Do we spend too much time looking through a lens?

I take my camera pretty much everywhere. And I mean everywhere. If I don't have my camera with me, I feel a little lost. I think a few people have written about this before, about how, 'If it isn't instagrammed, it didn't happen.' kinda thing. And I'm most probably more than guilty of this. There's so many times when I'm out and about, that I take a photo with the sole intention of it ending up on Instagram.

I love Instagram and I love my blog. I love that they've both become ways of being able to document my life, of writing about days that I've loved and my favourite things. I love the idea of being able to look back through them both in years and years and being able to reminisce and remember all of the things.

But, do we spend too much of our time looking through a lens?

I visited Edinburgh last week. I spent a good 4 hours exploring the city with my camera, and at one point, I just stopped for a second and actually spent a little while just looking. I realised that sometimes I get so caught up in capturing a moment for my future self, and for others, that I sometimes forget to appreciate it for myself, there and then.

What do you think?



  1. I had a thought yesterday about having a break from social media for a week and realised how much I'd actually be giving up. I'm constantly snapping up events and days out and sometimes I look back and think 'did I actually enjoy my time there'. Sadly one of the main events I think about this with is my trip to Mexico. I paid so much money to have 2 weeks away and now I look back and think I was too busy taking photos to remember my time there, I didn't live it to the fullest but also in contrast I wonder if I didn't take the photos - would I have something to remember it by.

    It's such a hard thing to battle with - love this post.

    Chloe Mary Davis |

  2. I definitely try to be conscious about this. One thing that has helped as been my girlfriend who is so anti-tech that I find myself reaching for my camera a lot less often. She arranges places for us to go specifically for me to get pretty pictures, but I find I don't take as many as I used to, preferring to spend the time chatting away with her and being silly.

    I've also always had a rule for concerts and whatnot that I take photos for the first song and then put my phone and camera away and focus on the event and the atmosphere. I'd like to start applying this to other aspects of my life.

    But I do love a good photo. I rely on photos on my blog to tell the story a lot of times. And as an expat I have friends and family at home who want to see what I do, and love the photos. I've also, by now, got to a point where much of my photography is sort of done on auto-pilot, so I hardly notice it happening some times and can still be immersed in the experience.

    So, it's tricky, but photography is also a very important art, and documenting our stories (especially as women) is so important!

    Aisling | aisybee.

  3. Really interesting question! Strange thing is, I'm on the complete other end of the spectrum. My phone doesn't even have a camera (it's literally a brick not a phone!) and I always seem to forget to take my camera with me on my everyday travels.
    I worry that I've missed capturing things, and always think 'Oh, that would have been such a good picture for my blog.'
    But I do think it is true that you can get so tied up in taking a great picture that you forget to enjoy the actual moment yourself.

    Sarah x

  4. I think we do to be honest. Every now and again, I'll forget to take my camera somewhere and it'll be a moment of distress. However, when I do forget it, I often end up enjoying wherever I am a lot more. It's a difficult one! x

    Martha Jane |

  5. We do spend too much time looking through a lens, yes. Saying that, I enjoy take photos of everything. I take photos as more of a memoir, although I have my moments where I need to take a photo solely for Instagram. x

    Kathryn | Chapters of Kat

  6. As a photographer, I've had quite a few people tell me I've lived my life through my lens but I don't think it's a bad thing! I think it can be a bad thing if you're doing it for the wrong reasons but capturing moments through my camera is how I remember - it's how I experience life and I'm perfectly okay with that.

    Lee -

  7. I do think I agree with this, I take a photo usually because I think 'that'll go on instagram and look pretty and get some likes' (something that I'm guilty of craving is the likes) But I did also really notice the buildings I was surrounded by yesterday and so really took them but also wanted to be able to capture their beauty for the lens to enjoy later, so sometimes capturing the moments aren't a bad thing either, just remember to appreciate them without the lens too

  8. I find it's so hard to get a delicate blend of enjoying actual real life with your eyes, and ensuring you get some decent snaps for your blog! It used to be worse when I was lugging a DSLR I use my compact it's much easier to just grab a few snaps then pop my camera back in my bag to take it all in properly. I still think I could probably do with a few occasions where I just leave the camera at home though!

  9. I think if you get a good mixture of being behind the camera and just taking it all in for yourself is important - maybe we do spend a little bit too much time behind the camera though sometime, just need to take it in sometimes!

    Lucy | Forever September

  10. This is definitely something I've been trying to be more mindful of recently - I think of course we should still take photos, they're beautiful and capture the moment, but once we've taken a few, put the camera down and just enjoy the day :) that's been making me a lot happier anyway - but just like most things, it depends on the person!

    Hazel xx

  11. I agree, it can be easy to focus too much on getting the perfect shot rather than just enjoying being there in the present. I'm also guilty of this but have tried to stop feeling like I have to photograph everything I eat when I eat out!!

    Emma xx

    A Little Freckle