Raise your hand if you’ve ever used one of these excuses for not taking a photo:
- My camera is upstairs/downstairs/not on me.
- I’m too busy right now.
- I’ll just do one later.
- My kids are cranky (or I’m cranky).
- I don’t look very good (didn’t brush my hair, am wearing sweatpants, haven’t showered today, etc.).
- We have to get going.
- I don’t feel like it.
- The light isn’t very good.
- I’d rather just experience this.
- My photo wouldn’t be as good someone else’s.
- No one will care about this photo.
I think I used at least half of those excuses in the span of 10 seconds as we stood outside of a photo booth at an amusement park.
“Do you want to get a photo?” Rob asked.
We were all worn out after a long day of fun, and when faced with the prospect of stopping, going to get cash from a machine, trying to hold my toddler still inside the booth and get him to smile, then waiting for the photo to print, well, it felt like it would drain my very last energy reserves.
“Maybe next time”, I said lamely, and we walked past.
Right away I felt bad for making all those excuses. I mean, I’m a photographer. I know how important photos are, and yet I said no to them. As we started to head out the door I felt that internal conflict of “Did I make the wrong choice? Should we go back? We’ve already left, now it will be even more effort to go back. Did I miss my chance?”
So many times I’ve just kept going, and left the photo untaken. Those excuses are powerful ones, and it’s so easy to justify why you didn’t take the shot.
But this time I chose differently.
“Wait”, I said, and stopped in my tracks. “Let’s go do the photo.”
The quality is terrible, and we have bags under our eyes for days, but I wouldn’t change a thing about it – I love these photos so very much.
I know I’ll still make excuses for not taking photos. Life with an extremely active toddler often leaves me rushed, tired, and not looking my best. But I know that as each day passes, I value those images of us more and more, and regret all the times I didn’t stop to take the shot.
Maybe that simple knowledge will be enough to give me the energy to overcome those excuses next time they creep into my mind. I hope so, because I would love to have more photos like this in my life, and fewer regrets.
So what lame excuses do you keep using for not taking a photo? And do you regret it later on? How do you stop yourself from making excuses and take the shot anyway? I’d love to hear your thoughts!