Chris Johnston Photography

Chris Johnston is a landscape photographer and photo educator in South Louisiana.

Put some time between taking a picture and sharing it

One of the things that has occurred because of social media is the overwhelming urge to share all of our images. This is a totally new phenomenon.

If you think back to the days of film, we would take a roll of film, send it off, and then in a few days we got back physical object. There was a sense of anticipation. You had a sense of wonder in what was going to appear in that little package and when it did, you look at each picture and examined it and recalled the emotion at the time when it was taken. When you were done the pictures were put away. Maybe in a shoebox, maybe in album, or maybe in a file cabinet.

When we decided to show those pictures to someone it was special. Maybe a vacation image slideshow at a family gathering, maybe in a quiet moment a mother and father would look at pictures of their kids, or after the funeral of a loved one we would sit and look at pictures we captured of that person throughout their life. 

The decision to share was one that was considered and appropriate for the moment. I think in the world today we want to share everything and worry about how many likes or hearts or comments it might get and we make the decision on whether or not to take it based on that metric. The timeframe between capture and share is too short. 

Not every picture needs to be shared. Not every photo is taken for public consumption. Some pictures exist because they will mean something years from now. Some will never mean anything to us but they will mean much to others after we are gone. Stop taking photos for the purpose of sharing and take them for the purpose of remembering. Share some, but some away in a special place just for you.