The act of lifting up your camera and positioning it between you and the object of your interest separates you from the experience. By the time you point and shoot you are out of the moment. Michael J Fox
There she sat, surrounded by hats, coats and handbags.
Head slightly tilted
Listening, really listening
Absorbing the sound through every pore in her body
Engrossed in the moment
I called out “Are you okay?”
She looked up with a beaming smile, the type of smile that originates in your heart
“Oh Yes!” she said
“We have had such a busy day and this is the first chance I have had to enjoy the children enjoying themselves. To sit back and really watch them.”
The day had been hectic, four Mums, nine children attending a festival. Moving from one activity to another, cooking, building, craft, woodwork, painting, the choices were endless.
All this while ensuring the children were safe, fed, and toileted.
At this very moment five of the children were sitting in a circle on cushions, learning to play the ukulele.
My friend was sitting, watching and basking in their delight.
I was straddling a chair, camera to my eye, snapping away.
Capturing the moment or missing the essence of the day??????
I glanced over at my own two children. One playing the ukulele the other dressing up as a king.
Then I took a really long look, not through my camera but with my naked eyes. I listened to the music, I observed my son’s facial expressions. I resisted the urge to pose them, to interfere, I simply watched and enjoyed them enjoying themselves.
I connected with the emotion of that moment.
I looked down at my camera hanging around my neck. The big question needed to be asked….
How many photos do I need to capture the memories of this day?
The answer is not one of quantity, 500 photos detailing every micro moment is no guarantee I will capture the essence of the day.
The photos I want come from experiencing the joy, the fun and the friendship. Living the moments and choosing which ones to photograph and which ones to sit and absorb.
Knowing when to put the camera down and when to point and shoot.
I sat down beside my friend and began to listen too.
Grateful for her wisdom in my life.