This post is coming to you poolside, from the sunny, and very HOT Riviera Maya, Mexico! I am feeling beyond blessed to have the opportunity to enjoy some rest and relaxation with some great friends at a beautiful resort. The sun is proving a little more powerful than the Regina winter sun I’ve been used to for the last 6+ months, so I may or may not resemble a lobster on some areas of my body… Regardless of the amount or type of sunscreen I try… Not to worry though- aloe, thatch roofed cabanas and piña coladas to the rescue!
As I lay here soaking up every moment in the warm and humid Mexican air, I do so, get this, without a camera nearby. I can hear your audible gasps from here, just wait until you hear that… I didn’t even bring my camera. ‘Tis true. No fooling. Didn’t even pack one. I brought my iPhone, and a waterproof point and shoot camera, but that is all. We are here as our group of girls to relax and celebrate our 30th birthdays, and I think so far, we’re succeeding in our plans. And you know what? Not being the “official photographer” of the trip is kind of liberating! Cameraless and loving it!
If you’ve been following me for a while, or realize that you’re reading an entry on the blog of a photographer, clearly, taking photographs is something I really enjoy. So don’t think I’m crazy when I say this, but sometimes you need to put the camera down. Another audible gasp – I can totally feel it, just stay with me. Sometimes I find when I am looking at the world through my camera lens that I quite literally have tunnel vision, in a way. You are so focused on capturing a great photo through your lens that you’re missing out on what is happening around or behind you.
In the last almost 7 years of being a photographer and mother, I’ve learned that while taking and having those photos is important, being in that moment is even more important. Yes, this is coming from a photographer, and in some ways it fights all my natural inclinations to say so, but I truly believe sometimes you must put the camera down and take those mental images instead. Now I’m not saying you must miss those special moments, not at all. Take a couple photos, but when you’ve documented the occasion, put the camera down. Be there. Be in that moment. Soak it all in. Take photos in your mind that you can’t ever lose, or end up as corrupt file or destroyed negatives. Put the camera, iPhone, iPad (and please, for EVERYONE’S sake don’t be that iPad guy…) and make sure to be a part of making the memories, not just capturing them.
Get out there, and have some fun with the people you love, and maybe – JUST MAYBE – consider being cameraless.