Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Living Life or Capturing It?

A photojournalist sees some amazing things. Through a lens, she can capture governments being overthrown, lives lost and freed at war, cultural mores changing, and even simple everyday moments. But those pictures she is taking are completely separate from the life she is living.

I was thinking of this as we were on our whale watching trip. I wanted to get some good photos, but you often miss so much when you are looking through the camera lens. That happened when we were watching fireworks last year in Washington DC with my inlaws. It was amazing. Awe-inspiring. Breathtaking. I wanted to capture it on film. Better with flash, or without? Let's try night flash. Maybe the action setting. On and on. I ended up getting some fair pictures, but I think I missed out on the experience.

I should have just been watching, like they were.

Or, for that matter, hooting and hollering and cheering them on like she was:

So, on the whale watching excursion, I did watch. I took some pictures, too, but I didn't feel bad if I missed "the shot." I even "let" Terry have some fun with the camera, and many of the great shots are his. I won't forget those large mammals, and the photos don't accurately capture the experience anyway.

That's kind of like it is with our kids. We have to just be with them, and take in the whole experience (not just the perfect Kodak moments). When I see pictures of the kids, from even months ago, I often think, "Did she/he really look like that?" It seems like who they are continues to change and so that becomes my current perception of them. A picture doesn't capture the way that Kyle says, "Wha'?" anytime you mention his name or catch him offguard (like last night, when Amanda screamed out two sentences in her sleep). Even a video can't capture Amanda's enthusiasm for life and her imaginative perspective on things.

Read Beck's post, or at least the last couple of paragraphs, here . She voiced her thoughts on why she doesn't have a lot of video footage of her kids. It's really beautiful.

NOT taking pictures is what Works for Me this Wednesday. Try to capture some memories in your heart as you live it. Journaling (and blogging for that matter) really appeal to me, because I am able to record the whys and the hows behind the picture frozen on film. I am not a dedicated scrapbooker, but that was what I loved when I was first introduced to Creative Memories. I don't worry about my poor handwriting on those pages. I capture my thoughts or our family's reactions to trips we've taken. In fact, I think that my handwriting becomes part of the recorded history.

Check out some other tips over at Rocks in My Dryer:


Trisha said...

Sometimes you just have to set back and enjoy yourself. Good reminder!!

Mama Duck said...

Awwww, so true. Thanks for the reminder!

Katrina said...

Good post. I tend to fall to one extreme or the other, but I'd like to maintain a balance... I want to capture the moment... but I definitely want to be living it, as well. And given the choice, living it is far more important.

Overwhelmed! said...

Thanks for the reminder. Far too often I'm the one behind the camera trying to "capture" the moment and it ends up passing me by. I need to work on living the moment more.

Laura said...

half the time i forget my camera so this reminder will help me remember that it's ok to just enjoy it and not capture every smile on film. :)

Laurel Wreath said...

Very true, great post.

Beck said...

Great post.
A few years back, I was the same event as the Queen and Prince Phillip and when I saw them I was so excited. Then I got so focused on taking pictures of them that I totally lost the point of what I was doing AND Prince Phillip snapped at me. So I did end up with a good anecdote, but not really any memories. :(

Gina said...

I think I've really started enjoying my kids more and taking less pictures so I can experience the moment.

Happy0303 said...

That is so true. I sometimes feel like I'm missing out on my daughter's accomplishment because while trying to record them, I'm not really in the moment.