Take fewer photos in the moment

Take fewer photos in the moment

declutter photos

You are about to take a photo.  Stop.  Consider why?

A word of warning, analysis of your personal ‘why’ could be unsettling for some.

You might be taking a brilliant sunset photo; any of the following could be your underlying reason why;

  • To print and add to your journal alongside personal reflections on the moment
  • To post on Facebook to prove to your mother you are still alive and well
  • To post on Instagram
  • To tell the world ‘look at me’ I have the best life (true or otherwise)
  • To show off your composition skills
  • To store in a file on your computer never to be looked at again
  • To print and frame

If your intentions were more ‘old school’ for example it was your grandma taking the photo, do you think she would still take it?

I often wonder, are our photo taking habits a cry for help in our crazy over capitalised and consumerist lives?  Are we masking deeper issues at play?  Is the ‘desire for hundreds of likes on a social media’ image we took a band aid boost to our lack of self-confidence?

NY Times columnist David Zweig noted

“the other day, in a sweet moment, my daughter put her arm around her 1-year-old brother. Before my wife and I could finish our “aww”s, my daughter said, “Take a picture!” A 3-year-old shouldn’t know which of her actions are worthy of being documented; she should simply be in the moment.”

If I am honest with myself my children have acted in a similar fashion at least once that I can think of and it really bothers me that the innocence of children is being lost. To degree this could be thanks to my photo taking habits.  This is not a realisation that sits well with me.

My planned solution, is to put down the phone, forget the photo, be IN the moment.  Sit back and breathe it in with all my senses.

By spending less time taking photos and more time actually experiencing life or enjoying the moment, means that we will see more and feel more.

Do you want to remember time you spent frustrated getting the right light to capture the sun glistening off the condensation on your mojito glass, or would you rather remember the amazing time you had enjoying a refreshing beverage by the beach?  Open up your senses to the moment.

FEEL the sun on your face

SMELL the salt in the air

HEAR the sound of the waves lapping at the shore

TASTE the fresh mint and lime

SEE the WHOLE picture 360 degrees instead of through the camera lens.

I’ll say it again, by spending less time taking photos and more time actually experiencing life or enjoying the moment, means that you will see more and feel more.  There are emerging studies that are telling us that our brains are losing ‘muscle memory’ because we are so reliant on our technology to capture moments, that moments flee our memories so fast that they don’t imprint properly (because our mind tells them “it’s OK the camera got that one, no need to flex your muscle to remember”).  Take for example, phone numbers.  Now days we add a number straight to our phone contacts skipping the reliance on our memory altogether. But I can still remember my childhood phone number because I had no device to rely on other than my own memory.  How about you do you remember your childhood phone number?

I am not against taking any photos and I am still a believer of taking photos to keep a record of a wonderful life, just not so MANY.   My advice, as you are about to take a photo consider your why and give those memory muscles a little flex, sure take a snap (singular) then put the camera back down again and soak up the moment.

Given so many of us take photos with social media in mind, I will leave you with this quote

I have no memories, no good positive memories of interactions on social media.  You get this instant sense of gratification, but you go back for more because it leaves you lacking David Sax – Revenge of Analog

Have a magical day


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