All my life I have loved taking photos. I love everything about the process; looking at them, editing them, and collecting them! Old photographs are gems that I love to hunt for and find! It is a mysterious pleasure hunting through old photos at my grandparents homes when ever I get the chance to visit! I never know what I am going to find when I open those old boxes and dig through the odd sized photos that they have collected. Often they do not have names, dates or locations which to me is a part of the mystery and fun. There is so much history there and I enjoy imagining what the lives were like of the people in those old photos. I may never solve the mystery but I know that they walked this earth, they lived full lives, they experienced joy & pain, love & heartache just like you and me.
For me cameras help capture memories, moments, life! My very first camera was a Canon Snappy AF – it shot film and it was a gift from my dear Aunt Oralia. She was the one who started my love for taking photos, she bought me an unlimited supply of film to take as many photographs as I pleased – she told me to take pictures of whatever I saw and thought was beautiful or unique. I remember walking down to the corner drug store with my aunt to send my film away and waiting with as much anticipation as I do on Christmas morning, almost thinking the photos would NEVER come back! It felt like an eternity, but in reality it was about a week! I remember the feeling of my heart pounding in excitement and unadulterated joy as I tore open the envelope to see what my photos looked like! It is a moment where you can’t remember what pictures you took and no matter how they turn out it’s a surprise! Sometimes it’s a good surprise and sometimes it’s a disappointing surprise as it may have come out blurry or completely NOT how you envisioned it! You could learn from them – where to position yourself, where to position your subject…and NOT to move when snapping!
(Image not mine – source)
Since then I have always been fascinated by how cameras work, how they capture life and freeze it in that moment when you press the shutter release. I even used to collect vintage cameras…until they were lost in our fire. I sadly have not begun to start up my collection again. I think in some ways I needed to let go of them, let go of my past, let go of what I lost and move forward. Because some where along the way I had lost my love of photography, I lost my sense of wonder and play! Sometimes you have to let go of certain things in your life, but you don’t have to let go of the joy that they brought you. This past year I lost my dear Aunt Oralia, just like that she was gone from my life. Since then my mind has flooded with loving memories of her. You see I lost her, but I get to hold on to the love & joy she brought into my life. I get to keep the memories, and I get to think of her every time I shoot my camera! I’m so thankful that I had her for as long as I did. I’ll miss her and will always love her for the gifts she gave me – the gift to see people for who they are on the inside, the gift to embrace joy despite life’s hurdles, and the gift of believing in me when I didn’t believe in myself. So I have decided to embrace the joy my Aunt lived with – she was playful and fun and loved to laugh! We all need to play a little! Find things that bring you joy and embrace playfulness! A place where you can let go of the seriousness of life and let loose, have fun!!
So that is one reason why I have began a new love affair with not vintage cameras of old, but toy film cameras! I have picked up two 35mm film cameras – a ‘Fisheye’ and a ‘Golden Half’ – these are so much fun! Not only do they put a fun spin on film cameras but they take me back to that feeling I had when I was 9 years old – of dropping my film off and the anticipation and the not knowing how it’s going to turn out, the element of surprise! Of waiting! Not the instant gratification we’re so used to having in our digital photography world of today.
The ‘Fisheye’ has a wide angle lens that captures the image in a circle – it has the perspective of a fish eye. I love carrying it with me when I go out with friends or even just for a walk…you just never know what will catch your eye! It was a gift from my amazing co-workers at my previous job – and one that I cherish! It is from Lomography and if you haven’t heard of them check out their website link at the bottom! Lomography is a company and a movement to bring back the art of shooting with film. That vintage analog style that can’t quite compare to digital. They have HEAPS of toy cameras and film options along with some fantastic tips and ideas! I’ve included some of my favorite pics from my fisheye! Hope you enjoy 🙂
The ‘Golden Half’ is a half frame camera that captures 2 half frames onto 1 image! It’s pretty cool!! It is super fun and offers unlimited possibilities for creativity! It is fairly new so I only have one roll of film from it and it’s at Walmart being developed as we speak! But I’ll try and do a series of just Half Frames in a future post so you can see the fun it offers 🙂 I got mine from this great site called Four Corner Store – they’re based out of Delaware in the US so BONUS no Sales Tax!! They have heaps of other options and accessories as well so check them out! I put the link at the bottom of the post.
I also recently acquired a Fuji Instax Mini 7S this Christmas – it’s their version of a Polaroid camera and is just as fun!! Even though it’s an instant print you still have to wait for the photo to develop right before your eyes…it’s like magic!! It’s still a surprise every time because you never know how it will turn out!! These cameras a becoming more and more affordable and the film can often be bought in bulk at Costco or when it goes on sale at other retailers such as Walmart – you just have to keep an eye out for it. It is one of my favorite additions and is a huge hit at parties and large group gatherings…endless photo-shoot opportunities, endless fun & play!
Thanks for reading and I hope you get out there and play a little!
PS, Check out the sites I mentioned: