Since Annie was born, I’ve found myself caught between wanting to document every single second of her life from big events to every day moments while also staying present and soaking it all on. The days go so quickly, and I want to be fully present – but also want them captured and preserved… how can those two things co-exist?!
As you plan a wedding, there are so many big moments, from engagement parties to showers to bachelorette parties and everything in between. Moments that you don’t want to be witnessing through the camera on your phone, but that you also want to have captured.
So, here’s what I’ve started doing:
Before the event, I sit down and think through what matters most to me about the experience. What am I most excited for, what do I want to truly be present and undistracted for, what can I not wait to fully experience? What do I want to be documented? What images will I actually look back on, want to frame, or want to print in a book? If I don’t care about an image enough to want it printed, then I tend to think it’s more worth my time to be present in the moment rather than trying to snap a picture that won’t stand the test of time.
2. Step Two: Get specific.
Through that perspective, I write out a list of the photos that are most important to me. THOSE are the ones that I will make sure I capture, and I’ll do my best to just be present and enjoy the others.
Let’s walk through this practically.
I love Christmas so much! It’s my favorite holiday. So for Annie’s first Christmas, I knew that I wanted to experience the joy with her rather than being behind my camera, trying to control moments and not really enjoying them. So I came up with a list of the photos I really wanted:
That list might seem long, but if you scroll through your camera roll, I bet you have many more than 7 pictures from Christmas. And if having a photo of every moment matters to you, then that’s great! Keep on snapping those pictures so that you can enjoy them however you’d like later on! But if you’d rather have just a handful of photos that reflect what was most important to you about the season, give the list making a shot.
3. Step Three: When it makes sense, ask for help.
After I make my list, I ask myself: can I ask someone else to take those pictures instead? There are some events (like a dedication, bridal shower, wedding dressing shopping, etc.) where you truly do not want to have your phone or camera in your hand, but would rather have a friend or family member who is less involved document those moments for you. And when you’re asking them to capture four or five particular moments rather than document the whole event, it takes the pressure of them to click-click-click the entire time, and allows them to enjoy the event while also documenting what actually matters to you.
4. Step Four: Enjoy the photos.
So, you now have just a handful of photos that actually matter to you – yay! Much less overwhelming that a camera roll of 300 images to sort through. You should ENJOY them! Don’t let them sit on your phone or your hard drive. Print them, add them to a special folder on your desktop where you save photos for your annual photo book, share them with your friends and family!