When I first saw Chris’ photos, I assumed that she must have tons of wonderful pictures of her kids. “Actually,” she told me, “It’s hard to take pictures and be present.” She chose to enjoy spending time with her kids instead of closely documenting their lives. This is what people mean when they talk about “mindfulness.”
I’ve thought about mindfulness a lot when we attend events for our clients and for our own social media. Going to an event with the purpose of documenting it is different than going purely to enjoy it, though I do enjoy all the community events we attend. When I’m focusing on finding interesting subjects to photograph or recording video, I miss out on all the little serendipitous moments happening around me.
But at the same time, I know that because we’re focusing on photographing and sharing what’s going on around us, our clients are free to simply enjoy their event. This is why, for example, people hire professional wedding photographers: it allows the people celebrating to be present in the moment and pay attention to the people around them. They’re creating memories, building connections, running their business, whatever it is they need to give their full attention. I’m glad we can give our clients this experience.
There’s a stereotype of the social-media-obsessed person tapping away at her phone and ignoring life going on all around her. I never want to be this person! I try to deliberately set aside some time at every event to just be, to stop documenting for a little while and capture the spirit of what’s happening. Done right, social media shares the best parts of our experiences with the world. Plus, by documenting events, it can help us remember them in a way that will evoke good memories weeks or even years later.
Go back through your business’ old social media posts today. Do you remember those events, those people you met, those accomplishments? How does looking at posts and photographs from the past year give you inspiration for the future?