Passing on My Love for Photography
One of my first memories of photography was when I was four or five and my parents gave me a red 35mm Kodak camera. It was a simple point-and-shoot but it was mine. It came in cool clear dome packaging and I couldn’t wait to start taking photos.
A few years later, I was given a pinhole photography kit. My Dad and I put together a black cardboard cube and poked a hole in it with a pin. We put the unexposed square of photo paper in the back and covered the tiny hole with some tape. We then took it to the bottom of the driveway and took a photo of the house. It took just a second as it was a sunny day and there was plenty of light.
Then we blacked out the bathroom windows and Dad had brought home a red darkroom light from the Salisbury College Photography Department in which he taught. We used the contact printing method as we didn’t have an enlarger at home. The chemicals were pungent but I have grown to love them. I suppose they remind me of many happy memories.
During my teens, I would take my Nikon F-301 to school and take photos of my friends. I’d come home and rush into our darkroom and develop the prints and happily give them out the next day. I know a few people still have them framed on their mantel.
Now I take photos as often as I can. I’m always asking my friends to pose or offering lunchtime shoots to anyone who needs a little help with their portfolio as it brings me so much joy.
I know that my daughter is a little young to really understand the full process, but she gets a lot of fun from the instant gratification of seeing a smiling face appear on a just-printed Instax film sheet.
Recently I got two FujiFilm Instax Mini 9s, one for my 8-year-old niece and one for my daughter, who still needs some guidance but is really getting the hang of it!
I’ve actually asked my niece to take photos of me using my phone for the blog and they’re always great. I make a special effort to ensure she hears my thanks and praise her work. There’s nothing better than hearing that you have a skill in something.
The main reason I wanted to give my niece one of these special cameras is to celebrate her Summer vacation and give her a new level of responsibility. This isn’t just any old plastic toy or a stuffy. This is something much more tangible. It’s something she can be proud to use and to take on her adventures as a way to create her own souvenirs of special memories.
A photo is much more than just a quick snap that has become too familiar with digital or phone photography. Each frame is precious and should be thought about, framed, and given time before the shutter button is pressed.
You don’t just take a photo, you make a photo. It’s a truly special thing and I love that they were both so happy to receive their gifts. I can’t wait to see what they come up with.
Disclaimer: Thank you to FujiFilm and Swerve PR for helping me share something that has brought me and a few of those dear to me, happiness for so many years. Giving a photograph is a special gift and I’m excited that I get to share that with my niece and my daughter.
Mary SheridanJuly 31, 2019 at 10:29 am
Great post James! It’s time consuming, but oh so rewarding passing one’s passions to our children. The camera looks great! I might have to get one for DJ.
TamaraJuly 31, 2019 at 3:19 pm
I feel like I was known for always taking photos when I was in middle and high school. My girls are now getting into taking photos too with their Instax cameras as well as my old little point and shoot. It’s awesome seeing what they capture.
taraAugust 6, 2019 at 10:58 am
Aww we LOVE our Instax for just this reason!!