A picture says a thousand words, but what happens after it’s taken?

The past 48 hours have been filled with memories.

Many have been documented.

I have no shame in admitting that much of my life lives on social media. I post almost every week about this blog and sometimes as many as two or three other times throughout the week. I’ve already written and admitted to curating things or, at the very least, not posting the disappointments or depressing events that have occurred.

What I’m writing about this time is what I noticed after taking the pictures.

In Rome this summer, at the Trevi fountain, I saw a couple take at least eight different posed pictures. Not eight of the same, like a photo burst, but eight separate one with slightly different facial expressions or body positions. I remember saying something criticizing them. They would smile joyfully, take a picture, then the expression would disappear in a flash.

Often the times I am most judgemental seem to manifest in my own life experience. This weekend I was definitely guilty of the Trevi fountain couple behavior, but luckily I mentioned it to Anita, and amidst all the pictures we made sure to remember the reason the pictures were being taken – so we can reminisce, smile and laugh.

What’s the moral here?

I need to pay attention to what and who is in the picture and what happens after the moment is captured. Without attention and intentionality, all my photos are Ghost Towns – there, but vacant. Empty frames.

IMG_0532.jpg

When I asked Anita what she thought about this, her response focused on how back when we had to wait to develop pictures, all we had was the moment. So we’d take the picture, savor the moment and then wait in anticipation for a reminder of the memory to be developed.

I’m not saying I won’t be reviewing the pictures I take, but in the moment I’m going to take some time and think about why I want to capture that memory.

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