I enjoy the little things in life. The moments, the conversations, the experiences. I can look at an interesting cloud or an inquisitive squirrel on the way to work, and immediately feel better about the world. At the same time, I get bored and restless very quickly. I want to explore, to create and to find new things to enjoy. I feel like I’m missing out when I’m not busy doing something. Anything. At times, that means I don’t stop and enjoy what is happening right now. Sometimes I even know I’m doing it, but I still don’t just stop thinking about what I’m missing and enjoy the moment I have.
This has a negative impact on my photography, as well as my own enjoyment. The best photos are the ones we are inspired to take in the moment. They’re the ones that mean something to us. Not the staged, the posed or the planned. Sure those images look great, but their story is one of preparation and perhaps, inevitably, a little disappointment. If you can be present and reactive to what’s happening around you, then you’re going to get some photos that really tell a story. If you combine that with the technical skill and creativity to make the most of it, then you’re going to get some incredible photos. Ones that convey emotion and give a sense of capturing a moment in time.
In life, as in photography, I think that’s the point really. To live moments and find passions, to discover new places, people and experiences. Not the ones which you think you should. The expected ones, the popular ones. Validation isn’t truly measured in likes, shares and social media glory. It’s about doing what makes you happy, scared, excited or upset. It’s not about doing things well, or not well. It’s about just doing them. Finding moments and embracing them.
It has been said that imitation is the most sincere form of flattery, which might be true. But it is also what limits a lot of us from discovering our own path and creating our own memories. Instagram, for instance, is awash with a thousand iterations of the same popular image. But the people taking those photos haven’t discovered a place, or discovered themselves. They’ve followed a formula to try and get the same result, maybe they’ve achieved it. Along with so many others.
It’s wonderful that we can share so much of ourselves with people all around the world. It has the possibility of bringing us all closer together, or helping us make new discoveries. But the most rewarding thing about creating and sharing memories, is making them your own way. Finding your own path and discovering your own view. Making memories that are unique, special and personal. This will help you be the most important and interesting thing of all. You.
My challenge to myself this year, is exactly that. Worry less about what next, and enjoy what life is right now. Only then will I really start to embrace, capture and remember the moments.