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I did something this weekend that I haven’t done in years….

I put my camera away.  I didn’t take one picture with my camera the entire weekend.  That may not seem like a big deal to you, but for me, it is unheard of.  I am pretty sure there were some people that didn’t recognize me when I ran into them.  Carrying my camera with me constantly started out as a great way to learn new techniques and practice my existing skills as a photographer all while capturing endless images of the people around me making memories.  I am not saying this is a flawed logic.  It most certainly is not.  Practice makes….well, improvements.  But I am realizing that sometimes it just isn’t practical or necessary to have a camera in hand.

And truly, it may not have been such a shocking choice if I had just stayed home all weekend…but I didn’t.  My 13 year old had a *gasp* volleyball tournament.  I didn’t snap one picture of her bumping in the middle of game 2.  Not one shot of her looking anxious and then excited as her team came from WAAAAY behind to win a game.   And the picture of her with her and her teammates with their second place medals?  Taken with my iPhone.  And, guess what, that’s ok.

I am a little sad that I didn’t have my big old Canon in my hand when she overcame her fear of serving and hit the ball sailing over the net time after time.  But, it’s really fine.  I have the memory burned in my mind where it will live forever.  And I would like to think she was a little extra excited when she looked over at me and saw the pride that was written all over my face and not the lens of a camera hiding it.  That’s not to say I took no pictures at all throughout the day.  If I saw a quick opportunity I grabbed it….

photo 5Peep #3 and her dad on a walk between games 🙂 photo

Second place medal and a very tired smile <3

And on Sunday the family went geocaching in Spring Grove, PA.  We decided to try and discover some of the fun and different caches on the Spring Grove Geocaching Tour.  Because we haven’t done it before and I knew the peeps would have a blast I almost picked up my camera to take along…but I didn’t.  And I couldn’t be happier with my choice.  The peeps had my total and complete attention….and again, I grabbed a few quick shots with my iPhone, but I captured the rest with my memory.

photo 1This was not the cache.  It was just a random laser-looking item attached to a flagpole.Lately I have been obsessed with old (often dead) trees.  My next free weekend I WILL be grabbing my camera and heading out to shoot old trees. photo 2This pictures has shadows and a trashcan in the background and I have a child missing some limbs…but it is PERFECT. photo 3This is peep #2.  He read.  I mean he reads EVERYTHING.  He jumped out of the car at this VFW and said “Mom, I need to read the sign first”….I adore this picture. photo 2The children actually instructed me to get a picture of the windmill at this cute store in York, PA just because they thought it was cool.

So, bottom line…this was a HUGE step for me…the girl who ALWAYS has her camera in her hand or on the passenger seat of her car.  I can’t promise I will put the Canon away often, but as summer approaches I want to be conscious of the importance of filing away memories in my brain and not just images on my hard drive.