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It seems like these days, between things like filters and Snapchat, we’ve forgotten the whole point behind taking pictures.  This summer, we want to remind you: photography exists to capture a real moment in time and to preserve a precious memory.

 In life, there are times where you find yourself thinking, “I wish I could stay in this moment forever.” Unfortunately, you can’t freeze time, but you can commit it to memory through the magic of photography. Getting all the extended relatives together for your annual summer barbecue? This will be the only time you’re all together this year, and there’s a chance that next year some of you might not be around—how do we commemorate the warm, fuzzy feeling we get by cuddling up next to Grandma? We get out our smartphones and start snapping away.

Save the pictures

To be able to hold a tangible memory in your hands is invaluable. We’ll never get that time back, but we can refer back to it when we miss someone, or even if we miss a particular period in our lives. Think about it. In the event of a natural disaster, what do most people go to save first? Not the most expensive items like electronics or clothing—these are insured and can be replaced. No, most of us reach for our family albums, our wedding photos, our baby’s first year books to save them from flood or fire, because those things are irreplaceable.

In a culture that’s crazy about documenting every mundane detail of life—from the brunch we’re about to eat to the fact that we’re at the gym for the third time this week—it’s easy to join the backlash against taking pictures. But again, if we’re doing it for the right reasons, there’s nothing wrong with pulling out your smartphone to capture something meaningful.

Think before you click

This summer, we encourage you to take this into account. Take pictures of people and things that matter, that inspire you to truly be present in the moment. Let’s be honest: ten years from now, you’re not going to care about the selfie you took with your Frappucino, but you will be more than happy to remember that one sunset you experienced while on vacation for the last time with your kids. And rather than trying to make it look its prettiest, try to leave the filter function alone. It’s not about taking the perfect picture, it’s about preserving a true and beautiful moment for the rest of your life.

This post is also available in: Portuguese (Portugal)

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