I remember squinting my eyes because of the sun. My brother nervously fidgeting. My Dad saying: ‘Just a second, it has to be perfect.’
That’s how we took photos, 20 something years ago. When my Dad had to buy the film for the camera, every photo was special. Today, we can snap a photo of just about anything, but maybe we shouldn’t.
The thrill of a photo
Do you remember that thrill of waiting and then getting your photos from a trip developed?
Neither do I. I had to really dig deep to unravel that memory. There was such excitement about photos. Happiness mixed with disappointment, when I’d notice that a particular photo wasn’t good. Out of 30 I’d always find a few that made me wonder what was I thinking.
Today, I have over 2000 photos on my smart phone alone, not developed, because do who even does it anymore. To tell you the truth, more than half of them make me wonder, what was I thinking. Then again, I can’t bring myself to delete them, not even the ones my kids took of the back of the sofa.
Everything is photo worthy
Since getting my smart phone, I went a bit crazy with snapping photos. Like a man starved and then brought to a feast.
I started taking photos of notices instead of writing them down.
I snap countless photos of beaches, rocks, places, sights, sky, playgrounds, my kids being kids,… All, so I don’t forget.
But the crazy thing is I rarely look at those over 2000 photos on the phone, let alone the photos I have remembered to download to the computer. I don’t even bother with that anymore.
Enjoy the moment
My first instinct, if I see something interesting, is to go for my phone. And the moment loses its magic. It seems staged. And I rarely go back to admire the photos. Maybe if I committed to only one. But it’s alway a series.
Let me give you an example. Kids’ shows. I sit there with other parents, we are all there, yet not really. I am so busy holding my phone, other parents too, kids can’t even see our faces. I am not looking at my child, I am looking at her through the little screen on the phone, as if I wasn’t right with her. I am all stressed out, almost elbowing other Mums to get that perfect shot, make the video of the whole show. One photo would’ve been enough. And then I could’ve sat back and watched my child, proudly and relaxed.
I could actually enjoy the moment.
Commit to memory
By enjoying the moment, by letting the phone or the camera in my bag, or snapping one photo to mark the occasion, I’d have a chance to use my brain.
I should commit great moments in life to memory. So, what if it fades. Photos too, get lost, especially if there are too many of them.
So, I no longer have to care, that I forgot to snap a photo, which usually happens when I eat. I am too hungry to care. Now, I won’t.
I believe people don’t care about my meals, no matter how appealing they may look.
And most important, I don’t care about it either. Looking at it, won’t make me sated. But the memory of how it smelled and tasted, will at least put a smile on my face.
If I don’t care…
I am not against taking photos. I only realize that this incessant snapping of them, bothers me and I no longer want to play this game.
I’ll still try to catch perfect moments, but I’ll commit to enjoying myself more without the photo material.
I’ll have a few photos, I’ll love to look at myself and show others. Because if I can’t care about going through 2000 photos just on my phone, then how can I ask anyone else to come see.
That’s why I love hubby’s photo books. After every trip, he collects the best photos and makes a beautiful keep sake of that trip. We have great photos, we love to look at time and time again and we love to show it around. More of that trip, should really be in our memories.
I know I can’t go back in time and have that same rush of emotions of getting the freshly developed batch of film. I don’t even want. I like the fact that I can take a photo, have it on my phone immediately, share it with my friends and family. Photos will probably never be precious mementos of milestones again, but by taking fewer of them, they can still mean more.