I joined a friend for drinks on Saturday who is a pretty popular guy. He currently lives abroad, having moved away just a few months ago, and had invited his friends in London out for belated leaving/birthday drinks. At one point as I stood next to him he looked about and marvelled at how his friends filled an entire side of the pub. ‘Don’t you feel like taking a picture of them all?’ I said, almost feeling like doing it myself. ‘No’, he said, tapping at his noggin, ‘it’s all up there. It’s all in my head’.
The comment has stayed with me. I am too keen sometimes to photograph life from the edge of the crowd. People have noticed me doing it before, I notice myself doing it. If I feel uncomfortable, not sure how to interact with a group, or even bored, I wander off with my camera to get the long view and take photographs of everyone else doing the living. Like many photographers (amateur or not, and whether they like to admit it or not) I hide behind the camera. Doing this too often, you can miss the action.
In our snap-happy days of Instagram this and Twitpic that, this is just a reminder to myself and to all that you don’t have to photograph everything. Life is for living, enjoying in the moment, and the best memories are sometimes just for keeping in your head.
Normal photos will resume next post.