As a photographer, photos play an important role in my everyday life. For the past 12 years, I’ve documented the world through my camera lens, and it’s made me realize how precious moments are. Now, I don’t encourage people to spend their lives with their fingers glued to their smartphone cameras. However, I still think it’s so important to snap a picture of the good times.
Whether you’re a master of the smartphone or a DSLR pro, there is so much to be gained from taking the time to capture the times that make you smile. Instead of taking pictures of just special occasions, here are five reasons why you should spend time capturing magical moments of everyday life.
5 Reasons to Take More Pictures
- Photos capture memories. A picture’s worth a thousand words, right? Pictures are actually magic; they can memorialize a single, beautiful moment in time. Memories are powerful things, and they can come flooding back with a single glance at a photo. With the invention of the smartphone, we forgot how valuable pictures can be. Photos are proof of places and people as they once were, the past speaking to us through pixels and helping us remember moments in our lives.
- It helps me let go of the idea of perfection. Taking pictures of my everyday life reminds me that I am human and nothing is perfect. And that’s okay. Social media has turned into the highlight reels of people’s lives. I take pictures of myself when I’m not at my best (gasp!). You should do the same. You don’t have to share every picture you take with the public if you don’t want to. Take pictures when your room is messy, my zits are huge, and when your PJs don’t match. Keep it to look back on. (On the left we have me after getting my infected earring cut out of my ear. I had to keep a warm compress on it to help it heal… and on the right we have my friends and I spending 4 hours making these nachos – link here.)
- It reminds me to pay attention to the world. As a photographer, I’ve learned to pay attention to the little details. Take a picture of what gets you to do a double-take: the sunset, the ivy-covered brick wall on your morning walk, or that ice cream cone that had the perfect swirl on it.
- Photos help me focus on the good times. Sometimes my depression and anxiety try to persuade me that I am alone and that the bad outweighs the good. One of the best ways to cheer me up is to recall happy times from the past; I have an album on my phone titled “My Happy Thoughts”. It reminds me of all the good that is in my life. Photos are a great memory-prompt, and because we tend to take photos of happy occasions, they weight our memories to the good. The picture on the left reminds me of when we finally got our dog out on our boat and she wasn’t terrified. The right, well, how can that not make you smile?
- You never know how many memories you have left with someone. Not to be morbid, but it’s easy to forget how short and fragile life is. It’s so easy to forget to take pictures with your loved ones. For those who don’t know, my father unexpectedly passed away back in 2016. Here’s the last picture we took together. My family had randomly decided to go get Mexican food and drink margaritas (in my sister’s honor since she was only 19). I was in college and I can remember teasing my dad about how I could out-drink him (false). Honestly, if we hadn’t taken 2 minutes to ask our waitress to take a picture of us, that night would have blended into the little moments of my life that fade over time. It’s so easy to forget. As much as I love that picture, I wish I had more of me with him. So learn from my regrets and just snap pictures with your loved ones. They don’t have to be perfect, but they will be perfectly imperfect in their own way.
Photography is my way of putting good out into the world. It brings me joy to know that I’ve captured memories for myself and countless others.
As much as I’d love to persuade you that you need a professional photographer to document memories (you definitely should do this every once in a while), too many of us hesitate to take photos because we don’t we have the fancy camera, the natural talent, or the studied know-how. I’ve even found myself hesitating to take a picture for fear of being “the friend who is always taking pictures”. We need to stop worrying about what other people think of our actions and start doing what makes us happy.
I encourage you to start making magic out of everyday moments. Be the friend that asks to take a group picture. Take a few candid pictures of dinner with your coworkers. Take a picture of the things you love and the moments that bring you happiness. This world needs more joy in it.