DEYOUNGPROF DIGITAL CONCEPT: 6 Reasons to Take More Pictures
Capturing a moment in time isn’t just about securing a memory—it can help you appreciate your life more every day.
I don’t know about you, but I take more pictures than ever now that cameras and smartphones have made photography so much easier. I used to begrudge the time I spent on photos—stopping to snap them, putting them into albums. Now I realize the important role they play in a happy life. Here’s why:
1. I’ve noticed that happy families tend to display large numbers of photos. In my bedroom, a long shelf is crowded with pictures of my husband and kids, and I love to look at them while I’m getting dressed. (The only challenge is that I’m running out of wall and shelf space!)
2. Photos tilt your memories toward the good experiences you’ve had, simply because you’re more likely to take photos of joyful times. That’s important, because due to a phenomenon known as “negativity bias,” it’s easier to recall bad times than good ones. Having snapshots of the latter keeps them vivid in our minds.
3. Photos can help you declutter. Really. I mailed a giant, awkward pile of our daughter’s artwork and schoolwork to a fantastic service called Plum Print, and the pile came back transformed into a lovely hard-cover book. My daughter’s masterpieces look great, she’s thrilled with her book, and I have a slim, tidy record of everything she has made over the past several years. I saved only a few favorites, then threw away the rest. A friend was shocked that I tossed the originals, but I have a record of everything, and I’ve found that mementos work best when they’re carefully culled and displayed. Similarly, I use Shutterfly to create physical photo albums from my digital images. It’s much easier than putting together old-fashioned photo albums, and the final product looks more polished.
4. When you see something beautiful, it’s natural to feel a desire to claim or even own it yourself in some way—and also to share it with others. Having photos of things you love gives you the satisfaction of doing that. On Pinterest, I love to collect and share pictures of fanciful tree houses and whimsical chandeliers. I get the joy that comes from looking at these things without having to own them (or buy them, for that matter)—and the fun of showing them to friends with just a few clicks.
5. Snapping photos fosters creativity. A friend of mine takes and posts one photograph each day for her Project 365, and online journal where you document a year of your life with daily snapshots. The images are beautiful, and the need to find each day’s photo keeps her engaged with the world in a creative way. I was inspired by her example, so I embarked on the same challenge for myself. I love the daily hunt for something striking to photograph: a neon sign, an icecream truck, my favorite bookstore. It’s a quick, easy way to infuse my daily routine with a creative spirit.
6. I like to remind myself how easy it is to forget. I’m always trying to figure out ways to hold on to memories. One thing I do is keep a daily one-sentence journal. I don’t have the time or energy to write much every day, but I can manage to jot down one sentence. Photographs are another easy way to record little moments that are precious but easily forgotten. If I didn’t have photos to remind me, I might get fuzzy on the details of the distant afternoon when, after years of begging, my daughter got her ears pierced. I wish I could tell my younger self, FRIENDS, don’t take photos of special occasions—take photos of everyday life. That’s what will interest you later.