I said at the beginning of the year that the word I wanted to focus on the most was Capture. I felt like there were so many little moments that I missed, so many things that weren’t making it into the family photo albums or being remembered or reflected upon.
I have been trying so hard to be really conscious of this effort at the moment, making sure to take daily snapshots of what life is like. I didn’t want to look through Zach’s albums when he grew up and see nothing but birthdays, holidays, and special events. I wanted to document the unremarkable things about life, too.
It used to be that we only documented the big events out of necessity. I mean, think about it. 150 years ago, if you wanted photographs, you’d have to carry around boxes of toxic chemicals just to take them. That’s not that long ago– just a few generations. It wasn’t until 1901 that Kodak came out with the Kodak brownie, making it easier than ever for people to photograph things themselves, but even then, prints were expensive, hard to reproduce, and not exactly the quality options we have today.
Even when I was younger, it wasn’t easy or cheap to take photos, and a roll of film only gave you so many chances to get it right. There was no burst mode, no delete button, and no way to view the photo you were taking until it was printed, so even if you thought you got the shot, there was that chance that you didn’t.
Now, I have a camera that can take multiple shots per SECOND, be viewed right on the screen as I take them, and I could even print them out in my own home if I wanted, no darkroom equipment necessary.
Because of that, I shouldn’t feel limited to taking photos only of really extra awesome things that happen. I can snap photos of ridiculous things.
Like a dorky self portrait.
The tattoo Zach decided to draw on his knee.
A late night craving for pudding.
Zach all dressed up for our Valentine’s Day date.
A favorite lunchtime salad.
A particularly blue sky.
A crazy cake mustache.
My favorite flowers.
A little bit of spilled granola.
That time we shared Cheetos with the dog.
The day the hot water heater went crazy.
Or hanging out at the airport.
None of these things are particularly remarkable. None of them are even remotely “extra special.” They’re just bits and pieces of our everyday life together, and I love that I’m able to capture these snapshots.
To me, this is what my word is about. It’s about capturing the memories, the date, and a few words about what was happening. It’s about a special moment in time, remarkable or not, that I’ve been able to capture.
100 years ago, would Zach spilling a box of granola on the ground have made it into the scrapbooks? Probably not. In fact, even (just a few) years ago, when my mom was younger, she had a similar experience while making her family breakfast as a young girl, but that photo wasn’t captured. We have the story, and we have photographs from holidays around that time, but we don’t have that particular event captured.
Sometimes, I wonder if I’m doing the right thing by capturing grainy images on my cell phone, questioning if these will be good enough quality, but then I’m reminded of a quote someone recited to me not too long ago, saying “The best kind of camera is the one you have with you.” If you happen to have your DSLR ready at a moment’s notice, perfect. If not, your cell phone will work just fine.
Just go out there, capture the moment. Report back to me– I’d love to see your favorite moments captured so far this year!