Friday, May 10, 2013

The Day I Stopped Clicking

If you know me, you know I am a pretty consistent picture snapping Mama. Ok, maybe consistent is putting it mildly... maybe I am more like a...


Here is proof, this is a book I recently got. (Which is super cute by the way.)

But recently, if you look into my computer files, you will see a sharp decrease in the number of photos I've been taking. It wasn't on purpose, but I thought more and more about the why, and the how, and the purpose behind all that clicking. Ok, and truth be told, my computer is almost out of memory. I have a reeeeaalllly hard time deleting photos off and trusting they are on the hard drive. What was I to do? Stop taking pictures? I am a firm believer in documenting life with photos, but was I really doing that?

As I began to be honest with myself I saw some issues with the constant clickage.

I had forgotten how to simply experience the memories I was trying so very hard to capture. 

I realized this when I was SO busy clicking away on a hiking trip, that when Micah asked what I thought of the view, I realized, if I didn't have the photo to look at, I would have no clue. I had only glimpsed it through my iPhone and my Canon view finder.  I was more concerned with filters and the proper shutter speed than actually seeing the view!

 I started to realize, I need to let my mind's eye have the first click sometimes.

I need to experience the moment more and stop worrying about having the perfect shot of the moment.
I know I want photos to show my kids as they get older, their spouses, and someday, hopefully my own grandchildren. But when I think back to what my Gramma shared with me about her life, I don't remember it because she had a shutterfly photo book, or showed me her instagram feed. I remember because her memories were so powerful, and she was able to share them in such detail, that you felt transported to that place where your mind makes its own images of what it all may have looked like. I have a perfect photo in my head of her first apartment in the US, and what arriving there was like after sailing into Ellis Island.  Oh, to be sure, I would love... LOVE a photo of some of these things, but her words and memories were powerful too, in their own way.

So, back to me and my chain-smoker-esque photo ways. What am I going to do differently? I have promised myself to...

Experience first. Photograph Second.
Live first. Snap Second.
Write the memory in my mind, and then say cheese. 

That next hiking trip... I can vividly describe to you the way the sky looked that day, the many shades of blues we saw. How a storm rolled in and the cloud front was like a dark curtain over the valley. I can show you a photo too, because I did take one... but not until I had lived the moment with each of my boys first, and that my friends is why those photos are special.

The memories and the documentation of life just got a little sweeter again...

1 comment:

  1. very sound advice! I've begun shooting this way too. Sometimes I don't even bring the "big" camera. I get a lot of "where's your camera??!!" and "i thought you were the PHOTOGRAPHER??!" a lot from friends and family members. But just like you...sometimes I just want to experience the experience, you know? Anyway, I totally get it!