Because I’m a photographer, most people expect me to have a camera around my neck all the time. And there was once a time that I was definitely that person, always thinking of framing, always behind the lens. But the more I traveled the more I realized it’s not so much about the photos, or the lists of places to see and itemized destinations. It’s about slowing down, and really taking everything in. It’s about savoring the moment.
When you go to a concert nowadays you see everyone watching the show through the little screen on their camera. “Gotta get the shot!” they’re thinking. Wanting proof that they were there, or want an awesome shot to share on Instagram.
But here’s the thing — how do you really want to watch that show? On an iPhone screen, half focused on trying to get a photo, or with your own two eyes, taking in every single sensory aspect of the moment?
I read an article that said with the rise of photography, people’s memories have started to, well, remember less. Because we’re training ourselves to not really need to remember anything. We take a picture, usually mindlessly, and then our mind is left free to do something else.
But for a richer, more vibrant life, I think we need to step back and really savor the moment. Really get our mind focused on events so we can later recall everything on our own. Sure, one photo is a great memento, and I’m not saying to not take photos, because that just doesn’t make sense.
But I am saying to take the extra effort and really make yourself focus on what’s going on around you. Engage. With people, strangers, friends. With the location. Notice how the lighting is playing off the wall, off the stage. Is there food? What’s it taste like. What are all of the ingredients? Focus in on it, so you don’t need that photo anymore.
Savor the moment.