Posted by: ohmypuddin | August 30, 2011

The Camera Dilemma

I have a nice camera. A camera capable of taking very lovely pictures, with a multitude of settings and buttons and things that can turn even crappy pictures into interesting ones. It takes beautiful pictures, capturing moments in time and random ephemera of my life.

But the thing is, I’m embarrassed by my camera.

Not the camera itself, mind you. Just having the big bulky thing. Carrying it in a camera bag. Hauling it out. Its size and bulk makes it impossible to camoflauge, to hide the fact that yes, I’m taking a photo.

You see, since I got an iPhone, I’ve enjoyed many things about it. But until we went to Europe, I didn’t realize what I’ve enjoyed the most is being able to surreptitiously take photos. I mean, most people know what I’m doing, but maybe I’m checking my email, or showing someone my screen, or trying to find a signal. Who knows? But with a camera, everyone knows what you’re doing.

Am I embarrassed to even be taking photos? Maybe. Especially in Europe, where I tried to not look like such a tourist as much as I could. I would take out my camera to take a photo of something small and mundane, and see people looking at me, and wondering, why is that woman taking a photo of that tree?

As someone who loves food, this becomes especially embarrassing in a restaurant. Often the lighting is low, so I’m forced to use flash to even take a photo. It’s embarrassing to take out a DLSR at the dinner table and photograph the food, for me. It’s so much easier to snap a quick photo with my phone.

With my phone, I got used to the anonymity of it. I got used to being inconspicuous. It’s hard to be inconspicuous with a big camera.

Also, from a practical standpoint, it’s way easier to whip out my phone and take a photo than my camera. Plus, with my phone, I can immediately share my photos with everyone.

Does anyone else feel this way? Am I the only one who doesn’t like taking out my camera anymore?



  1. I’m in love with my big awkward fancy camera, and I’m in love with the pictures it takes even though I barely learned how to shoot on manual. That being said – I don’t take it out at a restaurant, if I was with someone who did, I would blush. I snapped the occasional food pic with mine while in Paris… but only if I was eating an at outdoor cafe and only if it was still around my neck from being touristy. I felt like breaking it out of its camera bag to take pictures of food was just a bridge too far.

    I didnt feel any shame walking around and being touristy with it. I wouldn’t do it at home or bring it to a party or whatever… but I think should I ever find a Mr. Waspy Redhead and create tiny wasps… I’ll be “that Mom” who won’t put her big awkward fancy camera down.

    Great post! Miss you. Drinks or lunch soon?

  2. You are not alone. When we were in Europe we took hundreds of pictures of everything with our DSLR. Everything but food, we used the iPhone for that and might have taken pictures of almost everything we ate and drank without feeling like total tourists.

  3. Yep. If it’s not of my kiddos, I’m a bit shy of whipping out the ‘big’ camera. I’m total mamarazzi with the boys but alone – I use the conveniently ‘attached-to-my-hand’ phone.

  4. It’s hard to remain inconspicuous in a restaurant when I haul out the camera. (My smart phone died several months ago when it took a swim, and I have only a DummFon now that only occasionally takes photos.) The flash is distracting to other diners, I’m sure. But I’m not a food reporter, so I can’t send the photographer around later to get the perfect shot. It’s a dilemma.

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