Stop!

No CameraI’m not revealing anything surprising when I say how much I enjoy taking pictures. And not just any pictures, either. I want to take pictures that inspire, to encourage the viewer to stop and enjoy the captured moment as much — or more — than I did. Perhaps it’s a mere smoky dream, but I want people to say, “Wow.”

I took close to 1000 photos at Yellowstone in August. I’d say 10% were usable. Only a handful — according to me — had that ‘wow’ factor.

Some might ask, “Did you stop to enjoy what you saw, or were you too busy trying to take the perfect picture?”

I asked myself that very question in Yellowstone. We were standing at the end of one of the boardwalks, and a man comes up, snaps a shot of the feature with a cell phone, turns and walks away.

I stopped to consider if that’s what I was doing, too. Am I so intent on getting the perfect shot I’m not enjoying the moment? I’ll admit I do at times. I intentionally leave my camera at home or in the car, so I’m forced to enjoy my surroundings as well as the people around me.

That’s all life really is: a series of moments.

Especially this time of year with the focus on family, stop and enjoy it. The moments we have, only God knows how many. Guard them jealously, because we never know when those moments are no more. Life is too short for regrets over squandering them.

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