Living in the moment | atlanta child photographer
In this age of social media, it is easy to follow everyone's latest move. You can see when people are celebrating a birthday, having drinks with friends, working out or going to the movies. Nowadays everything is up for show and tell. There's nothing wrong with that, but is the moment really being lived or is it just being observed?
A few years ago I used to take my camera to all sorts of special events and I would photograph what was going on. If for some reason I didn't have my camera with me, someone would invariably ask where it was. After a while, I realized that I wasn't really able to enjoy myself because I wasn't a part of the action. I was capturing the action, which is not a bad thing, but still apart from it. I decided that I didn't want to do that anymore.
So this weekend was truly awesome! It started with me picking my son up from the bus stop. For one thing, I only had to drive down the street and around the corner to pick him up, as opposed to driving over 20 minutes away to pick him up from tennis practice. Then, as he was running to the car, he had this brilliant smile spread across his honey-complected face. I could have captured that with my iPhone, but I didn't. Instead, I chose to drink it in with my eyes and soul and revel in his happiness. Once in the car, he told me about his fantastic day. How the 7th grade had a field trip to the Georgia Aquarium. He showed me videos and said he didn't have a favorite part because it was all awesome! I just love that! We chatted all the way home.
Shortly after that, my best friend texted me and asked me if I was available that evening. Since my husband works until midnight and my son was quite content playing video games, I said sure. Turns out she had tickets to the Morehouse Candle in the Dark Gala at the downtown Hyatt and her husband was in the bed with the flu. Not only that, but it was black tie. For those of you who don't know, I don't really get to go out much, especially not to a black-tie event. The first thing I worried about was whether or not I had anything appropriate to wear. Luckily I did, but I sent her a picture just to make sure. Once that was confirmed I texted my sister who is a wiz at makeup and asked her if she was available. Turned out she was! So when she let me know she had returned home, I took a quick shower, threw my dress on and some flipflops and headed over to her place. No, I didn't have makeup either. Well, that's not totally true. The makeup that I have is the makeup I bought when I was getting married...almost 19 years ago. I know, I know. Why do you think I didn't want to use it? Anyway, she did a lovely job with my makeup and even waxed my eyebrows!
Since my best friend and I live at opposite ends of the city, we decided it would be best to just meet at the hotel. I arrived first, so of course, I did what I always do. I found someone to talk to. When she walked through the door, she looked as lovely as ever. We hugged and then made our way to the ballroom. Once we found our table we sat and started chatting. I met many of her friends and co-workers. I even saw one of my clients there! The first famous person we saw was Keith David. At first, we couldn't remember his name, but slowly it came to me. First his last name and finally his first. If you're not familiar with his name, you may be familiar with his face. Check this out if you're interested. Then a little later I looked across the room and saw someone who looked just like Lynn Whitfield. If you're not familiar, check this out. As she walked by our table she said hello and I called her back. She grabbed my hand and I said, "You look just like Lynn Whitfield". She smiled this beautifully, glowing smile and said: "I am!" She squeezed my hand and told me I looked beautiful and to have a wonderful night. She was so gracious and gorgeous and just down to earth. That really made my night!
Later on, I was scanning the room again and I saw this woman with a funky afro taking pictures. I couldn't see her face, so I thought it was someone that was hired to do so. Actually, it was C.C.H. Pounder. If you are also unfamiliar with her here you go. First, she was capturing the goings-on with a DSLR and then she switched to her phone. I thought that was rather cool. During the night, I also saw Uyo Okebie-Eichelberger. I don't know her know her, but I do follow her on Instagram. She is a very successful entrepreneur. Two of her ventures are You Lingerie and Preggo Leggings. I didn't go say hi because like I said, I don't know her, I just follow her. When she posted images and video from that night I told her I saw her there. I didn't say hi because I thought it would be weird. She assured me that it wouldn't have been, so next time I will definitely say hello. I had great conversation, a good meal, and more fun on a Saturday night than I would normally have.
And to top the weekend off, my family and I went to see Black Panther. Initially, my son didn't want to see it because he doesn't typically like superhero movies. If you live in Georgia near Atlanta, you're probably familiar with Sugarloaf Mills. Well, that's where we went to see it. They have those leather recliners that actually recline. There's also some serious surround sound that can be felt through the seats as well. And the best part is that there is no bad seat. You will never have someone sitting in front of you that will block you from seeing the screen. My husband also loves that they have reserved seating. We thoroughly enjoyed the film. Even my son enjoyed it. He said he probably wouldn't have been against it, in the beginning, had he seen some previews.
So that was my weekend and during that entire time, I didn't take any photos of anything we did. That may sound strange coming from a photographer, but we don't take pictures of everything. I just wanted to live in the moment. I wanted to drink in everything without thinking about whether or not the light was right or if I had good composition. I didn't care whether or not people would like what I was presenting because I decided not to be a presenter. I decided to be an active participant in my life and the goings-on in my life. Plus, sometimes my camera can get rather heavy and in the way. Let this be a reminder. Sometimes you just need to put down the camera or phone and live your life. Be an active participant of your life and live in the moment that is now. Now becomes later and later becomes yesterday and yesterday becomes last year. Pictures of that are great, but did you feel every little nuance in that moment in your soul? Make sure your experiences are truly experienced and not just captured.
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