Outdoor Guy, Wyokiddo and I traded the heat and deer flies of Goshen County for the high country this week. We spent two and a half days in the Big Horn Mountains in northern Wyoming. Two days of fishing, eating s’mores, enjoying each other, hiking and watching wildlife.
What I didn’t do much of was pick up my camera.
It was a promise I made to myself, for me and my family, to stop taking photos and just enjoy the moment. When I’ve got my camera in my hand, my mind is constantly thinking about photography. Where’s the best light? What’s in the background? Can I frame this better? Is this sharp enough? Ugh, that’s too dark, better open up my aperture.
I decided on this trip, I wanted to focus on being a mom and a wife, not a photographer. And I’m so glad I did. I got to spend the lazy mountain mornings with my daughter cuddled in my lap, warming up by the fire. I got to watch my husband and daughter make s’mores and marvel at how many of their mannerisms are the same. I enjoyed the calm and quiet of our camp, the heady scent of pine and the spongy feel of the wild earth beneath our feet.
I took a few quick shots so Wyokiddo will have something for her scrapbook, and I couldn’t resist a few snaps of the mule deer doe and her two fawns moving through our camp. But mostly my camera stayed in it’s case, forgotten.
As I laid in our tent our last night in camp listening to the soft snores from Wyokiddo and Outdoor Guy, I promised myself that I would do this more often…put down the camera and pick up my life.
In twenty years, Wyokiddo isn’t going to flip through photos of our time together and go “Uh oh. Mom blew the focus on this one. See how my hat’s not sharp?”
She’ll pick up the stack of these images and say “My first camping trip! I remember how tired my legs were after that two-mile hike we went on and how mom complained about how hard the ground was.”
Photos should document our lives. Not consume them.