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Put the D*mn Camera Down! Lessons From Outkast’s Big Boi

Oh, how I love me some Outkast, and Big Boi by himself ain’t too shabby, either.

Big Boi fans are no doubt thrilled that is releasing his sophomore solo album, Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors, in December 2012.

(Daddy Fat Sax is probably pretty excited, himself: Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty, his first solo album entirely unrelated to Outkast or his music partner, Andre 3000, debuted at number three on the U.S. Billboard 200.)

During a recent performance, Big Boi dropped a few tracks off the upcoming album…

…as well as some advice for his fans.

As the crowd stood around with cell phone cameras trying to catch every moment of the new songs, Big Boi playfully shouted:

It’s cool to put the damn cameras down and start clapping!

How often do you do this?

Do you spend more time snapping pictures or taking video, capturing every “fun” or “memorable” moment of the event (whether it’s a concert, vacation, or birthday party), than you spend actually experiencing those moments?

I know I’m guilty of it.

I used to spend a lot of time a Dave Matthews Band shows taking pictures. Pictures of my friends and me, pictures of each band member, pictures of the crowd – pictures of everything. It wasn’t until a 2010 show at the John Paul Jones Arena (and a mad dash across Charlottesville, VA) that I started spending less time with my camera. Unbeknownst to me (hence the mad dash across town), the John Paul Jones Arena doesn’t allow cameras. So, I couldn’t take pictures. Sure, I had my phone, but it was old and the picture quality wasn’t great (oh, and security walked around tapping people’s shoulders all night…). So, I had no choice but to be 100% in the moment.

It was fantastic. I might have walked away with only a few grainy shots, but that didn’t stop me from remembering – even two years later – everything from the songs the band opened and closed with to how I felt being mere feet from the stage.

As we get closer to the holiday season (here in America, Thanksgiving is just a few days away!), be mindful of how much time you spend taking pictures vs. the amount of time you spend living the moments.

Resolve to really experience your time – actually create those memories – by:

  • Keeping your camera put away. (Not an option for everyone, I know.)
  • Designating a time to take a few shots, then putting your camera away.
  • Sharing picture- and video-taking duties with others.

Up to the challenge?

Put the D*mn Camera Down! Lessons From Outkast’s Big Boi

Alicia Sparks

Alicia Sparks is a freelance writer and editor and the creator of, where she blogs to help new freelance writers get their quills in the pot, so to speak. Among animal rights, music, and physical wellness, her passions include mental health and advocacy. Here at Psych Central she works as Syndication Editor as well as authors Your Body, Your Mind, Unleash Your Creativity, and World of Psychology's weekly "Psychology Around the Net."

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APA Reference
Sparks, A. (2012). Put the D*mn Camera Down! Lessons From Outkast’s Big Boi. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 11, 2020, from


Last updated: 20 Nov 2012
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