Picture Perfect?


Savannah Garrison

A crafty window with pictures of a family’s weddings over time, keeping the memories alive and well (Photo courtesy of Savannah Garrison).

You know when you are traveling to somewhere you have never been before, the sun is setting over the horizon, it’s peaceful, and you think to yourself Oh, I just have to take a picture! When you stop to take a picture of something you get excited to see, it can ruin the moment. You’re not really getting the true experience of feeling the moment. Sure, there are some exceptions, but does taking a picture spoil the moment?

“Some memories are supposed to be in the moment and others are supposed to be lived on,” said junior Jace Erwin. 

We have gotten so used to documenting everything on our devices. Everything we do can be recorded through pictures, videos, etc. which can actually have a negative impact on our lives. A photo will always look the same every time you glance at it, but a memory constantly changes, with friends sharing their side of the stories and time passing. When we take a picture of an object, we aren’t necessarily focused on the object itself; we are more focused on the ability to snap a picture, so we aren’t getting the true experience.

“I think that a few pictures should be taken, but after that phones should be put up and you should spend time with the person you are with,” said Hillcrest High School junior Julianna Dotson. Taking too many pictures can diminish the experience you and your friends have, making the moment not as special. 

You can learn things about your friends and family whilst being in the moment and still be creating memories that you can look back on in the future. Taking a photo of a moment can most definitely keep the memory around for a lifetime. Whether it be a family reunion or getting a new dog, you can always have something to look back on. 

“I think that two or three [photos should be taken] because [your memory] will become dull if you don’t have those rare photos,” added Erwin. After taking a couple of photos, you shouldn’t have to take more, since you have already gotten the major moments. 

When people constantly stay on their phones, not only are they not feeling the moment, but they are also not socializing with their peers around them. They get too caught up with the technology and they don’t realize it. “New research suggests that our memory capacity and ability to process data may improve when our smartphone is completely out of sight,” according to Psychology Today. When we have our devices away, we are less tempted to be on them and can truly get the most out of an experience. But even if we see one, we disengage because we think of the possibility that we may have gotten a notification or that we need it to take a picture, and that should not be the case. 

“I love to take photos to remember the moment, but if someone constantly has their phone out and is taking pictures of everything it kind of ruins the moment,” added Dotson. Taking too many pictures does ruin the moment because you aren’t spending the quality time with your friends and taking in the truly remarkable experience you could be having. 

Now, of course, all this information can mean different things to different people. One might suggest that we need to take a picture of the moment to capture the joy of the moment so that we may reminisce on it years later. Another may presume that we don’t need to take a picture because it doesn’t allow you to truly be one with the experience and the memory. Yet, both are correct. Some days it may be better to take a picture because you never know if you will get to enjoy it again. Always take into account this: do I really need to take a picture, or should I just live in the moment?