Smile for the Camera… you never know who has it

Everybody likes taking pictures and with the proliferation of digital cameras and phones that are camera ready, you should not be very surprised if you find your image popping up somewhere.  In today’s times, it seems almost an afterthought to take a picture and do so anytime and just about anywhere….then get immediate viewing feedback.

What is our fascination with images and capturing moments in time? Is there a spirituality or survival aspect to wanting to capture the likeness of ourselves, our friends and family, and a host of many other things.  Certainly there must be a deeper reason for why we often feel compelled to snap off quick little images of the world around us.  Clearly, today’s technology makes this behavior even more convenient.  But capturing the likeness of things is not new.  After all, early human were scratching out and carving images of all sort of things hundreds of thousands of years ago.

Smile For the Camera

Image Credit: Flickr, Karen Roe

The motivations for capturing images of faces, things, and happenings are likely dependent on who you ask .  But one thing is for certain, it is a universal behavior, so it goes to the heart of who we are as human beings.  A still image allows us to freeze time for an instant to capture a memory and examine the scene in much greater detail.  As we interact in life, we often gloss over a lot of the detail, but once something is captured by a snapshot of an image, such details can be closely examined and appreciated.  There are so many things that can distract us from seeing the reality we are part of on an everyday basis. Sounds and competing images can keep us from seeing something for what it really is.  Only later when we have a chance to see the image of that special moment in time can we decipher all that is really occurring.  So curiosity is a motivator as well as our need to get in touch with those things that have happened in our lives.

There is also a sharing component to this endeavor of ours to capture still images.  We want our friends and family to see those things that we have seen and/or experienced.  It can be a way of documenting the things happening in our world or in the world.

We all love to remember and capture those moments that we cherish from the past.  Something about raising those emotions we felt around that image is enticing.  Much like a time machine, a photo of something in the past transports us to the past to relive the experience.

An image we have taken of the past can awaken old feelings and the entire effect can be powerful and stir up emotions that one hardly even knew they had.  And photography, while able to resurrect the past and all of those things associated with our feelings around those images, can also be an art form where people can express something “now” about why they captured on film in the past.  Hence a picture or series of images can reveal a lot of about a great many things.