A Catholic Convert in Ottawa

Stepping out From Behind the Camera

Posted on: January 4, 2016

There are things I dislike, but I hate having my picture taken. I’m notoriously camera-shy. I do enjoy taking photos of my pets, double rainbows, beautiful architecture, and so on, but only a few pictures at a time.

My family went to the Canadian Museum of History to see the Vikings and Terry Fox exhibits on New Year’s Day. As I walked around looking at the Viking jewellery, tools, and food, I was surprised to see a visitor taking photos of some items from every possible angle.

The man at the museum actually came with someone else but didn’t interact with her at all, while I kept crossing paths with my husband and son and talking about the Vikings’ funeral rites or the detailed jewellery and tools they created or chuckling over some Viking-themed gift shop items.

I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised at the picture-taking, with our photo- and selfie-obsessed culture, but I kind of miss the days when people collected programs, ticket stubs and souvenir shirts to say “I was there.”

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A photo I quickly took to remind us of Christmas Eve 2015, when we had poutine and pop by candlelight because the power had been out for hours but we were grateful for the food–and for the fact that the cold winter weather hadn’t arrived yet.

As I’ve lamented to my husband many times, how much are people missing in their quest for photos to post and share? If we’re snapping picture after picture, how much of the party, art exhibit, concert, tour, or family gathering are we really experiencing? Do we want to have a big photo collection or a lot of great memories, with a few photos to jog our memory down the road?

 

I have an older brother, and he often posts on Facebook about family game and movie nights, pop culture conventions, and so on. Sure, he sometimes includes pictures, but mostly he’s writing a quick post to tell us how much fun he had with his family, how proud he is of his kids, how great his latest read was, how his current science fiction story is going. He’s busy making memories.

Maybe we could take a cue from this and step out from behind the camera to be part of what’s going on, to experience life instead of looking at it through a viewfinder, and to appreciate the big and small joys of the life God has blessed us with while we’re still here to appreciate them.

Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.

~ Ferris Bueller, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, quoted on IMDb.com

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1 Response to "Stepping out From Behind the Camera"

I’ve found that when my fiance and I have a get-together anywhere, we sometimes forget to take pictures until it’s about over. Guess we were enjoying the company and the moments!

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Food for Thought

(Y)ou do not know about tomorrow. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and we shall do this or that.” ~ James 4:14-15

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