Monday, 18 May 2015

When the Cam Clicks: Living in the Moment or in Photos

Ora is a 17- year-old from Texas. She loves dancing (from hip-hop to ballet) and music (from competitive classical piano to singing whilst strumming along on the guitar). She has a fascination with languages (fluent in four) and hopes to be able to incorporate and utilize this into whatever career she chooses to pursue.
“Don’t forget to smile!” Click. “By the magnificent statue at the entrance!” Click. “By the pretty, pink, Flamingos!” Flash. “By the pond!” Click. “The bush!” Flash. “The fascinating pot of dry dirt by the road!” Click.
            Ever since the 1800s, when the first cameras were created and put to use, cameras have largely revolutionized the world’s outlook on the past. No longer must we live events vicariously through the stories of our elders or through vivid imagination. We can now experience occurrences through photographs or relive our childhoods through pictures. But when does the picture-taking to have a substantial memory go from a quick, cheesy snapshot to reminisce over in the future to an unhappy, obsessive hunt to accumulate as many photographs as possible?
Different places. Exotic food. Unusual clothes. Bizarre designs. Of course we all want to take as many photographs as possible to then display to the world. But on those rare occasions when we look through the photos to recall our unique experiences, what do we really remember? Do we remember the rush of riding down the glacier covered river? Or do we recall posing with forced smiles as mom snaps yet another picture? Do we recall the colorful, fresh scent of the flowers of the island garden? Or bending our heads at an angle with the flowers as our eyes meet with the blinding flash of the square shaped device? Which is more important: memories in the head or memories on the paper?
When we recall memories in our head or based solely on one picture, the images in your mind have very few boundaries. There are an infinite amount of possibilities to converse about regarding what really happened that day, whereas if you have multiple photographs to pour over, the happenings are very restricted and leave little room for imagination. If you have fun taking pictures, then continue! But when taking pictures is not an enjoyable experience and obscures the fun of the actual event that is occurring, it is time to close the shutter.