Excessive Photography Sessions

I love looking at photos. A photo may speak thousands of words to the audience. I also love seeing myself in photos, especially when the photos were taken on important moments of my life – graduation, winnings, achievements, recognitions etc. But nowadays, since gadgets, including cameras, are becoming cheaper and cheaper, photography, no more a luxury, becomes a trend or a hobby. Then, there’s a phenomena that I’d like to call ‘excessive photography session’.

Excessive as when a two-minute award presentation is extended to seven minutes just for photo shoots. Excessive as when I can’t even grasp what the speakers are saying on the stage because someone keeps saying, ‘Look, look at the camera over there. Here’s another one’. Excessive as when I need to stop whatever I’m doing just to face the camera and then I forgot where I was in the task.

The last part is the most annoying because, even though I’m a lady, I’m not much a multi-tasker. When I drive, I can’t have a proper conversation. Most of the time, I don’t answer phone when I’m driving, even on hands-free. When I’m writing, I can’t listen properly. Usually, people have to repeat whatever they’re saying to me. When I’m reading, I tend to ignore people – my sister hates this the most. When people interrupt me mid-sentence, usually in meetings, I tend to forget my points. But I’m really grateful that most of my close friends are very understanding about this. They say, “You have this special kind of face when you are deep in thoughts. So we know you won’t be listening at that time”. (Well, I don’t even know what this ‘face’ looks like up until now.)

I do love photography sessions. Please don’t get me wrong. Of course, we want to have a memento for a school reunion after meeting for the first time in nine years. But if it comes to the extent that I need to stop my conversation with a long-lost friend every one minute just to look at the camera and “Smile!” I think this is simply annoying. We can always have candid pictures. It’s more natural and lively and expresses our true feelings at the time the photo was taken. There is no need for us to pose for every camera click.

I particularly like a photographer in one of my friend’s wedding. Though I can’t even remember his name, I remember he’s unlike any other wedding photographer I’ve ever known. I knew before the wedding, my friend had specifically ask the photographer to cut a little bit on formal photograph session and instead, had candid pictures taken. She did this so she can spend a lot more time with friends in her wedding. After all, a wedding usually serves as a reunion too. I love her idea. Imagine you meet a friend who you haven’t seen in years during your photo shoot and after a brief hug, you say, “The photographer needs to take my photos. Wait a little while, ok?” and then after that you couldn’t find your friend because she needs to be someplace else. If this happens to me, I would be very, very sad.

In my friend’s case, it turned out that she has same beautiful collection of wedding photos featuring many of our friends. At least, I think so when I look at her Facebook albums. I believe she has some more beautiful pictures in her private collection. The photos are mostly candid and therefore, lively and expresses her true feeling of joy for her wedding and also, for meeting some beloved friends.

Let me emphasize my point. We need to have photographs to ‘freeze’ and capture the important moments in life, but more often than not, we are actually ruining the best moments because we are too busy with the photo sessions. After all, a few rare diamonds are way better than a bucket of common crystals.

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