From the moment my parents bought me my first camera, I was always that kid. We were attached at the hip, and you better believe where I went, my precious Canon Elph went, too. I photographed anything and everything made sure we always got pictures together and became the resident historian among friends and family.

Those moments were important to me. I knew that no matter the quality, we would look back at these pictures and laugh and cry. We would look back at those pictures and be transported. We would look back at those pictures and marvel at the growth and change in our lives, and remember what was truly important. I knew those moments mattered, so I carried my camera.

Those moments still matter, still hold all the same beauty and power, but now, I don’t carry my camera everywhere. While documenting the simple, the daily, and the life events in between is still important to me, being a present participant who can recall the day from more than just a picture matters more. That’s not to say that when I take a picture, I no longer recall any of what happened in that day, that place, or that the moment no longer matters, but that putting down the camera can be just as important as picking it up.

Why I Don’t Carry My Camera Everywhere / Boulder Documentary Family Photographer

When taking the picture becomes more about likes, followers, hashtags, and filters, than remembering a moment or place for ourselves, it’s time to put down the camera. When you visit a beautiful place, and once you take a picture, no longer care about being in said beautiful place, ‘cause “It’s okay, I have a picture.” It’s time to put the camera down.

Maybe that seems odd coming from a photographer, but it’s a lesson I’ve learned over many years. On our wedding day, I didn’t take a single picture myself. Not on my phone, not on my own camera (Heck, we hired a stellar photographer! Why would I need to take my own pictures – even with my phone?). On our honeymoon, there are places we went from which I don’t have a single frame. I love that.

Putting down the camera means you’re there. You. You are fully present to share the experience with your friends, your family, your spouse. Truthfully, not everything needs to be documented, not every moment needs to be shared. So maybe, just maybe, it’s time to put down the camera.