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Capturing 1000 Words

August 10, 2010

For the last three years, I’ve been taking at least one photo every day. In 2008, it was a photo a day of my older son David. In 2009, it was my then newborn son Nathaniel. This year, it’s both of them. It’s flowers. It’s a special lunch we have or a special trip we took or some present or anything that’s part of our ordinary days.

The thing I’ve learned is that what I miss the most over time is remembering the everyday, ordinary things we used to do. The toy my son was obsessed with at the time. The breakfast I looked forward to every morning. The music my little one danced to, etc. The simple, everyday things are the first things to leave my memory. It’s because they are not monumental. We barely pay any attention to them. They happen every day so their effect has dulled.

But they are so extraordinary because they are artifacts of a specific time in our lives. And capturing them in film allows us to freeze that memory so we can hold on to it forever. So, years from now, we can smile as we remember the fondness of that time. So we can allow it to transport us back to the past and re-live it for just a moment. Remember the smell of my son. The words he mispronounced. The troubles I thought I had at the time and the joys of our then everyday lives. Photographs can work magic like that.

So, today, I challenge you to capture more of your days. More of your ordinariness. I know it feels like a burden to take the photos, to download them, process them, etc. Just make it easy on yourself. Take them at a certain time everyday. Say 10am. Or 8am. or 6pm, whatever works for your schedule. Whenever your life is most ordinary. And then download them only once a week. Don’t process them. Don’t show them to anyone else if you’re worried about them not being “perfect.” But take them anyway. And save them.

Years later, when all these people who might have “commented” on the quality of your photos are long gone, you will be so very glad you have the memories. I promise you, it will be worth it.

Just give it a try.

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