Thursday, June 03, 2010

Turning off the camera

Do you ever find it hard to just put down the camera?

I love taking pictures of Kate, even though they are not super-high quality or anything (that might change after my b-day, since I'm getting THIS!) and obviously the whole Project Life thing encourages me to pick up the camera even when nothing major is going on. But sometimes I notice that I am snapping and snapping away, trying so hard to capture the moment, that I am not enjoying it as much as I could if I just PUT DOWN THE CAMERA!

I thought about this on Mother's Day, when Kate was cranky and didn't want to hold still for a photo. I stayed in my uncomfortable church clothes for hours while she took a nap so that we could try again when she was rested. Even then, she just wanted to run and play, not be held and posed! I tried again and again to get a good picture to commemorate our second Mother's Day (it didn't help that Matt was napping by this time and I was just trying to take arm-length shots of Kate and myself)! Finally, I realized that enough was enough, and I was not actually ENJOYING this special mommy-daughter day because I was so focused on photographing it. So, we came inside, changed into comfy clothes, and just ran around the yard having fun.

I thought about this again when Kate and I were up visiting my parents in Louisville a couple weeks ago. At the nursing home where my grandmother was staying (she came home today--wahoo!), we went out to look at the ducks in the courtyard, and Kate loved chasing them around. She was having a blast. I took three different video segments of her chasing those ducks, trying to get one that showed her and the ducks well and didn't have any long lulls in it. (I would post one here, but I don't feel like waiting forever for an embedded video to load. I'd rather relax with my husband than stress over videography--isn't that the whole point of this post?) After the third video, I just knew I was not enjoying the sweet moments of my daughter's animal-loving enthusiasm as much as I could. I needed to capture the memory in my mind, not on film (er--pixels, whatever).

Hopefully having a fancy camera (which I am definitely excited about!) will enable me to get a good shot the first time, and not obsess with taking fifteen just so I can get one good one. I love to record my memories. I love to blog. I love to scrapbook. But most of all, I love my loved ones, and I want to be fully present with them, enjoying the special moments we have together.

Do you ever find you need to be disciplined about turning off the camera?


Katie Bug said...

Oh, I understand! I recently commented on another blog that sometimes I am too focused on documenting life that I forget to live it.

Katie Bug said...

And I think you are really going to enjoy your new camera! That's the same one we have. It's soooo nice to have a camera that takes a picture as soon as you press the shutter button...and doesn't take 10 seconds to recharge for the next shot.


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