In The 100 Thing Challenge, Dave Bruno writes, “We’re so distracted, we’re missing our own lives. The parent who records his kid’s dance recital or first steps or graduation is so busy trying to capture the moment – to create a thing that proves they were there – they miss out on actually living and enjoying the moment.”
Video has never been my thing, but as a photographer, I am always considering how things might look through a lens. I love the sound of the shutter and telling a story through a photograph.
I was so excited to capture every part of my daughter growing up so I took thousands of pictures. Some are in an album, some printed and framed, and others in a box. I rarely look at the photos unless they are on the wall. As it turns out, spending time with her and engaging in her moments today is far more fulfilling than pouring through old photographs.
On the flip side, I only have 5 pictures (or less) of my grandparents when they were young. I look at one of them (shown here) every day. It makes me smile to think about how happy they may have been in that moment.
I am so grateful to have this image that preserves the love of my grandparents, but also glad that I don’t have hundreds of others. They might make this one less special.
This mini-mission is to Make Moments instead of memories. Leave your camera at home on your next vacation or outing. See what happens when you are fully engaged in the moment, instead of catching the shot. Since mobile phones have become a better camera than calling device, you might need to leave that behind too.
I’m not suggesting that you never take another picture, but consider why you are behind the camera. If you are already thinking about the comments your picture might get on facebook, you might be missing the point. Of course photography is for sharing, but sometimes we shoot to share instead of preserving a memory. Not to mention, your actions may be interfering with the experience of others. We’ve all sat next to the parent at the school play narrating their own video or using their flash during the ballet. Not fun!
How can you be present when you are framing a shot, or adjusting the shutter speed on your camera? To really enjoy an event, to make the moment something unforgettable, you need to really be there.
Remember that less is not nothing, so please don’t abandon your cameras all together, just use them with purpose and see what it’s like to leave them at home.
If you are like me, this post has has struck a nerve. Could you go to a special event camera-free? Travel to a new place with nothing to remind you about your trip besides your own memories? Do you plan to try this mini-mission?
For more experiments to simplify your life, read Mini-missions for Simplicity. It’s available on the Amazon Kindle store, but you don’t need a Kindle to read it. Kindle books can also be read using the Free Kindle Reader App for your Web Browser, PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone, BlackBerry, or Android.