When you take pictures, what side of the lens do you find yourself on most often? As someone who has always loved photography, pictures are really meaningful to me. To me they are very much an expression of the photographer and how he or she views the world. I also think that they are not appreciated enough and taken for granted these days. I’ve read many posts online saying that this generation cannot enjoy anything unless they are recording it, tweeting it, uploading it, and posting it (although the people writing that seem a bit hypocritical given the whiny social media ranting they are putting us through). Nevertheless, I kind of agree with them, but yet also I have to disagree. I can enjoy a moment immensely and soak it in completely, and also snap a picture to remember it by, in about 2 seconds with a quick shutter speed. I just don’t feel the need to have 10,000 shots of every moment, and then waste that precious moment by immediately posting about it, worrying about filters and missing the real thing instead.
Have you noticed that you cannot take two of the same pictures during a sunset? It changes by the second. Life is going on at all times, faster than we can actually hold on to it. We often miss crucial moments sitting behind screens and worrying what others will think of our contributions to the media. When instead, we should be enjoying that moment for ourselves, and if we choose to capture it, we should do it not for the “likes” but for the memories. One picture, one moment, and one memory for a lifetime that you can post about later when you’re otherwise unengaged. If you can find a balance between living in the moment and enjoying it-and also finding a way to capture it at the same time, then I say more power to you. When you are old, and your memories begin to fade, you will be happy that you did!
I do think that pictures should say more than just, “Here’s a giant close up of my faceeeeee, oh and there might be a river someplace in the background..” Not that I don’t ever take selfies with my friends and family when there’s no one else around to take a picture…But I also like for my pictures to tell a story about where I was, what I was doing, and what inspired me at that very moment to stop everything and take them. That is the purpose of pictures really. To commemorate a trip or date night, or remember something crazy that happened to us, and they usually end up in a frame or scrapbook in our house. If we are just chillin’ in the backyard though, I’m taking pictures of the dragonfly that landed on my leg or the creek water reflecting the sun, because these are things that inspire me. I find joy in sharing these pictures with others because I might have a chance at inspiring them too. I don’t think there is anything wrong with that.
To me nature is so much cooler to memorialize and share than the view of my face from above. It’s a fleeting moment, a beautiful creation, something that I can’t pose, and don’t have to take from another angle because of a double chin. I think it’s really cool to show the world from the photographer’s point of view, whatever view it is that you are enjoying so much. I love instagram, and use it often for many reasons. It is the one form of social media where I don’t take and post pictures of myself, and it’s not an accident. I keep my instagram purely for inspiration and to share the beauty around me. Anytime I see something worth savoring, I capture it and share it. I try not to overuse it, only one picture at a time, and I stick to a few personal rules. Find beauty in the simple things, extravagance in the fancy things, entertainment in the silly things, and don’t post pictures of your face.
(sorry hunny, but this was too perfect, and also totally an accident!)
If you are still reading this, I encourage you to try to do the same thing. Try to spend a week finding things that make you gasp, and immortalize the moment in a picture. Don’t spend too much time trying to put your face in the shot, but put yourself into it in other ways. Show others your creative side. Find angles that suit you and use them to tell your story through the picture. I think you will find that it is actually a beautiful thing. You will have that image to look back on that moment and remember exactly where you were and how you felt. Just know that nothing, not even a picture, can beat the real thing in front of you, and you NEED to soak it in! You can later take joy in knowing that others are able to share in that inspiration that you felt by spreading the happy through your social media, but right now enjoy your moment, because you’ll never get it back!