In July, I bought a pair of disposable cameras before Lakota and I went on an all-day summer adventure.
“Why’re you buying disposables when you’ve got a DSLR that can hold far more photos – in way better quality – for free?” he asked.
“I like the way the photos are a bit blurry, a bit discolored. The effect is really cool. Besides, whoever gets to use a disposable camera anymore?” I said, as I pulled the cameras off the CVS display hook and wiped the dust off the cardboard packaging (no joke – there was actually dust on the package).
That day, we went out on a great adventure and I snapped a few photos with my camera, but definitely not enough to use it up.
So I took it back to Tulsa for a few days, where I snapped a few more pictures.
Then it traveled with me to Austin, for a “graduation celebration” trip for my best friend’s impending graduation.
Then, on a whim, I brought it back with me to Tulsa, where I snapped the final exposures on the camera while home for the holidays.
In looking at these photos, I feel an overwhelming sense of joy. At first, I thought it was simply because I was enjoying the faded, vintage look of the colors and the blurred, noisy effect of the film that made the photos look a lot older than they actually were and appealed to my love of all things retro.
But then I realized what about these photos was making me so truly happy – the fact that they were 100% genuine, candid representations of some of the most beloved people in my life. They were taken at a snapshot in time – random seconds that seem meaningless in the moment, but resonate with memories upon later reflection.
And the best part about these photos?
They were complete surprises. Complete, beautiful surprises.
They weren’t immediately gawked at on the back of a DSLR screen. They weren’t scrutinized and frowned upon, declared “unfit” because a hair was out of place or an expression was not “just right.” They weren’t uploaded to a computer, where they spent hours being processed, color-corrected, and retouched to create a sterilized, “perfect reality.” They were just moments in time, captured as they were – hairs out of place, “not right” expressions and all.
And then I thought to myself, “What if we lived life in that way?”
What if we didn’t immediately overanalyze, pick apart, and critique every single thing that we had just done, said, acted upon? What if we just took a step back and allowed time for our “photo” to develop? I think we’d find that we’d be pleasantly surprised with the finished product.
Food for thought (especially for me).