Last weekend, I had the absolute pleasure of raveling to Melbourne ( about a 90 minute flight from Sydney) to watch Rob Thomas in concert. This was my Christmas present from my husband and a much needed weekend together…without kids. We enjoyed a Spanish tapa lunch, uninterrupted conversations and walks along the Yarra river. All of this was lovely, but the real reason we were in Melbourne was to swoon over a rockstar, and I did. From the moment he walked onto the stage until the final curtain call, I sang loudly, danced awkwardly in my seat, and clapped until my hands hurt.
However, the lady who sat in front of us sat perfectly still. She hardly moved a muscle and I realized she was watching the show through the viewfinder on her mobile phone. She was recording the show, and didn't move to minimize the camera shake. Now, I will admit that the photography snob came out in me. I saw the blur because she was zooming. I saw the camera struggle with the bright lights and the dark shadows, and over compensate. I saw the auto white balance turn everything a weird magenta colour. I wondered why she would want this blurry. overexposed pink video.
As I looked around the audience, I noticed she wasn't the only person watching through the viewfinder. It made me sad ( well just a little). You know I love to document and capture the moments in my life but we need to put the camera down. We need to live the moments with our hands in the air. We need to wipe the tears away as our favourite sang plays. We need to dance like no one is watching and we can't do that if we are living the moment the viewfinder.
Along my journey, I have made a conscious effort to put the camera down. I of course grab a few snapshots but then I put it away. I do this especially at school performances or assemblies. I was finding myself behind the lens and not able to smile at my children as they looked out from the stage. I was not able to wave and let them know I was watching. I didn't feel completely present. I want them to feel that this is important to me and that I am watching. Now when they look for me, they see my smiling face rather than the lens on the front of my camera. I don't want my family to think of me as always behind the camera. It is a balancing act, one I don't alway get right, but one that I work on constantly.
If Rob Thomas had searched for me in the audience ( and I am sure he did look for me) , he would have found me dancing, singing, and with a big smile on my face. He would have seen me living the moment without a camera. And because I no images from the concert to share with this post, my daughter and I played together to create these images. She is a photographer in the making.
My name is Cindy Cavanagh, and I live in Sydney, Australia. I am a Lifestyle photographer of home and heart. I love to create and always have. I'm Co-Editor of the Long Way Home Magazine, contributor to Journey to Artist and Wonder of the Oddments. I am a wife and Mum to 5 gorgeous and crazy children. Ironically, I love the quiet.