I believe that we can document ephemeral experiences like Turning Pages simply by documenting things the way we currently do. Although these experiences are known to be short-term and not last very long, there are still various opportunities to make sure they existed. Clearly, one of the best ways to document something would be through photo: especially now-a-days with our smart phones and responsive cameras. For example, to this day on the new iPhone, there is a mode where you are able to take several photos in the time span of taking one photo. It appears to be very similar to a GIF when it’s in your Photos, however the single photo is still taken normally in the split of a second.
Now, I am biased to the idea that Words & Pictures have the capability to capture an entire experience. Someone may take a photo of their lunch, add a filter, and top it off with a caption that says, “Wow, best lunch ever!” In our minds, we’re thinking, “That looks amazing. I can’t even.” But, in reality, how do we know if the overall eating experience was great? What if the food just look good because of the filter? I believe that people have their own way of portraying what reality is, but choose to fit it to their expectations. I think it would be better if we were straight forward about what we’re really doing – so others can get the real idea of how our lives are. However, on the other hand, Words & Pictures can be a perfect way to capture an experience. I used to be a huge fan of taking many photos at concerts and write a little post about it on my Instagram. I felt like with that one photo, all of my followers were able to see what I experienced. I believe pictures are a great way to capture what’s in the moment and give it the possibility to be something to look down the road. For instance, my parents have numerous albums of my childhood, including my siblings as well. At the back of each photo, they would write the date and what was done that specific day. I believe that this is a better way of keeping your pictures safe, because imagine if your phone or laptop crash – then, poof…all your memories will be gone. I’ve had this happen to me about twice in the past ten years and it’s absolutely devastating. Nevertheless, I believe that words are another great way to capture an experience. There are often times I wish I would have written a post about a certain photo, because I simply can’t remember when or where the photo was taken. Thus, I believe a nice little caption or paragraph paired with a picture recreates an experience.
Nonetheless, I do believe that the style of the words and images matter. That’s like saying is there a difference between someone who is a fashinonista against someone who knows nothing about fashion. The difference between having style and no style is crucial because there is a difference between the sense of identity. It is common to see a different styles of words in books – for example, the style a fiction book is written can be completely different from a nonfiction book. One is written based off of fantasies and non-factual information, while the other is strictly based off of facts. Now, as for images, I also believe that style matters as well. I know a close friend of mind who is a photographer and his style often changes. At times, he may focus on solo portraits – where his models tend to portray themselves as strong, independent, and determined. Whereas, other times, he may focus on his concert photography and those shots actually turn out to be joyful and wild.
Moreover, I believe the best way to share an experience with someone who wasn’t there to experience is it is to take them along next time you do that thing. For example, I had a friend who was basically a concert-virgin and she was extremely tired of me showing her photos, videos, and telling stories. Therefore, one day I decided I was ready to take her out to her first show. This happened about seven years ago at the Vans Warped Tour and she was more than happy to experience it herself firsthand. However, if the person is unable to experience what you’ve been bragging out – I think it is best to relate your personal experience to something similar they’ve done, so they can get an idea of what your experience was like. For example, if you had extremely great customer service at a restaurant, I believe it would be best to relate it to a time your friend and yourself received outstanding service together.
Lastly, I am a firm believer that documenting an experience does in fact conflict with experiencing anything in general. There was a particular time that made me stop taking many photos and videos. Last February, my boyfriend and I went to Mexico City for a music festival. I was so ecstatic to be in another country for an event that I couldn’t resist taking so many videos. But, at one point during the event, my boyfriend actually took a video of me taking a video. For the entierity of his video, he was just saying, “Wow, she spent close to $600 just so she can see the show through her phone.” Then, he showed it to me as soon as possible and it finally clicked! I was wasting so much of my time trying to capture so many memories, I wasn’t paying attention to actually making some. From then on, I made the decision to leave my phone in my car when I go to events. However, occasionally I’ll get a few videos and photos with my friends and boyfriend when we all go out – but, surely enough it’s definitely not as excessive as before.
In addition, I would have to say that by not taking photos in the library versus taking photos in the Bookstore did create a different experience for both locations. Now, as for the library: I felt like I was visiting a very constricted area because I was advised to not take photos. It almost reminded me of visiting a museum where there may signs of “No Photography allowed.” or even being at work. But, I believe people place these type of constraints on these places because they want to maintain its beauty and keep a sense of seriousness. I would be beyond annoyed if I was were studying in the library and someone was just taking numerous photos, especially with flash. I believe that a library is a quiet place to get work done and shouldn’t be affiliated with shenanigans. On the other hand, I believe the Bookstore is an appropriate place to take photos. There is a lot of student activity and it’s surely not a quiet place. I used to work at the bookstore and the first thing I’d do would go upstairs and turn on the radio in the store. By putting on some music, this gave the store a more friendly vibe. It doesn’t make the store as serious as a library would be. There are even advertisements broadcasted in the bookstore as well, which can be heard and seen on the TVs.