COLUMN: In the moment

A few years ago my husband and I made a conscious decision to try and be present in the moment as much as possible.

Another summer is almost over and I am very aware that with each passing year my children grow that little bit older and I’ll never again experience the stage they are currently at.  I am not sad about this as I am excited to see each new stage they encounter, but it does make me a little nostalgic.  With fall comes school, more scheduling and less spontaneity.

A few years ago my husband and I made a conscious decision to try and be present in the moment as much as possible.

For us that meant experiencing everything first hand rather than from behind a camera.

It’s a difficult balance to strike as my natural desire is to have millions of photos of everything so that I can look back and remember every detail.    The advances in smartphone technology have aided immensely in being able to take a quick shot to remember an event but then it can be quickly put away.  On our most recent trip to Disneyland we actually designated one of our 5 days as “picture day” where we would take the time to go to different landmarks to pose.  The rest of the time we restricted ourselves to the occasional shot so that we could try to engage with the boys.

I am not a professional photographer by any means but I do want to have those special photos to commemorate occasions.  Social media is rife with fantastic shots of glamorous locations and happy families that look like they should be gracing a magazine.  In most cases however they are simply taken by amateurs with good lighting and who are taking advantage of the high quality cameras available these days.  I don’t have an artistic eye, unlike many people I know, so I have to resort to tried and true tricks to achieve decent results.  I have to admit when I buy a camera it rarely leaves the auto settings that it comes in.  I am quite frankly baffled by many of the terms and icons that I know must do something but I can’t for the life of me figure out what.

Some great resources for people like me is ‘The Beginner’s Photography Guide’ by Chris Gatcum, ‘Digital Photography Essentials’ by Tom Ang and ‘Read This If You Want to Take Great Photographs’ by Henry Carroll all of which are available to borrow from the library.

As I ponder yet another back to school season I think of all the fun and laughter we have shared as a family this summer.  I love the structure of school days but I do miss my boys so very much for those 6 hours a day that they aren’t around.  Luckily in this digital age all I need do is take out my phone and I’m instantly swept back to beach barbecues, campfire sing-alongs and ice cream kisses.

Adele Meadow is an Assistant Community Librarian at the Summerland branch and makes her boys pose for embarrassing photos whenever possible.