The Moments that Matter

I gave up weddings in 2009 with much celebration.

There’s an entire list of reasons why me and weddings don’t match.

Despite my strong aversion, I truly thought a family wedding would be different.

And it was 🙂

1.  I knew and deeply loved my bride and groom.  (My awesome bro and new sister in law!)  There was a wonderful relationship of trust and comfort already present which makes interaction and authentic moments easy to obtain.

2.  The wedding pictures are more than beautiful. They are actually images that I would print and hang on my walls because we know and love the subjects personally.

3.  I knew and loved all the wedding party and guests!

4.  The wedding party and guests all knew and loved me!

Which means they loved to talk to me!

Which of course means it surely must be the ideal moment to completely catch up on the long lost tales of our life…

Additionally, my own wild child got to be a featured guest at the party as well…

Which means that all the above factors combined make it EXTREMELY DIFFICULT to actually take a single picture

which means that I just might have TOTALLY MISSED the cake cutting, the bouquet toss, and a majority of candid pictures that could have been awesome and memorable… simply because I wasn’t the stranger dressed in black blending into the crowd that nobody really paid attention to.

Which means that having a second shooter would have been a REALLY GOOD IDEA 🙂

But alas, we live and learn.

Sometimes its even more meaningful to just be present and enjoy whats happening.  Though we record amazing moments with our cameras, I find that there are certain times when placing a thick piece of black plastic between my eye and the scene before me– actually removes me from soaking in the moment of what is truly happening.

As with most things, there is a delicate balance.  The balance of living and the balance of recording .

Do we know how to tell the difference?

How to you keep that balance?

Brooke Snow is a Lifestyle photographer in Cache Valley, Utah.  She enjoys organization, throwing away junk mail, and any re-run of The Office.

Brooke teaches private photography lessons , online photography classes, as well as seasonal photography classes in Logan, Utah.

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8 Responses

  1. Beautiful photo of your brother and his wife!

    I agree – it can be hard to know the line between being in the moment and recording it. During a recent trip to visit family, I’d give myself a period of time that I’d shoot, then I’d put the camera down and just be in the moment. I came home with great memories in photographs, especially some sweet photos of my mother and my son that someday when she’s not here anymore, will mean so much to me. But I also have plenty of memories in my head because I made sure to experience it myself without the camera. I think most people probably need to make a conscious effort to do this or else they will never put the camera down. Thank you for the reminder!

  2. Absolutely LOVE this post! Fantabulous pic by the way 🙂 Balance is a goal that I’m still trying to achieve. Something that alerts me to know that I have strayed too far on the recording side is when I’m spending more time with Photoshop than with my kids. Oh, and also when I start to despise the sight of my camera. When that I happens, I take a break. I accept less work, I crack out my camera less often, and I make it a point to spend FUN quality time with the fam (without the camera), and I arrange fewer date nights with Camera Raw. I found that I had to get comfortable with the idea that “everything will be alright if I don’t digitally capture every moment of my kiddo’s life”. It’s often better to just BE in the moment. “BE” for balance 🙂

  3. That’s exactly how I feel about newborn photography. It drains my energy when I do it for strangers (and I don’t think it’s my unique ability at all) but being able to offer that to my siblings is a gift that I’m happy to give.
    As for balance I’ve found a few things that have helped me — for starters I finally gave up bringing my SLR on hikes. HALLELUIAH! Now I bring the point and shoot and I give it to my six year old to document our hike. (We go on weekly hikes so documenting them is important to me …but I love it now that I no longer am the one doing the documenting!). Also, I make it a point to capture certain things with my camera (a trip to the park, playing in the pool, jumping in the leaves etc.) ONCE and then I feel the freedom to not bring it next time because I already purposely set out to record those images (and really, how many different shots of your kids on the slide do you need?! haha)But I will also say this: Regularly bringing my camera or capturing the latest silly attachment/interest/habit of my child allows me to not only experience it, but to REMEMBER and EXPERIENCE it over and over. I write the story and share the picture and now that memory is with me forever. And to me that is the greatest gift photography will ever give me 🙂

  4. That’s exactly how I feel about newborn photography. It drains my energy when I do it for strangers (and I don’t think it’s my unique ability at all) but being able to offer that to my siblings is a gift that I’m happy to give.
    As for balance I’ve found a few things that have helped me — for starters I finally gave up bringing my SLR on hikes. HALLELUIAH! Now I bring the point and shoot and I give it to my six year old to document our hike. (We go on weekly hikes so documenting them is important to me …but I love it now that I no longer am the one doing the documenting!). Also, I make it a point to capture certain things with my camera (a trip to the park, playing in the pool, jumping in the leaves etc.) ONCE and then I feel the freedom to not bring it next time because I already purposely set out to record those images (and really, how many different shots of your kids on the slide do you need?! haha)But I will also say this: Regularly bringing my camera or capturing the latest silly attachment/interest/habit of my child allows me to not only experience it, but to REMEMBER and EXPERIENCE it over and over. I write the story and share the picture and now that memory is with me forever. And to me that is the greatest gift photography will ever give me 🙂

  5. Great post! Yes, I too have to remind myself to stop and just be in the moment. I take my camera EVERYWHERE and when I’m out with my husband and daughter I’m always shooting them. And when the day is over I never seem to have experienced it the way they have. But I take my camera with me because I’m always afraid I’ll miss something or my daughter will do something that I wish I had the camera for. I guess since she’s growing up so fast (she’s only 3) I want to preserve every moment. This post makes me realize that taking pictures is fine…just put it down sometimes and take in the moment.

  6. I’m with you, Brooke. Sometimes it seems like I have lived all of life’s “priceless moments” with one eye shut, and the other eye watching it happen through a tiny little view finder. Plus side to this is having the pics to spark the emotions in the future, down side to this…. not the same emotion is sparked. Learning to ride the bike w/out training wheels. 1st place in the dance competition. Winning touchdown scored. All recorded memories, but isn’t the purpose of the picture to spark the emotion felt? Sometimes I feel like I get jipped. The emotion isn’t quite the same, lining up the “rule of thirds” and making sure the exposure is just right.

  7. Your post and Erin’s post today over at The Creative Mama (.com) are twins! I loved reading both of your thoughts today. As always, thank you. xo!

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