Friday, September 16, 2011

Everyday Moments

Our lives are made up of a few major events which generally we preserve through photography. Such as birthdays, graduations and weddings. No one would ever consider not photographing such special occasions. Even in economically tough times such occasions are photographed if not professionally then by a friend or family member. Now I am not saying that these events are not photo worthy. On the contrary I believe it is very important to preserve these joyous occasions with photographs.

Yet it is the everyday moments that keep us going and bring us lasting joy. Those special moments when we wish we could stop time. Those moments when we feel so grateful to be alive sharing our life with those we love. It is these everyday moments that often get left out of our photographic history. The very moments that define who we are and what we love most in life. Such as the moment this couple appears to be experiencing. I doubt they will have a photograph of this beautiful moment. I was lucky to snap this of them while I was taking a nature hike. Had I not been on the other side of the river I would have gotten there address so I could mail them a print.

All to often these important moments get suppressed when times are rough, for there is no visual reminder to snap them back into our memories when we need them most. Yet when we take photos in places that hold special meaning for us even if we don't take a photo of the special moment, that photo can act as the catalyst our minds need to pull that memory back to the present. This photo of my brother and his boys is just such a photo for me. This was taken during one of our many trips to Dark Canyon near Idylwilde, CA. For my husband and I Dark Canyon holds some very magical times. We were just starting our own family and we had many heart to heart talks as we enjoyed the beauty of this special spot.

Back then we took fewer pictures as it could get expensive developing film.  Today it is easier than ever to record such special every day moments. There are digital camera's, cell phones with camera's and even some DS systems have camera's. With so many ways to capture photographs don't let the special every day moments slip away. Sure all the photos may not be the best of quality, but they are probably better quality than those old 110 camera's.

The ease with which we can preserve our memories has increased astronomically but as with most modern day inventions this does not come without it's own set of complications. If you have already embraced the digital photography age I am sure you have already discovered its' main complication. Too many photos!  So many in fact that the special photos get lost in a sea of photographs on your computer. It saddens me to say that I have actually been told this problem is the main reason for a person not using their digital camera except for Big Events. So I thought today I would share how I manage to preserve everyday moments without getting overwhelmed by too many photographs.

These are the steps I use with my personal photographs. The steps for my general photography and professional are very similar to these.
  1. When uploading photos set the upload to create a new folder using the date for the folder name. If the photos are all of a particular event, such as hiking in palisades, I will put the location after the date in the folder name.
  2. Go through the uploaded photographs and delete those that are too blurry, too dark, too light or oops shots of my pant leg. Yes I do get these types of shots, especially when playing with the settings on my new camera. Move general photography photographs to the general photography folder.
  3. While going through the photos I will change the file name on any photographs I know I am going to want to print or use in a memory photo. The new file name always includes the number of the month and year followed by the subject name, if there is more than one of the same subject the name is followed by 1, 2, ect.. These photos are then moved or copied to my "To Be Printed" folder.
  4. At the end of each year I create a year folder to put all different monthly folders into.
  5. Every month I go through one of the folders that is at least six months old to see if any of the photos jog a special memory and if they do I will rename that image file and move it to the To Be Printed folder. I do this because sometimes it is the least expected photograph that jogs your memory of a special everyday moment. 
Please don't forget to back up your digital image files on a regular basis. My previous post Preserving Digital Photo Files has a great deal of information to help you safeguard your precious memories.

So go out, embrace the moment and for goodness sakes as my four year old grandson would say PICTURE IT!


Anonymous said...

I feel so incredibly lucky that my brother is a photographer and has captured some amazing photos of my family. He has also taught me to capture those moments you write of. I may not take a great photo but I have so many beautiful memories as a result. But you have reminded me to do a back up. Thank you xxx

lisleman said...

good advice. The digital almost no cost (you do need to buy the some gadgets) of photography has really changed it. Backup yes
Use online photo storage yes.
Here's an idea that fun at times for family gatherings - give an inexpensive camera to one of the little kids and have them go around taking pictures.

Nita Davis said...

Sarah, I am so glad that my post was helpful even if only as a reminder. I have to say although I love professional photographs, often it is the family's non-professional candid shots that hold the most valuable memories.
lisleman, that is a great idea and so much fun to see what photos the children capture. I actually let my 4yr old grandson use my Canon Power Shot for an hour in the car on the ride from South Dakota to Virginia. Talk about being nervous, but he was very gentle with it and got a few really nice shots.