Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Capturing everyday moments

Do me a quick favor: Scroll through your phone and find a picture of an everyday moment. Something unscripted. One where nobody is looking at the camera. It's hard to find, isn't it?

But those are the moments that matter. A Harvard Study posits that it's these ordinary moments that provide more significant context and meaning to people over time. Participants in the study created individualized time capsules based off provided prompts that included writing down a recent conversation with someone, and current thoughts and feelings about a particular day. After several months, participants sorted through their capsules and were able to reconnect with those everyday events on a much more meaningful level than they predicted they would.

I am the keeper of my family's childhood photos, and a lot of them are unscripted. Some of these are accidents - photos taken at the wrong moment which couldn't be deleted from the film but were kept, because we kept every photo at the time. When I look at these pictures, I see furniture that I had forgotten about, favorite toys that were discarded ages ago and even what I looked like crying. It's beautiful because it's normal.

So, how do I capture these everyday moments now?
  • Plan to take candid pictures. Yes, that sounds odd, but look for a moment of an everyday scene in your home - maybe of someone cooking dinner or helping with homework. Don't tell anyone that you have the camera out.
  • Write things down. I keep a journal for my son and write entries even when nothing extraordinary happened that week. It's from re-reading those entries that I can remember what foods he liked as a baby or the way he would sporadically start dancing for me.
  • Be mindful of your surroundings. What is my son doing as I type this? He is plopped on a pillow next to me playing on his LeapPad. It's raining and cold outside and except for my typing and his game, it's very quiet. He yells out "YES!" every time he wins a race, and it makes me laugh.
What steps do you think you'll take to capture the everyday moments in your household? Tell me in the comments.

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