Now that everybody has a camera on their cell phone, we’re taking pictures like crazy. Are we taking too many? The people behind the new “slow photography” movement say yes. According to Slate magazine, we upload 100 million pictures to Facebook every day – and on New Year’s weekend alone, 750 million new photographs were uploaded to Facebook. On the photo sharing sire Flickr, there are already five billion pictures.
That’s because, these days, we don’t just take pictures on special occasions. Back in the old days, before we went digital, pictures were taken on special occasions, like birthdays or Prom. Now, we document every moment of our lives, and the pictures are often empty, with no connection to a memory or emotion. On the flip side, the slow photography movement focuses on picture-taking as a creative process, where the process is more important than the picture. It’s basically the difference between creating a memory, and just clicking away at everything in sight.
If you want to try slow photography, before you click the shutter, take a mental picture. Say you’re photographing your baby at their birthday party. Pay attention to how much hair they have, the color of their eyes, the frosting on their cheeks, and the scab on their knee. If you take a good look at what you’re photographing, you won’t even need a picture because it’ll already be ingrained in your memory. Bottom line: The point of slow photography is to slow down and experience what you’re doing instead of simply snapping a picture and walking away.