Life in Front of the Camera

11 Oct

I have a reputation among my friends: the chronicler. Always with the camera, taking pictures both posed and candid, and back when I was on Facebook I was known for posting them within mere hours of getting home. Sometimes you miss out on the jokes, the commradery, the fun, when you’re focused on the next best shot.

My capstone class behind me, I went to my best friend’s fall ball (aka the best farm party ever) for the weekend. And that is when I decided to give my camera a rest and live my life in front of the camera, focusing on really being in the moment.

Tossing the camera aside meant that when I went on the tractor ride, through little valleys and over rocks, clutching my beer and laughing the whole time, soaking up the weather and fresh country air. It meant that I got my hands dirty with pumpkin carving, helped the men make dinner by peeling oodles of onions and carrots, and got to be friends with the local country boys including those who looked like Heath Ledger a la Brokeback Mountain. (Ahem, swoonworthy.) I learned about beer darts, the strategy behind washers, the merits of Natural Light vs Busch Light, that people will laugh at you if you are drinking Bud Light Lime, even if it really does taste good.

I fed horses, avoided cowpiles, and marveled at how huge the bonfire was. I sat on hay bales, chatted with friends I haven’t seen in ages, and took walks away from the fire to cast my eyes upward. I made new friends, had the kind of conversations that leave you with nothing but hope and maybe a few butterflies. I climbed on top of a roof with large blankets to stare up at the galaxy , voiding my head of all the normal weekday clutter, chatting with my best friend, her husband and his best friend, giggling until 2am over the silliest of conversations despite the fact our teeth were chattering and our fingers were cold. 

We convened over breakfast casserole, swapping stories and learning new things about what happened after we left, retreated to the couch for a brief nap and then we all went our separate ways.

It was a soul-searching, rejuvenating weekend that reminded me of what’s important and that life is full of lovely, unexpected moments. Sometimes that’s all you need.

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20 Responses to “Life in Front of the Camera”

  1. Becky October 11, 2010 at 8:46 am #

    What a great weekend! I agree, I’m the “chronicler” with my friends as well. One time I went over to a friend’s house for her son’s birthday party and she was like “you didn’t bring your camera, how am I going to have pictures o the party?” and I think I snapped back, “take them yourself!”

    Irritation aside, I’m definitely trying to be more in the moment – I guess I’m just afraid if I don’t capture that moment that was beautiful or hilarious or touching I’ll forget it.

  2. Amy --- Just A Titch October 11, 2010 at 9:50 am #

    Love this, friend. Glad you had such a lovely weekend.

  3. AshleyD October 11, 2010 at 9:51 am #

    It sounds like you had an amazing weekend. I’m so happy you were able to have so much fun and feel rejuvenated at the same time. I love the butterflies. :)

  4. Amber from Girl with the Red Hair October 11, 2010 at 10:13 am #

    Sounds great – so glad the farm party was so much fun! It sounds amazing!

  5. Suburban Sweetheart October 11, 2010 at 10:41 am #

    This? Sounds perfect. I would never abandon the camera completely, as some events still require chronicling – but, like you, I relish those times when I leave it behind & let myself live free of the need to tangibly document every single moment. And just enjoy!

  6. Nilsa @ SoMi Speaks October 11, 2010 at 11:37 am #

    Your weekend sounds like perfection. Fall perfection. But, what I love a little more about this post is how similar we are. I was always the one with the camera. Never afraid of taking a good camera to a bar, I always had gobs of photos from every outing. Lately, though, I’ve cut back on that a lot. I think about the outing and whether it’s “my story” to tell … if it is, then I take my camera along … if it’s not (e.g., someone else’s birthday party), then I usually leave the camera behind. There’s nothing wrong with editing before you even have a product!

  7. Stephany October 11, 2010 at 2:30 pm #

    I’m probably the opposite of you as I always bring my camera to events, but I’m so busy DOING that I never take the time to take pictures. There is a balance between the two, I think.

    I’m glad you had such a great weekend. :)

  8. Jennifer October 11, 2010 at 2:38 pm #

    Sounds like it was a lot of fun! I used to have a similar weekend when I went to college in TN. I miss it!

  9. Maddy October 11, 2010 at 2:56 pm #

    Sounds like a fun and like one of those weekends I desperately need :) Glad you left your camera aside. I’m a chronic chroniclers too! I don’t have a blog called The Maddy Chronicles for nothing ;o) But even I know that sometimes, it’s best to leave the camera at home and just be in the moment!

  10. phampants October 11, 2010 at 3:21 pm #

    With races and training for half marathons/marathon, people expect me to film it because they want to know how I’m doing, how’s my training has been but most of all, use it as motivation and inspiration for their own training. Lately, I’ve been struggling to find balance because when I go on runs, I just want to go and not worry about filming, talking to camera or making a video. I just want to run. What do I do? Do I leave and let a community die?

  11. Habbala October 11, 2010 at 6:55 pm #

    My favorite part of the weekend was the exuberant call I got from you Sunday morning. And the one that I got that afternoon.

    I love it.

  12. mandy October 11, 2010 at 8:34 pm #

    Sometimes you just have to pause from capturing moments and just live the moments. It sounds like such a fun weekend, I can’t wait to hear more details. ;-)

  13. Jessica October 11, 2010 at 8:38 pm #

    Oh man girl I totally know what you mean. I’ve struggled with this a lot too. I love being behind the camera but sometimes I want to live my life not through the lens.

  14. alliecakes October 11, 2010 at 9:39 pm #

    I remember that one spring break my friends and I managed to barely take ANY pictures… afterwards, we decided that we were simply too busy having fun to bother with pictures… sometimes it’s really nice that way!

  15. Kyla Roma October 12, 2010 at 10:34 am #

    This sounds incredibly perfect!! I’m 100% for you putting down the camera and getting busy with having yourself fully engaged in living life. I’ve been doing this a lot more lately, and it’s just an incredible amount of fun :)

  16. Manderz October 12, 2010 at 1:46 pm #

    Stepping away from the camera has such huge benefits. I love spending time on a farm. Glad you got to enjoy it with friends.

  17. Lisa from Lisa's Yarns October 12, 2010 at 8:59 pm #

    Sounds like an amazing weekend! Like you, I am usually the one, snapping away, trying to catch it all on film so I can remember each moment. But I have done less of that this summer. I have tried to enjoy the moments instead of thinking about when would be the perfect time to have my camera out to capture something… I mimss having a ton of photos to flip through, but it has been a nice change of pace for me!

  18. tschitschi October 13, 2010 at 9:56 am #

    sometimes it’s good to toss that camera and to remember to really look without a lense between you and life!

  19. Elizabeth October 13, 2010 at 9:23 pm #

    That sounds like a perfect weekend. I tend to leave my camera behind for things like this–unless I want it as a shield. If I bring it, everyone expects perfect pictures right after the event, and the pressure keeps me from being fully present.

  20. terra October 14, 2010 at 2:41 pm #

    I too am always the one behind the lens tryig to capture all the great moments my friends and I have. I try not to let it hinder me, but I’m sure it does. I’m sure I don’t do things just so I can get a photo of everyone else doing them. I’m going to have think about setting myself camera-free sometime soon too.

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