Put Down the Camera

A few days ago, I took my four-year-old granddaughter to the local farm stand for ice cream. Before we left my house, though, she agreed to sit in the yard to be photographed—not always an easy accomplishment as she doesn’t like to sit still for pictures. But the scene was perfect: her beautiful, smiling little face, and a background of pink and purple blossoms. I should’ve been satisfied, but oh, no. I took the camera with us to the farm. Because more of a good thing is always better, right?


We ordered ice cream, and I took her picture. She licked the ice cream, and I took her picture. It was like I was one of the paparazzi, and she was a four-year-old starlet. Then we sat down, and as I wiped her chin, juggled napkins and my own cone, I was forced to set aside the camera. After I got organized, I was ready to resume our photo-shoot. But the camera was no longer cooperating. I could see all the pictures I’d taken, but I could no longer take any new ones. I must’ve spent over ten minutes turning it on and off, pressing different buttons, trying to figure out what I was doing wrong. Frustrated, I finally put it in the car.


And that’s when I noticed that we were sitting in old-fashioned rocking chairs on the farm stand’s porch, and that a soft breeze was blowing my granddaughter’s hair around her little round face. She smiled at me, happy with her chocolate chip ice cream and rainbow sprinkles. I leaned back in the chair, letting the breeze cool my own face, and I noticed how blue the sky was. My granddaughter and I talked about the goats and horses down the hill, and we wondered what they were eating. And I can tell you that it was infinitely better than the one-side conversation we’d just had: “Look at Grams! Look at Grams! Smile, honey! Look at Grams!”


I love photography. I treasure my pictures. But everything does not need to be recorded for posterity. You’re not working for “National Geographic.” So put the camera down and enjoy the moment. I promise you that your memories will be clearer and more cherished than any photograph.


Photo: Edible Office