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2 Days in Paris: One Photography Dilemma

Now out on DVD, the movie 2 Days in Paris is full of hilarious observations, most of them about relationships, but there was one that really stuck with me, as a travel and photography buff. Early in the movie, Julie Delpy's character Marion discusses a problem with Adam Goldberg's (Jack's) camera. Relentlessly taking photos, Jack didn't seem to be an excessive photographer — that's what you do on vacation, isn't it?

But Marion's argument was enlightening: by constantly taking photos, you're taking yourself out of the situation. By only seeing your surroundings through a lens, are you really seeing it all? When you're just thinking about capturing an image of what you did so you can show someone later, you're there, instead of your actual "there." You're removed from the experience. To see what I think of this, just


While I doubt that I'll take far fewer photographs on a trip, Marion's monologue struck me. I do think that I've gotten caught up in what my photos will look like, and I've known many people to visit a place just to say that they were there. The trick is to be able to experience, and savor — and balance that with getting some great shots.


Join The Conversation
marciana marciana 8 years
I loved the movie, saw it when it came out on theaters here, and later bought the DVD. I laughed throughout the whole thing and I thought it was really smart. Besides, Marion's argument was spot on. Like it or not, it's true what she says, if you're worried about just taking the pictures, you're not in the moment. I used to be more obsessed about photographing every single thing on vacation, every single moment, but I'm now more into finding the balance between the memories and the photographs. Having not even a single photograph will never work for me, but what she said really stuck with me because at the time I was beginning to feel the same way.
Glittersniffer Glittersniffer 8 years
I got harshed out for coming home from two weeks of service in Nicaragua this past June without scads of pictures. I wasn't there to snap pictures, I was there to see beautiful wilderness and to serve people. Plus taking pictures of the clinics I worked at just made me sad. I was holding more technology than these people had ever seen in their lifetimes.
MisterPinkNoTip MisterPinkNoTip 8 years
That movie was awful.
lovelylei lovelylei 8 years
Balancing the taking photos and experiencing everything is best. Can never have too many photos!
lkalil lkalil 8 years
I saw this film not too long ago and definitely think Marion has a point. I do the opposite of the character, Jack- I find that sometimes when I am travelling (or even just out with friends) I get too caught up and often forget to take photos and later wish I had taken more. And I love taking photos, so I often find myself trying to remind myself to take more.
kcwebgirl kcwebgirl 8 years
that's so funny. i had that problem where i would have all these great photos but i wasn't in any of them so i had no real memories of myself in those locations. now, i make sure i take multiple pics of me in the locations. even if they are self portraits, which makes it even funner! but they tell better stories now.
ocpinay ocpinay 8 years
I am often behind the camera myself during parties or on vacation. I love pictures. I enjoy capturing the beautiful things I see and the enjoyment in people's faces. There are times when I do feel like I miss some of the fun, but the camera also gives me an excuse to mingle (being shy and all, I would probably sit in one corner during parties if I didn't take pictures).
SweetnLow SweetnLow 8 years
Hilarious observations? Were we seeing the same movie?
ur_momm ur_momm 8 years
this subject makes me think of when ur trying to get a good shot of something that you end up so preoccupied with getting a good photo or video that ur not even enjoying whatever it is ur seeing. (example when i go to hockey games with my bf, he gets mad cuz i miss lots of stuff because im trying to get a picture of a goal or something) but on vacation, i guess you just need to find a balance.
mondaymoos mondaymoos 8 years
When I take photos on vacation, it's because I want to remember that moment. Memory is so fragile and it's nice to have a sensory cue to trigger one. Screw that "just to say I was there" mentality.
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