VANESSA BARON
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Business tips + advice to inspire the dream chaser within you

Stop Living Life Through The Lens Of Your Camera

I’ve done a lot of travel in my day – I’ve been to Portugal, Florida, Mexico, Jamaica, Cuba, and frequented Maui. I’ve been to every major city in my home province of British Columbia, Canada and many cities in Alberta. I’ve visited Oregon, LA, San Diego, Vegas, Arizona, Seattle and many places in between. I’ve swam with turtles in the wild, enjoyed doors-off helicopter rides, been to numerous AMAZING shows, eaten at top notch restaurants and witnessed some of the most gorgeous scenery.

The thing is, you wouldn’t really know this because until I became an entrepreneur, it was rare that I would take any pictures of my adventures.

My husband asked me during one of our travels why I would never take pictures.

“Our kids will want to see our travels one day” he said.

My response was that I didn’t want to experience the beauty in front of me through the lens of a camera. I wanted to feel and experience the moment as is. My mind would carry the detailed images for me.

Cherishing adventures in the moment is something I had lost as an entrepreneur. I felt that if I didn’t have picture evidence, it never happened in the eyes of those I would share my stories with.  So I began spending these precious moments behind the lens of my camera trying to get that perfect shot – and to be honest, most of the time it would take me like 50 shots to get it ‘right’.

Image from a helicopter ride for my son's 4th birthday - Pitt Meadows, B.C.

Image from a helicopter ride for my son's 4th birthday - Pitt Meadows, B.C.

What began to happen was that I didn’t have those detailed memories anymore. I missed out on the true experience, the in-the-moment experience. I relied on these pictures to remind me of what my adventure was like – what the beach looked like, how the sand felt between my toes, the emotions I carried, etc.

Eventually, it just began to feel so forced and was becoming ridiculous. It was not uncommon for me to be out enjoying a great meal with my husband with an absolutely stunning dish in front of me and breathtaking sunset, and after digging in and taking a bite I’d think, Oh no! I forgot to take a picture first!

So, I decided to cut back on camera time and return to experiencing my adventures + life luxuries in the moment, fully.

No longer am I available to spend precious moments and unbelievable experiences behind the lens of a camera in order to prove to the world that this is in fact my life.

With that being said, I think showing some form of transparency and behind-the-scenes has a great advantage in growing and expanding upon the know-like-trust factor you share with your audience. I find that my audience craves behind-the-scenes because deep down there’s a part of my life that they desire for themselves, whether that’s a part of the time freedom, financial freedom, or location freedom. And while I enjoy sharing tidbits of my life with my audience + following, I know I can do so without freaking out over eating my dinner before taking a snapshot and without wasting 20 minutes trying to get that perfect beach shot.

And it’s not just me – there have been numerous other entrepreneurs speak out about the authenticity of photos and stress that can overcome someone intent on getting that perfect shot, such as Australian model, Essena O’Neill, who begins her social media posts with the phrase “THIS IS NOT REAL LIFE” and goes on to expand how the picture she’s sharing came to be.

If you’re someone who has been feeling the same way – that you’re spending too much time behind the lens and not enough time in the moment – then take a stand with me and start living life without worry of whether people will believe your stories, without worry of thinking it will hurt your image, without worry that you need to photographically prove every amazing thing that happens in your life.

The RIGHT people will believe you. The right people for you will appreciate your stories. The right people for YOU and your brand won’t need photographic evidence. You only live once, soak in every moment you can!

Are you guilty of experiencing far too many precious moments through the lens of your camera? Let’s keep the convo going in the comments below!