Coffee With Beryl: Enjoying Those Moments

Today Beryl is going to discuss when it is OK to not worry about getting those perfect shots but rather just enjoy the moment. 

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For as much as a I love photography, sometimes it is nice to release myself of the 'pressure' of always being the photographer. Especially around the holidays. When your family knows you to be the official photographer on hand for all the important family functions it can be tough to truly settle in enjoy connecting with them. When I'm tied to my camera, I get in 'the zone' where everything around me fades away and I am immediately tuned into composition, framing, apertures, shutter speeds, ISOs and everything else that goes into preparing to create beautiful images. I get so lost in the moment, that I'm not present in it.

On Thanksgiving three years ago, the disappointment of missing out on family time became the most apparent. Yes, I did photograph happy memories and document our visit with out of town family, but I didn't feel as if I was a part of the day. I wasn't in any of the pictures and I hardly got to catch up face to face with any of my extended family because I had my face behind my big DSLR a majority of the time. It was at that Thanksgiving dinner table that I decided I had to do something differently by the time Christmas came around. And as I thought about what needed to change I had a HUGE revelation about the ONE THING that needed to shift to make me feel more free and less restrained during these huge gatherings. It all boiled down to one thing:

Setting Intention

The idea of setting intention with our photo taking simply means doing a bit of pre-planning for exactly which moments you want to capture for a big event and what kind of camera you plan to use to do it. As a mom it can be unpractical, tiring, or just plan obnoxious to carry a bulky DSLR around with you 24/7. Which is precisely why I won't be lugging my DSLR camera out for Christmas this year. These days I take 90% of my 'fancy' DSLR holiday photos before Christmas even arrives. 

Instead of stressing over nice shots on Christmas morning, our family gets dressed up in holiday PJs days before Christmas and I snap DSLR photos of our daughter inspecting the gifts under the tree. In fact this weekend we'll probably be doing just that. This year we'll also drink hot cocoa and pre-bake some cookies for Santa which will make for some awesome DSLR photo ops too. On Christmas morning the DSLR gets tucked away, and I rely solely on my iPhone for just a few snapshots or a short video from our morning festivities. The rest of the day is reserved for time doting on and being with the people I love most, instead of seeing them from behind a piece of glass.

Am I the only one who gets frustrated and tired of her DSLR sometimes? Weigh in by leaving a comment here or on my Facebook page: How do you go about your photo taking during the holiday time? Do you have multiple cameras you rely on or do you find that you stick to one most of the time? Do you have any tips of strategies you've found to help you 'set your intention' before snapping a picture? 

Set your intention TODAY, before Christmas is here by heading over to my freebies page and downloading my Top Momtographer Tips and Tricks. The end of this free guide offers a space and a place for planning out a shot list for your next photo shoot. Pick a camera, plan out your 'must have' shots, and set the intention to have a happy (and present) holiday with your family! Catch you in 2013. Happy snapping!

Beryl Ayn Young is a wife, mama, teacher, and photographer who offers photography lessons to nourish the mind, body, and soul over on her personal blog. Beryl believes in lifelong learning, photographic healing, & a glass half full perspective. She teaches e-courses and and provides photo coaching aimed at teaching you how to improve your camera skills and cherish life’s journey. Connect with Beryl over on Facebook or Twitter, she'd love to meet you! -- Beryl Ayn Young | teacher + healer photography lessons to nourish the mind, body, & soul. the site: www.berylaynyoung.com facebook: let's connect in need of some inspiration? get a daily dose of love - from your camera - just click here.

1 Comments:

The Pences December 22, 2012 at 6:24 PM  

My DSLR is rather new, so this will be my first Christmas with it. I've been shooting on manual most of the time, but I'm pretty sure I'll "cheat" and shoot on Auto a lot Christmas morning. This will let me be very quick about taking the pics and also allow my husband to pick up the camera and snap something. I will enjoy the pictures so much later, even if they aren't "perfect" or as planned out as I might like.
I love your idea of dressing the kiddos up in PJs (with some good light maybe!) and having them look over the gifts by the tree ahead of time. We may just do that tomorrow!