Experience First Pictures Second
When we are sightseeing or being tourists we often reach for our phones to take pictures right away. Why though? To relive that moment – the one you weren’t even present for in the first place? Aren’t you there to experience the sights and take it in?
There are already millions of photos of the location online. You could just go to Google Images and search for the photo and be content on your couch. Stop and experience the sight and then, if you want, take pictures.
What’s a photo worth? How many “likes” on social media do you need to justify missing the moment? Are you living that moment for yourself or for others?
Take pictures after you’ve had time to truly experience your surroundings. When you look back at the moments on your camera you’ll have a different appreciation to the photo. You’ll see the photo in a different light and meaning.
Create memories that are attached to the quality photos. When you look back at the photos you’ll be saying “remember when Johnny did ____” or “That was so funny when ___ happened” even “Let’s go back because it was so beautiful!”
You’ll remember standing there looking at the Eiffel Tower or Grand Canyon. You’ll remember the freedom you felt at that moment. You’ll remember the reason why you love to travel.
Take a second and think back to how often you actually go back through your photos. When you do, there are some that you just scroll past because they didn’t turn out the way you thought. Take quality photos instead of quantity.
Isn’t the reasons for vacations and traveling to experience things? Or are you looking for the “instagram” worthy photo to showoff to all your friends?
“Leave No Trace” is a new social media guidance on leaving the place better than when you found it. This also means not ‘geotagging’ your location so others won’t flock to that area just to get a “like.”
“Would this place be as impacted as it is now had it not been for Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat or Pinterest?”
I saw this question posed recently and it made me stop and think about the impacts we are doing to these beautiful sites. Every time we put a location on where we took the photo we are saying to everyone “look at where I traveled to!” We are also saying to others “go here and check it out!”
Don’t get us wrong. We aren’t saying don’t take any photos at all. We are saying live in the moment first. Experience the travel for what it is so you can create memories that last a lifetime.
What do you have to lose by experiencing the moment first? A few Instagram worthy photos?
Here’s a thought experiment for you. Think back to the 90’s for a second. How many photos did you take on a Kodak and you still look at today? Remember when there was a set amount of photos you could take on your disposable camera? You had to use those photos wisely otherwise you’d run out. Why not take that same mindset and apply it to your travel? Give yourself a limit of 20 photos, 50 photos, whatever you feel is comfortable to challenge yourself to take quality photos.
Setting up for pictures can take away from the experience of travel. Having people pose awkwardly in front of a building, statue, or whatever object to saying “look at us! We’ve been here!” is just a ridiculous concept to me. I think maybe one photo is plenty but after how many does your family photo change?
Instead of taking that posed family photo, take candid photos. Rotate the camera between families members or friends and take photos of living in that moment. You’ll have more memories of the trips rather than a posed photo in front of a statue.
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