A couple weeks ago Nat and I went to the Russian Bremen Musicians show. It was our first outing together since I started using a smart phone. Enamored with the idea of having a decent tiny camera on me and spurned by the site of other parents snapping photos of their children I was about to take a photo of Nat in front of a New Year's Tree. But then I did not.
Nat was not thrilled about posing at that moment. The room was dark and crowded. Getting a shot without other people in it would have been close to impossible.
I quickly abandoned the idea. I did snap a couple of low quality photos of Nat at the restaurant we went to after the show. Looking at these photos later, I wondered why I did it. What important moment did I try to capture, and what am I teaching my son by acting that way?
My conclusion was that there is almost no value to these photos. There is nothing beautiful or particularly interesting or memorable about them. The photos did not capture the essence of the evening Nat and I spent together. The moments I remember about the evening are not at all the same as the ones I did or would have been able to capture on camera.
Another thought occurred to me. In this day and age everyone is snapping photos of everything, and then sharing them across the social network. But by doing so, are we missing something else? What are we not capturing that cannot be photographed? Moments that can only be described? What moments are we missing or ruining by having a camera in our hands?