We had such a fun 4th of July. There is a new couple in our new (to us) church that we are getting to know and they invited us to a cookout at their house and to watch the fireworks together. They lived only a few blocks from where our town shoots off the fireworks, and we were more than happy to go over there. It was a blessed time together with them, and a fun time watching the fireworks. Of course I did bring my camera, which I’ve been feeling guilty for not using as much as I normally do lately. I had packed my tripod in the car, but decided the long walk to see the fireworks would be a bit much to carry the tripod. My friend likes to take photos too and we were talking about trying to get some good shots of the fireworks. I told her some of the things I had learned last year about taking photos of fireworks when I came to the realization, it’s ok to put my camera down at times and not take pictures of everywhere we go.
We all started talking about the fact that we love to take photos, but we also want to enjoy events too, and not just through a camera lens. When I thought back to last year the main thing I remember about that night was all the ‘learning’ I was doing about taking fireworks photos. My first thought isn’t of all the family fun we had that night, how cold it got, and what a nice show my nephew put on for us. It was about my photo taking. 🙁 I don’t want that to happen a lot. I need to learn to live my life, having fun taking photos of places we are at and things we are doing, but also putting the camera down and just enjoying whatever I am doing at the time.
I remember reading somewhere about learning how to balance taking photos and still interacting and enjoying the scenery, event or wherever we are at, around us. I didn’t really think about it much when I read it, but it came flooding back to me that night as I talked with my friend. I do like taking my camera places, and I do enjoy taking photos, it is one of my most favorite hobbies. But I need to learn the balance of taking photos, and yet keeping engaged in where we are at and what we are doing.
So with that in mind, I took some shots of the beginning fireworks. I didn’t have my tripod, so I knew they would not be as clear as last years, but I was ok with that. I took photos of my kids and my friends, yes using my DSLR for ‘snapshots’ instead of just for photography (something a photo teacher had told me I shouldn’t do.) I took some photos of the fireworks, resting my arm on my knee to steady the camera as best as I could. Then I put my camera away. I sat back, with my family around me, enjoying the fireworks display closer than we’ve ever been. I sat there, taking in these moments, knowing as my kids are growing older, this moments will start to become fewer and farther between. I sat there, without a camera in my hand, knowing that I would remember my family and friends this 4th of July instead of my photo taking. And I was blessed that put the camera down. 🙂