Putting The Camera Aside

If you get on Facebook right now, you’re guaranteed to see a parent’s post about their baby or toddler, complete with a photo taken with their $1,000 camera. If you think about it, you’ll know that they had to take at least 30 photos to get a perfect photo of their child. 

Take this Instagram mom for example. I’ve been following her for almost a year and I absolutely love her photos. But when you look at how perfect her children look, including chic outfits and hairdos, you just have to wonder how long that entire process took.

If you go to the Farmer’s Market, the zoo, or a restaurant, you’ll see people taking photos everywhere. It could be a selfie or it could be a stranger taking a photo of a family. But there’s always one thing that happens. They take a handful. Even if it’s a stranger, they’ll make them retake it. I saw this myself at the Tulsa Zoo a little over a week ago. 

My question is why do we feel the need to have the perfect photo? 9 times out of 10, you won’t take the “perfect” photo the first time. I really think the root of the problem is trying to make our lives seem perfect to others. It’s rare that we don’t post a photo if we take one. So in order for it to be worthy of a post, it has to meet our crazy expectations.

SPOILERS AHEAD: A movie came out last year that mentioned this topic. In The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, Walter Mitty is trying to find a photographer, Sean O’Connell, who is very hard to track down because he is constantly traveling and isn’t connected to any sort of technology. At the end of the movie, Mitty finds O’Connell while he’s trying to take a photo of a snow leopard. Snow leopards are very hard to capture photos of, and when O’Connell hesitated to take the photo, Mitty was confused.

“Walter Mitty: When are you going to take it?

Sean O’Connell: Sometimes I don’t. If I like a moment, for me, personally, I don’t like to have the distraction of the camera. I just want to stay in it.

Walter Mitty: Stay in it?

Sean O’Connell: Yeah. Right there. Right here.”

I think everyone should live by this. Pictures can distract from the moment, and you’ll remember the moment more if you’re truly there. For me, I snap a photo if it’s that special, and then I put my phone away and experience it.

Remember that Instagram mom I talked about earlier? One of my favorite things about her is that she takes breaks from Instagram and photoshoots to hang out with her family. Though the kids might really enjoy the photoshoots and dress-up, their mom realizes the importance of quality time and how distracting technology can become.

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About chall29

Photographer from Northwest Arkansas pursuing degrees in Print Journalism and Speech Communication at Arkansas Tech University.
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