I like taking photographs, and I’m not against documentation, but I do agree that we need to be aware that sometimes the act of recording something can get in the way of us experiencing it (particularly at weddings.. I mean, honestly, they’re paying someone to take the shots, you don’t need to).
In our amazing era of digital immediacy, I can tell the world where I am and what I’m doing while I’m doing it. I can present myself as a busy man living a rich and full life. I can take pictures of my meals, log my locations, snap photos of the people I’m with, and weigh in on what’s happening around the globe 140 characters at a time. But none of these things mean I’ve been paying attention.
The degree to which we are able to be present in the moment, psychologists say, is one of the chief indicators of mental health and security in our personal identity. I can buy that. And I would submit that this takes a lot of courage.
Every day of my life is filled with moments that cannot be captured… We have to hold these moments with an open hand and pay attention. But it’s hard to pay attention, isn’t it? When it comes to wonder and glory, if we’re honest wouldn’t we have to confess that there comes a point where we run out of the courage to remain engaged, where we bounce back and hurry for the latitudes of home comforted by the fact that we took a lot of great pictures?
Take all the pictures you want. They’ll only serve to instruct you in the truth that none of your clips or still images managed to capture what was really happening in the moment.
Russ Ramsey – Courage to put away our cameras