I hear it all the time – “put the camera down and live in the moment”, and “the best memories are those kept in the heart”. While I get the notion behind these sentiments, I tend to have a different perspective on clickin’ my camera button as much as I do.
Here’s why this snap-happy Momma will keep on clickin’ in 2017:
1) Photography is a passion of mine
Like my own Mother, I have always been the one in my circle to bust out my camera and take lots of snaps. Not to detract from the moment, but because I enjoy it. Most people with a love of photography are acting on artistic impulse – having a vision of a shot they want to capture. I’ve learned to stop feeling guilty about doing the things I enjoy, even if incredibly annoying to those around me. In fact, getting more serious about photography was a creative outlet from the challenges of parenting this past year. It was a way to savour Motherhood on those days it felt hard to just breathe. It allowed me to pursue my passion, while keeping my family a part of it. It’s a continuous learning goal I’m keeping going, now including exploration of editing programs and more artistic photo techniques. I’m still not the Annie Leibovitz I’d love to be, but I’m loving the self-development aspect.
If developing your photography skills is on your hit list for 2017, check out my post “Take Better Photos of Your Kids”. As far as I see it, I am in the moment, except some times I’m seeing it through my lens. Same moment, just different perspective. And no, I don’t have my camera out at all times of the day, but it’s never very far ;), and most of the shots I do take are for our enjoyment, not social media.
2) Not all the amazing memories are stored in the heart + mind
Between routines, mom brain, sleep deprivation, schedules and the unpredictability of parenthood, so many little moments of our kids’ childhood escape us. We feel like they won’t, but they do. Why? Because it’s not possible for our constantly over-worked minds to retain so much memory. The RAM is ever-changing. We tend to remember the big moments, the milestones, but all those little moments that evade us are actually some of the most meaningful. I snap away because I want to remember. Reviewing a camera roll from years’ past triggers memories of ordinary moments I would have forgot otherwise. And it’s not just parents who forget, kids do too. In fact most won’t retain memories earlier than 7 years old when they get older.
Just the other evening, for instance, the boys and I came across our photos from our trip to Disney in 2015 – we laughed so hard we cried. It wasn’t from the staged photos in front of Magic Kingdom – while those are terrific, frame-worthy shots, it was the candid shots by the pool, the quirky moments captured in our hotel room, the video we took in the car rides to and from the park that made us giggle and reminisce. It was the footage of “us” being “us”. We did not recollect some of those things until then.
In the spirit of capturing those little moments that truly matter most, I’ve signed up for a project with Simple As That called “Moments That Matter” It’s a 30 day challenge designed to help you see your everyday, ordinary life in better focus – check it out! Rebecca Cooper (Author of Simple As That) also has some fabulous photography tips on her blog. Really inspired by her stuff. You should check it out.
3) They are sacred keepsakes of loved ones who’ve passed on
What’s the first thing we turn to when those near and dear to us pass on? Photos. Besides the memories stored in the mind, photos are the keepsakes of a life once lived. They are the history we pass on to the next generation when we go. It keeps their life story from being forgotten. Photos become a treasured memory, a smile inducer when the intensity of grief takes over. Thank goodness for the people who take so many photos. They have to ability to see the “big picture” of how everlasting and significant a photo can be.
Now if only I had more time to organize and print these pics for our babes. Over 5,000 snaps taken in 2016 alone. I have my work cut out for me. Aaaahh. I also need to get IN more shots. Andrew’s been on notice to brush up his Dadtog skills 😉
For more family photography inspo, tips and tricks check out our Pinterest board “Family Photography”
And if you love photography, keep on with your snap-happy self!