On not photographing everything.

We were having a discussion after a roda recently, and the topic turned to recording famous people. One of the teachers present told us about how Mestre Acordeon had been playing some Samba after a good day at an event and a few glasses of wine, and got annoyed when people pulled out the video cameras. He said something along the lines of: “This moment is for us, enjoy it yourself, you don’t have to share everything all the time.”

I often wonder about this duality between experiencing everything as fully as you can, and the disconnect that occurs when you record (even watching the live game being played through the tiny digital screen of your camera instead of the full 360 degree reality that surrounds you). Between the one-time experience of living in the moment, or the repeatable satisfaction of being able to watch the recording as many times as you like.

It becomes more complicated when you are famous of course. Mestre Acordeon can’t relax under a video camera as much because he can be sure that the recording – and any mistakes he makes – will be broadcast to many people. The most the rest of us usually have to worry about is a bit of laughter and teasing from our friends. Even here, I’ve just repeated a story about him when he wasn’t being recorded, and it’s a third-hand story now too, so who knows how accurate it is.

Unlike some of my friends most of us are not journalists or professional photographers and don’t have to be (apologies to people who are and do: hi there!). If you get kicks out of taking pictures or video then certainly do so, but remember to live for yourself occasionally too. In the mean time at my wedding I found the perfect combination: when everyone else took pictures and video and then sent them to me! So I got to have the best party of my life, live every minute of it and can still watch the videos and see the pictures.

I was thinking about adding an image for this post, but I think it’s more appropriate not to, don’t you?

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