I take a lot of selfies. Do you know why? Because I’m an excellent photographer. At any given time, I am probably the best photographer around. And for every picture I take of myself, I take ten pictures of the people around me. I love my friends, family, people in general … but darn it if they can’t be bothered to capture the moment. The friends who offer to take a photo or video get invited to more parties. I can’t do this on my own.
— Mohammad Abdel (@Moabdel) March 11, 2016
The answer is now. Don’t pause and don’t pose. This unique moment exists as a sum of unrepeatable parts. Do you have a smartphone with you? I know you do. So why don’t you take a picture? Share it now, or share it later, but give yourself the option to have something to look back on. And if someone else is already taking pictures, don’t be a jerk: offer to take a picture that they can actually be in. I do this often, even for official photographers. And because I’ve had a lot of practice, my pictures are good, they are pleased, and I make one more photographer friend. That’s an all around win!
— Silvia K. Spiva (@silviakspiva) February 19, 2016
Your first selfies are going to look bad. You need to practice and find your best angles. Likewise, your first attempts to take group photographs will turn out awful, probably because you posed everyone in an unnatural way, and told them to force a smile. You can improve, but only if you practice.
Before you go scheduling plastic surgery, or spending a fortune on cosmetics, spend some money and time on apps with playful filters. Edited photographs are the norm, so much so that we actually call out untouched images with the hashtag #NoFilter. Maybe you’re fine with the way you look, but the right filter could help one of your friends look a little better. Be kind when sharing photos of others.
Digital survival. The reason why you need to be a good photographer is because your job will soon require you to be a better storyteller. Oh, you think you have a job that doesn’t require storytelling? Try asking for a raise or funding for a new project. No one wants to read your boring proposal, you need to tell a good story.
Taking pictures to capture moments with happy customers, employees, managers is a good idea, but it’s just the beginning. If you’re not a photographer you’re already behind the curve, because the future is video. You can do this! But you can no longer delay. You need to tell people who you really are.
Yes, the answer to “WHO?” is you. If it matters to you, capture the moment. If it doesn’t matter to you, then let it go, and be forgotten, but don’t criticize the people who care. Part of our soul is digital now, and it will live forever.
Photo credit: Alex Holzknecht
Silvia K. Spiva is a Multicultural Marketer, creating content for global audiences, from the heart of Silicon Valley. Her passions include children’s literacy, STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math), and finding ways to bridge if not crush the #DigitalDivide.