As smartphone picture-taking has become ubiquitous, so has criticism of it. It's become a common refrain to hear that taking pictures detracts from fully enjoying and experiencing an event, whether that's a concert or a papal visit. To be truly in the moment, you shouldn't be taking photos.

Depressing stuff, but a new study presents a different view, one that photographers would probably agree with: taking photos enhances enjoyment of experiences, rather than detracting from enjoyment.

A previous and much-cited study looked at the effect of photo-taking on memory, and found that people taking photos of objects at a museum were more likely to forget what they'd seen than people who hadn't taken photos. This new research focuses rather on enjoyment rather than recall. 

According to lead author Kristin Diehl, 'unlike checking your email or texting, [...]  photo-taking actually directs you towards the experience'.

The research mostly focuses on use of a simple camera for taking snapshots, both in real-life situations like a city bus tour, and simulated scenarios. Again and again, participants in the study who were directed to take photos reported higher enjoyment of the experience than those who could not take pictures.