Like with anything, there’s a happy medium to be found with photography. You don’t want to miss Grandma blowing out the candles on her 100th birthday cake because you’re fiddling with an aperture ring, but it’s also unreasonable to imply that taking pictures prevents someone from enjoying an experience. Now, there’s a scientific study in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology that claims enjoyment of experiences is actually enhanced by taking pictures. We couldn’t agree more.
You can read the entire study report here on the web, but the summary at the beginning does a nice job giving a top-level overview (which is, after all, the point of it). “Across 3 field and 6 lab experiments, we find that taking photos enhances enjoyment of positive experiences across a range of contexts and methodologies.”
The experiment involved putting a collection of subjects on a double decker bus tour. Some were encouraged to take photos while others weren’t allowed to take photos.
The study actually goes through a variety of different scenarios and makes for a fairly interesting read if you don’t mind the scientific nature of it.
So, while there is scientific evidence that photography isn’t ruining your life (at least not like this), it’s important to remember that it can be taken too far.