Taking pictures and enjoying the moment. We love to take pictures but it does not mean that we have to take away the precious memories before us. Is there a way where we can take pictures and enjoy the moment at the same time?
I have been saying that you should enjoy the moment wherever you go – be it a wedding, travel, adventure, conference, meeting, children’s party, etc. But of course, we do not want to stop taking pictures. Is there a way where we can enjoy the event and take pictures at the same time? Yes! And here are a few tips and feel free to add to it.
1. Take pictures during “down” time – Not every moment in an event is the highlight, there is a moment where everyone is doing all their own business. Take pictures when the program is not yet starting or after it started. For example, go to the event earlier and take pictures before the program starts and during the end. Take only a few pictures when it is important, do not be like the others who are watching through their phones. If you are traveling, take pictures when everyone is taking pictures – there is a time when everyone will gather and take group shots – this is your opportunity to join in – don’t be shy. Most of the time, when we travel or in some events there is a rest period where everyone is relaxing- you can take pictures during this time.
Just remember not to just take pictures during important moments, if needed take a few shots. It is important to live during the moment. Or if you love taking pictures that much, look at the view and breathe first – take your time and appreciate the view before taking pictures. Do not be those people who just went up a mountain and take pictures. Be that person who went up the mountain, appreciate its beauty and reflect on the beauty of life – then after that you can take pictures just to remind you of how beautiful your trip was. You take pictures because the trip or occasion makes you happy not because you just want to show the world that you went there. Experience the whole thing first before taking pictures.
2. Feel the moment first before taking pictures – As I said, feel it first before you take pictures. Just remember that we take pictures because we want to remember the happy times that we felt. We take pictures to remind us of the feelings that we experienced during that time. We do not take pictures just because we want to have evidence that we were there. The pictures should be like this, ” Oh, I remember this picture, I cried during that time”. You should be able to explain the picture like ” I took that picture when _____ and during that time I felt _____.”
For example, I attended my friend’s wedding and as I was watching her in the altar I am reminded how far she went. She was just a little girl when we were in high school and now she is getting married, I never knew how emotional weddings can be and I wonder why many people cry. Now I know that while you are watching them you are reminded of the past, how your friend grew. These emotions are precious in such a way that it makes me tear up just by writing it. I will not feel this kind of emotion if I was busy taking pictures and not paying attention. There is a wedding photographer for a reason, they want you to take part and reflect during their special moment – do not let that go away and just take pictures. During the reception, our other friends came and we talked about how our life is and it is fun talking to them. After all the talks, and while waiting for the bride and groom, we took pictures. But during the program, we listened and took part in the program. After the program, take pictures again.
What I can say about this experience is that, pictures do not mean anything when there is no emotion and memory that it reminds you. That is why you have to feel the moment first and be in that moment so that when you look at the pictures you will be reminded how precious that memory is.
3. Take pictures when everyone else is taking pictures – This is helpful when you are traveling with your friends or other people. Do not take pictures when everyone is gathering and talking with each other – converse with them. Do not be the person that goes away from the group to take pictures and by the end of the day he/she will feel like he/she does not belong. Join the conversation because it is very sure that the time will come when the group will disperse and take pictures. I attended many events and gatherings already and this always happen. People will gather and then, as if there is a rule, they will break away and start taking pictures. This is the time where you will take pictures, the group is no longer gathering but taking pictures. Always wait for this moment so that you will not be left behind during discussions.
4. Take pictures but do not be the photographer – Participate in the events like games and do not mind if you have pictures or not. Do not volunteer to be the photographer – be the participant and create memories. Stop taking pictures of everyone else, I remember some people that I see in events: People thought that he/she is a photographer and they will say, “take pictures of us”, “hey take our picture”. There are people like that and the reason why they became the “unofficial photographer” is because they take pictures of everyone and does not participate in the event. Just because you have a DSLR does not mean that you go around taking pictures of random people. Participate during the events regardless whether you are holding your camera or not. Take pictures after you participated.
5. Take bits of souvenir if you have scrapbooks – If you want to preserve memories and you failed to take pictures of all of these things, take some things that will remind you of the event. A few flowers from the center piece or wedding designs, a party hat, a balloon, a petal, a pebble, a confetti, small items that you can glue in a notebook and write a caption. It can be like, “a pebble from a long walk in Mt. Pulag” or a funny one such as “I tripped at this pebble when we were walking in Burnham Park”.
Bottom line: You take pictures because you want to remember the event and remember the emotion that you felt that time. Emotion is tied with pictures. There can be no true picture if you take pictures as evidence that you went there. Pictures without emotion is empty. You should be reminded of something essential when you see those pictures. It is not meant to impress others but to preserve your memory.
Note: This article is not applicable for people who take pictures for a living and they are taking pictures during their work time.