How Did We Become So Obsessed with Photographing Events?

Wedding photographer in action, taking a picture of the bride and groom
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Have you taken a look at your parents’ wedding pictures? Did you see that they had taken only 12 to 15 photos of their wedding? Now, look at your wedding album. How many photos did you take as a couple? How many photos of your guests do you have in your album? It’s funny enough that we are so obsessed with taking photos that sometimes; we forget what it means to just be in the moment.

The reason there are many events photographers in Detroit and other cities is that the demand is too high. No matter where you go or what you do in your lives, you want professional photographers to immortalize them. Even without professional photographers, you yourself can take plenty of pictures enough to cover your whole house with them. You can use your smartphone or a digital camera. But why are you so obsessed with photographing life’s events? How come we cannot enjoy the moment without taking photos left and right?

Enjoyment of Photos Is Scientifically Proven

Surprisingly, studies have shown that there is a correlation between how people enjoy the event and why they take hundreds of photos of it. If you think that there is something wrong with the person if they cannot enjoy an event without taking photos of it, then you’re on the wrong side of science. In the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, one study said that taking photos of events enhances one’s experience of it. It makes the event more enjoyable for the picture-taker.

The study included activities such as eating lunch, going to a museum, attending a concert, and taking a virtual bus tour. The participants were divided into two groups. One group would just enjoy the experience without taking photos, and the other group would take photos as usual. The study found out that surprisingly, people who took pictures enjoyed the moment more. Taking photos enhanced their appreciation and enjoyment of the event. Those who took photos had a deeper connection to the event than those who did not. They felt that they were more a part of the event because they were there to document it.

The participants who took photos are also more attentive to the subject. For example, during a museum exhibit, while the participants were wearing eye-tracking glasses, the scientist found out that those who took photos were more focused on the subject. They immersed themselves in more experience when they were taking photos.

It’s not just in taking photos that the participants were enjoying the events more. During a bus tour, when asked what pictures they would have taken if they had been allowed to, the participants said that they were happy just thinking about what they could have immortalized with their cameras. Just the idea of being able to take the pictures showed how the participants were more engaged in the moment.

Why Is This Happening?

Coworkers taking a selfie in phone while having coffee
According to researchers, the participants’ enjoyment of the experience is best captured by their want to take photos of the events. When they take photos of the event, they become part of the experience. They focus their attention on the part of the experience that is worth capturing.

There is an exception, of course. When the participants are already enjoying their experiences without taking photos, snapping away can break the moment of an enhanced experience.

Therefore, don’t take too much about your need and obsession to take photos of every event in your life. Studies have already shown that taking photos is a way for people to enjoy an experience more. There is nothing wrong with making sure that these events are immortalized through photos.