A Holiday Surprise
I was at my Ski School presentation (in Austria), for the past week I had been barely in control of the set of skis that I would strap to my feet each day.
Between running into people uncontrollably and falling off of every ski lift I seemed to come into contact with, I was shocked to have just been given a gold medal for my downhill slalom efforts in our little ski school end of week competition (and slightly relieved that I hadn’t broken any bones!)
That was not the only shock of the night…
We were in a large room full with 300 people from all over Europe (not all of them English speaking), that had been skiing that week and were eager to see if they had won anything. The presentation was then quickly followed by a DJ, music and drinks…
At this point my then boyfriend got up to go talk with the DJ, who I later found out really only spoke German. He managed to persuade him to give him the microphone, and in front of those 300 people, proceeded to get me up on the dance floor and went down on one knee and asked me to marry him.
I got engaged 22 years ago today, on Friday 13th January!
I said yes (obviously) and have been married now for just over 20 years.
How does this help me to improve taking pictures?
You may be wondering why I am telling you this story? And what it has to do with taking pictures?
It has everything to do with taking pictures (and partly because I now like Friday 13th – it’s my lucky number but getting back to my point…).
I took this photo that night and have had it on my bedside ever since.
I had taken my camera with me to take some pictures of the ski school presentation, which is me recording the memories from my holiday. For me there are two main reasons I want to take a picture.
1. To create art
2. To records memories
Both of those reasons create an emotional response when I look at my photos, whether it’s enjoying something that I’ve created, or reliving that memory that I can look at whenever I want and share it with others.
I think it was a mixture of relief and excitement that made my now husband launch himself over a massive pile of snow and disappear the other side, when he eventually made it back he looked like this!
But I had my camera on hand, and took this shot as he appeared that summed the whole night up for me. It’s a cherished memory that makes me smile every time I look at it.
And that for me is the essence of taking pictures, to have a constant reminder of a memory like that brings me joy.
The two most important ways to help you improve taking pictures
The two most important things to learn from this are:
- You never know what is going to happen, or what you might miss if you leave your camera behind. So always have your camera on you, it doesn’t even matter what kind of camera it is, just make sure you have one to hand.
- While you’re taking the pictures make sure you don’t miss the moment – the memory. You want to be able to look at your picture and remember it, not live it through your picture. I don’t have any pictures of the proposal itself, I have some taken by others. But I didn’t want to miss the moment. I waited and then captured something that I could enjoy and remember.
These are so easy to do but so often forgotten, don’t forget people take pictures not cameras. And don’t let trying to capture those memories become too stressful. Remember these two steps and you’ll never regret missing anything again, and you’ll enjoy those moments more by getting out from behind the camera a bit more.
This year you’re going to make a lot of memories like this – are you ready to capture them for the days and years to come, but not miss them?
What memories do you not want to miss this year, let me know in the comments.
Happy New Year