Awhile back, probably a year ago at this point, someone asked me if we were going to have a photo booth at our wedding. My response was, “No, because life is a photo booth.” I said that because I couldn’t think of another way to express that I had a firm feeling that I wanted the photos from our wedding reception to capture real moments, actions, and emotions. I wanted to document that weekend in our lives as if it were one giant photo booth.
When I was catching up with some friends before the holidays and talking about how full my plate had become over the past few months, my friend Erin jokingly told me that my 2016 theme could be “crop”, as in cropping certain elements out of my life the way you might crop a picture. I liked this idea, but a guiding principle for the year, it seemed a little too focused on removing rather than simplifying or editing to achieve balance, which was really what I was feeling at the time I made that comment.
So I circled back to my comment about life as a photo booth. I’ve taken and edited a lot of photographs over the last year. What have I learned that I could apply as a life lesson?
- Don’t try to fit too much into the picture. Everyone’s been in a photo booth where there are so many people that you can’t really tell who half the people are by the time you get the picture. More is not always better; a good picture is about quality over quantity.
- Per Erin’s feedback, learn to crop. Get rid of the noise in the background and focus the shot on what’s important.
- Remember to smile. It’s a better look, plus it’s contagious.
- Some of the best pictures are spontaneous - the moments are not staged or planned, but they happen and you run with it. Embrace that.
- Filter. Make sure you are viewing everything through the right lens; sometimes you need to brighten or add color.
- Share. It helps you and others keep track of what you’ve been up to.