Capturing or living the moment?

Blogger or not, I’m sure you can relate to the fact that we now live in an age where if an event isn’t photographed, technically it didn’t happen. We are bombarded with images on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram and even Whatsapp, documenting our lives for all to see. It’s not necessarily a negative thing, it’s just part and parcel of our very modern world.

A photograph captures a moment in time forever. But just like the rise of throwaway fashion, we’re no longer concerned about creating long lasting images, but making sure that others can experience our daily lives. Often so much so, we forget to experience things through our own eyes.

I’ve spoken to a few people recently about the modern day paradox of capturing and living the moment and whether we can ever really enjoy a situation if our sole focus is to take a picture of it. And I’ve had mixed opinions. Some absolutely love the art of photography and they find that being behind the camera is therapeutic. Others find it difficult to switch off from and they spend a lot of time feeling on edge until they get the perfect picture.

Annoyingly, I fall into the latter category. Even if I wish I didn’t.

I absolutely adore what I do and I feel very privileged to be able to work for myself, writing away about the things I love. Photography excites me, fashion is something I’m passionate about and I have a serious case of wanderlust. But alongside that, the desire to stay current and make sure I’m changing alongside the ever evolving face of blogging rather than falling behind, means that enveloping those passions in an easy-to-consume format (i.e.: a photograph) needs to be more perfect than ever.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

[ezcol_1third]OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA[/ezcol_1third] [ezcol_1third]OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA[/ezcol_1third] [ezcol_1third_end]OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA[/ezcol_1third_end]

Dress – French Connection (sold out, similar here)

Now don’t get me wrong, I completely understand why this is. We’re a world of visuals, lovers of aesthetics and we feast our eyes on beautiful things. But being the producer of those images looks far more effortless than it actually is.

When you’re in a beautiful moment, rather than just enjoying that beautiful moment for all it is – there’s also an overwhelming urge to capture it, which is a bit of a catch 22. And as much as it’s amazing to have those memories to look back on after the event, in visual form – for me, it spoils it a bit to think about having to photograph it from every angle. And goodness forbid if the photographs turn out terrible. Admittedly it does sour the moment.

For that candid shot of the bikini clad girl running along the beach laughing was actually 1 out of 100 photographs – many of which involved tripping over, unflattering angles and rubbish lighting. And I might be in the minority here but the pressure to look good means that a series of bad pictures does nothing for your self esteem. In fact, it can be quite detrimental to it – especially when there’s a need to ‘live stream’ your life.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

My recent trip to Thailand really highlighted how focused I’ve become on getting the perfect shot, after I spent one beautiful day in a foul mood, simply because the lighting wasn’t working out when we tried to get some outfit pictures. I was in this incredible place, with a backdrop I’ve usually only seen on my default computer screen and yet I was unhappy because I couldn’t get the picture right. I couldn’t capture it for everyone else to see, so I wasn’t enjoying it myself. It sounds ridiculous looking back but that’s how much I let it get to me and it’s only when I took myself out of the situation that I realised how trivial a problem it is. And yet it means so much to us.

Another example is a girl who I saw strolling through the most beautiful part of Thailand I’ve ever seen – and yet she was glued to her phone watching someone else’s snapchat. Rather than soaking up her environment, she was being transported to someone else’s.

 


Shop maxi dresses:


They say a photo tells a thousand words. But I’m not sure that’s true anymore. For a photograph can hide much more than a thousand words too. When you look at the perfect picture of a girl sitting on a sun lounger, soaking up the rays, looking totally relaxed with a cocktail, you assume that’s all there is to it. You want her life. You wish you were in her position rather than sitting at your desk. You wish you could holiday all year round.

But I suppose what we don’t see is the camera full of photographs, in which that one was the only shot that looked natural. The twenty plus minutes spent getting into the perfect position. The layering on make-up in the searing heat in order to look natural. Re-arranging the cocktail (that will probably warm up before it’s enjoyed) so that it looks the best it can in the shot. The arguing with the boyfriend/friend taking the picture because it’s too hot/sticky/photos aren’t coming out right.

I’m not arguing against this. It’s the world I eat, sleep, breathe and love. But when it comes to blogging, I do often feel like I’d love to not have to live through the camera lens. And I find it difficult to balance the two. I adore having a camera full of beautiful pictures. But I also love the memories where no cameras are involved.

What’s your opinion on this? Do you love taking pictures or do you find it a chore? Do we live in the moment anymore?