Recently, I have been thinking a lot about the world and the future. In our current situation when the whole world was strictly on lockdown and people were catching the virus at an alarming rate, no one knew what was going to happen, how long the lockdown would last or how long the virus would be a severe threat to everyone.
For this reason, I was thinking more and more about the way we remember our lives; through pictures, videos and writing and how much of our time it takes for us to put in the effort so we can remember these things in the future. While doing this I heard a lot about people wanting to live in the moment instead of worrying about taking the perfect picture for Instagram. So, this got me thinking about the importance of photography and documentation and if it is worth spending those 10 minutes trying to take a nice picture of the view or standing there for 30 minutes posing for the “right” picture over and over again. Should we stop taking so many pictures of our lives and just live it?
I’m sure a lot of people have reflected on this question in one way or another in the last few months as we have been scrolling through the pictures and videos of the people we can’t see and the places we can’t go. Some (like me) are worried that they aren’t taking enough photos to save their memories and some are worried they’ve taken too many photos instead of enjoying the time they spent, worried they weren’t focussing on what was happening around them as they were too busy taking pictures of it. From now on, my goal is to take photos of what I do and where I go in the world around me but to also enjoy my time, it’s possible to do both.
After seeing a video on YouTube by Nathaniel Drew I realised how important it is to capture moments not only in your own life and of the people around you but of the strangers on the street, the beautiful surrounding architecture and the busy parks near you. There is so much going on that you don’t realise until you stop to see it.
Stopping to take pictures of the world around you, you can see so many emotions, faces and small details you wouldn’t have seen otherwise. For me, personally, I don’t take that many pictures unless I have gone out with the purpose to take photos or when I’m on holiday I take photos of what’s around me to remember it later. However, it would be great to get to know your own city like this, to go out and take pictures of the people and the architecture around you; especially now, in summer, when it’s lighter for longer and there’s more people on the streets.
In addition to all this, I feel like taking pictures, whether it be with a camera or your phone, is very important now as we can look back on the times when everyone had to wear a mask and social interaction was becoming more present again after being locked inside month after month until the rules were relaxed a bit. The way people live and interact with each other now could be very different than the past or the future, it will be interesting to look back on. Who knows where you will be or where the world will be, maybe it won’t change at all or maybe we will all feel like we’re living in a completely different world.
Nowadays, you don’t even need to spend thousands on a new professional camera with different lenses and other equipment, you can just use your phone if you wanted to. You can take such great quality photos from your phone and it’s more convenient anyway. So, don’t be using the fact that you don’t have a camera as an excuse to not try it!
Also, photography has been becoming more popular over the last few years which means if you’re a newbie you’re not alone. You could reach out to people on Instagram who have photography pages or talk to people you see who look like they are trying to do the same as you to make new friends with the same interests and you can learn together and help each other out. As well as this, photography is a great hobby to just get you out of the house and out of your own head as something that isn’t measured by tests or compared with other people (unless you want to). It can be very relaxing, to be creative and still be doing something productive.
Basically, what I’m trying to say is that capturing the moment or moments around you, to actively go out to take pictures of life right now is fantastic. You can get a new outlook on your own life, get a glimpse into other people’s lives and see the world from a new perspective; just from a few photos.
Seeing other people living their lives and seeing the beauty around you may inspire you to go out and live your life more freely or give you the creative break you needed. Even if you end up only really appreciating a few of your photos, that doesn’t mean that you can’t go out and do it again. You’ll get better every time you do it and not every picture has to perfect because it might look good to someone else, although, it wasn’t exactly what you wanted it to be.
So, to the people who are “living in the moment”, maybe you’re right… in my opinion, living in the moment is great but capturing it will let you keep the memories, reflect on them and may help inspire you to do more creative activities like this because life is everywhere and it’s important to capture it, even if it’s not your own.