Leave the Camera at Home

By: Sandy Swanson

You may remember when taking photos was a big deal. The cameras were relatively inexpensive, but the film and processing added up. You had to think long and hard about what was photo-worthy. Today, not so much.

In fact, we are bombarded with images on Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, websites, blogs, and e-mail that we seemingly document everything we do in our daily lives. Forget about taking a few snapshots on family vacation in Yosemite. Now, we capture everything. Look at this beautiful buffet table. How about a picture of my salmon entree? Maybe a fun shot of a co-worker who laughed so hard coffee ran out of her nose?

Don’t get me wrong. Digital photography is convenient, and the accessibility of a camera built into my phone has been handy many times. Instant photos also make it fun to share experiences with those who cannot be there in person.

I sometimes wonder, though, if we’ve created a culture where we are focusing too much on the photo opportunity—in essence, staging the activity rather than enjoying the moment. I have witnessed this at several weddings I’ve attended in recent years. The bride and groom are so busy posing for pictures that they miss the celebration.

I think this speaks to a key theme from our blog post two weeks ago, “what you pay attention to determines what you miss,” but it also speaks to the importance of editing, and the editing process. Where do we draw the line? Has it become necessary to share everything in our lives with the rest of the world? How much is too much?

In the business world, I think the same questions apply, especially when it comes to communication and delivering meaningful content our customers. So, before you send your next email, or even consider uploading your next photo to Facebook, consider the application, importance, and consequences of what you share.

  • Application. If you are taking a photo, what purpose does that photo have and what do you plan to do with it? Think about its best use and application and how it helps tell your story.
  • Importance. How important is this to share with others? How does this post, photo or other content help fulfill a client or customer need, or a friend’s curiosity? Will it help a customer use our products or services better? Think about how to capture the true meaning or purpose of the post in as little words or photos as possible to make your point.
  • Consequence. It is always important to think about the consequences of everything you write about or capture in a photo. Think about it. Would you want your next photo or post to appear on the front page of tomorrow’s newspaper? If not, consider editing or when in doubt, leave the camera at home.

©OrangeBoy, Inc. 2012

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3 thoughts on “Leave the Camera at Home

  1. I recently purchased a digital camera to build up my own stock of photos for my business and my blog. The reader has an interest in image, and this can enhance the blog. My issue was copyright of using others photos, so I created my own. I usually have an idea of what message I wish to convey and create a photograph to meet that objective.

    Your blog post is good to point out that anything that is put out should be first carefully considered against branding and goals.

    • Thank you for this meaningful comment. You are right. It has everything to do with branding, not only how you brand your business, but also how you brand yourself. We all need to be conscious of that. Thanks for reading!

  2. I feel the same way as well. I used to be one of those individuals that would post pictures and update my status on Facebook with almost every measly detail. Now, I try to follow “quality vs. quantity”. When I share something on Facebook, it is usually an interesting article about a current event, philosophy, or just about any issue I feel needs better attention. I do not get a lot of “Likes” or comments as my friends that post celebrity news, but I feel what I share in my social media is definitely worth more, I just wish others did as well.

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