do in your lifetime. You don’t need to spend an obscene deal of money with this craft. Any kind of camera is good for getting the photography you really want.

The Heaven Above by Pedro Quintela on

1. You can be part of a global community.
With putting your photography on the Internet, your images can be seen all over the world easily. In my own personal experience, this trade gave me the ability to contact lots of photographers around the globe. It also lead me to improve my English, Spanish, and French in an attempt to give myself validity, and also contact other photographers in an easy way with my foreign peers. Some cases even resulted in healthy friendships, making it possible to travel to various places and personally meet those people. There are some amazing people out there that will receive or advise your work. The overall experience was good to me that I even created a Facebook group to create another way to build a friendly community for photographers.

Seeking Freedom by Pedro Quintela on

2. You can build memories that last forever.
Whether you’re sharing your photos online or printing them out, you are creating a both a history and future story. Think about how many photos put a smile on our faces or make us remember moments of the past? Now that we are in the digital era, it’s even more easy to build a way to make memories. Nowadays with such great mobile cameras and devices, we don’t have an excuse not to record or share moments happening right now.

You, Me and God by Pedro Quintela on

3. You can see the world anew.
Noticing details around us, the beauty of the things that surround our life, searching for light and shadows…how many of you relate to these? A lot of people have shared that since taking up photography, the world has become different to them, where they would even notice small things they would never expect to be there.

You, Me and the Universe by Pedro Quintela on

4. It can help your self-esteem.
As our shooting process gradually develops over time, your images will start to get better and better. So you as a creator can become prouder of your work. Sharing and uploading your photos online will become a logical next step for you and many of us. When you get good feedback on your photography, your self-esteem improves, further motivating you to keep going and trying out new approaches to your work. Of course, on the Internet, many are just searching for an easy like or a vote, but there are always people that will give you constructive, meaningful feedback to help you get better.

Nothing Left to Lose by Pedro Quintela on

5. It’s a healing or spiritual process.
Personally, I found new layers in my life after discovering landscape photography and storytelling through imagery. I clearly remember one particular day, when I was shooting a lake during sunset. For one of the first times in my life, I ventured alone and this lead to a sort of spiritual awakening for me—being there in communion with Mother Nature, experiencing such an amazing scene. Also during my worst moments, simply grabbing my gear and going outside can give a peace of mind. Your mind gets lighter, your worries go away when you are doing something you really love, so why not try it when you’re down?

Destiny Awaits by Pedro Quintela on

6. It’s a business or career opportunity.
Not everyone wants to be a pro, to make a living out of this very competitive trade. But that is still room from the people that innovate and have a new look over this way of seeing life. As an educator myself, I believe there are many ways to try a career in photography. Be aware of the complexity of the industry, and if you feel you have the skills, the drive, and the passion, why not make your photography a career or business endeavor?

Forever in a Day by Pedro Quintela on

7. Create a bond with your family.
In an era that many consider (with reason) to be quite selfish, photography is an opportunity to be reunited with your family, creating situations that will provide joy and interaction with your relatives. Whether you have children of your own or pets, you can easily find beautiful moments to capture them and your strong bond through the lens of your camera. In my personal situation, I always find an opportunity to make my better half the protagonist of my storytelling. It also lead her to get into photography herself—she picked up her own camera gear, and now she’s making her first steps in photography.

Dream a Little Dream by Pedro Quintela on

8. It can spark emotions in you and other people.
I took up photography in 2013 because I had a need to express myself. I always wrote in my own native language, mainly scientific articles or books related to my area of study. But one day, I got this urge to create something visual, something that I could relate to and be proud of. Later, my love for storytelling came along, I found myself trying to capture certain emotions out of various situations. Even today, the most motivational thing in my life is when someone tells me that an image of mine had an impact or boosted a feeling in them.

Painted World by Pedro Quintela on

At the end of the day, what really counts is the way that you see your world through the amazing lens of your camera. Try to make the most out of your passion for photographer—do it mainly for yourself and all of the ways I shared above. And as I always say to you…happy shooting!