Should I buy a camera?
You should drop everything, run out and buy a camera NOW if you don't have one!Should I buy a camera? Uh, you mean to say you donít already HAVE one?
Everyone needs a camera. It doesnít need to be a super-deluxe-break-the-bank-account-state-of-the-art contraption. You simply need something reliable and affordable that is capable of capturing the moment.
If you don't have a camera, and you consider yourself a "beginner," get yourself a point and shoot camera. If you canít remember what happened yesterday how in the world are you going to remember your senior year in college? Digital cameras with a wide variety of options, and in a wide price range, suitable for everyone from the novice to the professional photographer.
Everyone takes pictures nowadays, including and frequently from their phones. Some people (celebrities come to mind) probably wish people werenít so photo crazy, but thatís the world we live in. Fortunately, most of us donít use our cameras to stalk movie stars and then publish unseemly pictures of the celebs when their cellulite is showing and they haven't slept all night.
There are those special occasions --weddings (yours or someone elseís), the birth of your first baby (or second or third or seventh) -- that you will eternally regret not capturing on film or printing from a digital camera.
Years from now, you can flip through your photo albums and smile, laugh, reminisce, chortle and make fun of your wifeís nose ring and she can chide you about your soul patch.
A photograph is a memory. Perhaps memories donít seem important now, but someday you are going to wish that you had some pictures of Ö your first date or your last date or the day you graduated from college because sometimes you need pictures as proof.
See, I really DID graduate from college and hereís the proof!
See, I really DID weigh 250 pounds!
Or, see, I really was svelte when I was a newlywed.
You canít dispute the photo evidence.
Capturing your child or grandchild as he grows up on film, still or motion, is tremendously rewarding and fun. Down the road you can pull out some photos of a naked two-year-old and harass your 16-year-old daughter who thinks youíre a total embarrassment anyway so why disappoint her?
Put your pictures on display around your house. In fact, turn one entire wall into a dedicated photo gallery. Your guests and family members will spend hours looking at your pictures, remembering when Jake broke his leg (in three places) and Lucy shaved off all of her hair. Use beautiful mats and frames to showcase your photographs.
Get a camcorder and start recording. Have a video night and invite the entire clan over to watch movies. Odds are you are going to end up rolling on the floor, belly laughing and spilling popcorn.
Camcorders and still cameras are invaluable. They capture those times that you want to remember and maybe some of them that you donít but come on, be a good sport about it.
Even if youíre not convinced that you need a camera, it makes a great gift for someone else.
Get an inexpensive SLR camera for your child or grandchild and turn them loose. You are opening doors to them, and they may be the next Annie Leibovitz. If your child is going to college or overseas or moving three states away, give her a camera with instructions that you are to be regularly updated about (1) what sheís doing; (2) who sheís doing it with and (3) what her habitat looks like.
Your photos will become the things at the top of your heirlooms list, and will prove to document your life in the way they never will on a digital device.