For those here who would name photography as a hobby (I guess that's probably most of us), I was wondering why have an interest in taking pictures over and above other pass times? After all, it's not without it's frustrations is it. So what's in it for you?

As for me, I'd say the three biggest pros over my other interests are: An opportunity to be creative; it can be done in as long or short a time as I like; it gets me out of the house, but can also be done indoors.
I'm not sure I can pin down a reason. I got my first camera when i was 6 and spent an entire summer chasing neighborhood cats trying to get that one "wild" shot. Since I was determined to photograph for Nat Geo, my cat was a fine specimen to practice on. These days my camera lives with me, always. Because sometimes, you can't describe just how cool the storm was, or you kids first soccer goal. Above and beyond I take pictures because I enjoy it, it's relaxing, and I never forget what I did that day.
I've a sentence on my profile that is everything photography is to me : “Photography is a way of feeling, of touching, of loving. What you have caught on film is captured forever... it remembers little things, long after you have forgotten everything.”

Besides, photography makes me forget about everything around! I love the little things on the photography, the colors, the detail, the image, and the sensation it gives.
for now I'm an amateur , and my aim is not to be a professional. I'm fine like I'm, but I want to improve, and sooner or later I'll.
I like photography, I like to see the world thru the lens of everyone, and I love to enjoy the beauty.
For some people photography is a hobby, but in each picture I've a moment, something to remind of, or something to learn about.
"Photography is the art of paying attention."

For me its a way to express my creativity. My current career doesnt really allow for as much of that as I'd like, photography is my outlet.
From a purely practical viewpoint, photography helps me remember events, people, family, vacation; from a creative standpoint, it challenges me to learn more of equipment, lighting, composition, and processing; and from the "live life to the fullest" viewpoint, it causes me to notice and see things that otherwise might have gone unnoticed.
@jan03 At last ,"Full many a truth is told in jest"
Why photography? Some of my contemplations....

- Creativity: Sky is the limit....so much one can do in shooting and editing to make an original and unique creation!

- Out and about: Like Jon, it gets me out of the house and gives me an opportunity to experience the big, wide world.

- Increased awareness: I've become more cognizant of the details and interests in my surroundings, especially subtle beauty that had gone unnoticed before!

- Gifts: Photograph family members and friends and give them the pictures digitally or framed as presents. Usually much appreciated because it's such a personal gift!

- Relationships: I've met so many wonderful and interesting people both in person and online through this hobby, not to mention it's a great conversation starter when I'm out with my camera.

- Feeds the brain: So much to learn about all the aspects of photography, a few being cameras and settings, lenses, accessories, software, editing, etc.

- Memories captured: Times spent with family and friends, attending functions and concerts, everyday activities and just out shooting by myself....all captured to look back at and remember.

- Accessibility: This is a hobby one can indulge in any time of the day or night, any season of the year, no limits.

- Documentation: I look at pictures of my grandmother as a beautiful teenage young woman...they are priceless to me and they provide a sense of history and a record of the times in which she lived.

True story: I bought a bicycle and would leave it securely chained, minus the front wheel and saddle in front of my house in Athens. I awoke one day to find it stolen (presumably by someone with a chain-cutter, a very sore arse and no brains). I bought my first DSLR that day.

There are books with titles along the lines of "decisive instant" and "the moment it clicks", but the instant gratification afforded by digital got to me. Then came all the knobs, buttons, tweaking and fiddling, closely followed by the fact that it's easy to take a mediocre picture and extraordinarily difficult to take a great one. In short, it appealed to the control-freak in me with the added bonus of being beautiful.

Something else not mentioned yet here: unlike free-fall diving, car-racing, juggling with swords, rollerball, etc., photography is something you can do whilst doing something else. Meet friends or go for a walk and you can take your camera with you.
@revenant · All great points! and to the rest of you who mentioned becoming more cognizant of the little details in life; you are spot on! Its like the one photo I took of the diseased leaf, I had walked past that tree with those ugly leaves on it for weeks and didnt think anything of it. One day I just started shooting them, I mean part of photography is trying to capture something different, or trying to make someone see something ordinary in a new way. In doing so, I believe it has helped me to see everything in life as a moment that should not go un-captured.
for me, taking pictures is a necessity. i can't live without a camera. when i am in situations of my life, no matter what, i have the strong urge to depict them. in these information overloaded times, my brain isn't able anymore to keep all the important things inside that i have encountered. so, i "archive" them, somehow deficiently, in pictures. sometimes, the result is an entirely new memory, has a total different effect on me than the moment i took it from. but that's ok, it still is related, and i wish i had pictures of about so many moments in my life when i wasn't able to hold a camera. creativity? i have no idea what that is. realism? none of my business. i think it's just a necessity to reflect.