Photos That Matter: Finding Balance in a World of Digital Photography

Smart phones are here and they’re here to stay. And thank goodness for that, because they’re fantastic. However, the ease with which it is to document our lives with a handy dandy smart phone seems to be both a pro and a con. Photos of important life events and loved ones are undeniably important, but it’s easy to find yourself becoming a bit of a redundant photographer, documenting events that lack long term importance, or worse yet, failing to be present at an important life event (graduation, birthday) because you are so busy photographing it.

Ask any photographer, photographing an event and being present at an event are very different things. I’ve often shot basketball and football games where I have no idea what the score is, or who is winning, because photographers are grabbing moments, and observe the game from a completely different perspective than someone in the stands.

Why does this matter? Because more and more people seem to be getting in the habit of spending so much time photographing their vacation that they forget to be on vacation. And while this may be an asset if you’re trying to look like a badass on Instagram, your family may find it cumbersome, and according to Science! those who photograph events are less likely to recall them with the clarity as those who merely observe. It’s called the Photo-Taking Impairment Effect, and it’s totally a thing.

What’s the moral of the story? Put the camera down from time to time, duh. Because, let’s be real, you’re never going to want to look at the 500 pictures of random blurry animals you took at the zoo again. And for the important stuff? The birthdays, graduations, and maybe just your family hanging out together at home? Consider hiring a photographer. Because life is precious, and we should all aspire to be as present as possible.