I watched this Julie Delpy movie over the weekend. It had this fabulous scene that I had to look up and watch over again, and now I am sharing it with you. The gist of it is this: If you spend all your time taking photos, you aren’t ever in the moment.
It’s a bittersweet and double edged sword for those of us that love to record things. The character who is complaining about her boyfriend’s constant picture taking, was herself a photographer. She used a camera to unstick herself from moments, and describes her life prior as frozen – she would become obsessed with a detail and unable to tear herself away. For her, the act of taking a picture was freeing.
I go through stints of taking pictures. It’s addictive, this ability to capture your world as you see it, as you want it to be seen. But like all addictive things, it’s probably also dangerous. It’s not too far a leap from capturing the moment to constructing a fiction. The pictures move now. We’re tweeting vines. We’re looping in six second clips. This is our life. Always on.
This is also something I see my daughters and their friends struggling with. The “My Life on Instagram” show. Some of the images make me blush. Others make me sad, because the story they tell is one of desperation for attention. Still others make me mad – they read like a shallow tabloid.
My daughters laugh at me. You think your friends are any better? They may not show as much cleavage but yes, the desperation is there at times in my feed as well. It gives me pause before I post a selfie.
My daughters tease me. Look who’s taking a picture of herself in the good light now!
But I have no photos of myself in my 30s. I want them to remember me. They don’t know how hard it is for me to take my own photo. It’s not for the praise. It’s for the proof. I was here. My story. Theirs too. My lens.
No answers in this post. just a wish to discuss. How do you feel about the ever present camera?
Aside: I think I have a girl crush on Julie Delpy. She’s got a spot at my dream dinner table along with Jon Stewart and Will Ferrell. Now that would be a photomoment.