I was about 11 when I received my first camera. I still have an album of small square photos, family members off centre or almost off the screen. In those days of course you had to take your film to the chemist or send them off. What came back was a mystery, and often for the parent of a young child, a waste of money. But having my own camera offered freedom. I have a batch of photographs from guide camp in 1976, long forgotten friends and pictures of our tents serve as a memory that would be forgotten.
That’s the whole point really, back in the day we tended to capture and keep the imperfect. The pose that demonstrates the reality rather than what we want the camera to see. Some of the best images are the ones that catch us off guard.
I have many albums of my later teenage years and early 20’s. Days out, trips to the seaside and holidays. Later photos of my son and his cousin. The young adult parents enjoying the sun, or a family Christmas. We look happy and relaxed and of course we often were, but the camera definitely can lie.
I have bag fulls of photographs of my son’s childhood that need sorting through. I fear that his minimalist life won’t welcome most of them coming his way. Anyway he is more forward thinking than maybe I was at his age. Mind you there is time. But still I should sort them out. I have no problem with owning photos of my ex, but I doubt he has any of me, apparently they were all part of what I was expected to take with me. Even though he is the sentimental one.
If, when I started this blog, someone had told me that in 10 years time I’d have a blog full of photos of myself, I’d have laughed. Then if they’d have said that many of those images would be of a naked me, I’d have told them not to be stupid. But, not only am I naked, I can also be seen bending over to be spanked, having sex and much more. How did that even happen?
Digital photography is a big clue. Plus being with a man who likes to capture me in whatever way I am. More without my clothes, or showing flashes of nakedness. Less portrait and more action shot. In doing so though he often captures joy, pleasure and intimacy than is ever usually possible. I may crop out some or most of my face, but you can see it anyway. Like in this one that I took of myself and this, that I took of him.
Of course, we live in the age of the selfie. In many ways selfies are irritating, especially when you are out and about and all you can see is individuals, couples and groups pouting into their own phones. On the other hand, so many of my own images are now selfies. The ones I share here anyway, because in general I don’t go round pointing the lens at myself. Rather I prefer to capture the world around me.
I’ve always been interested in taking photos of the places I’ve travelled to. Whether that is a family day out, a romantic hotel stay or some of the beautiful landscapes I’ve seen. Sadly I’ve never owned a camera that quite captures the latter in any great meaningful way. As the camera function on mobile phones has improved, so it has been easier to capture something half decent even without a top notch camera. so, the past few years, I’ve not bothered even to take my camera with me. Instead I’ve relied on my mobile.
To be honest, I’ve not been especially disappointed with my efforts. Last summer I used my Food and Fitness blog to capture a travel journal, something I intend to repeat this summer. This meant I could share images and also thoughts on the places we visited.
I’m sad in a way that we no longer get our photos printed. But at least I have my blogs to share our adventures (of all kinds). Plus, family and friends do enjoy my photo diaries on Facebook when we are away, it’s become one of my USPs! But less physical space is taken up with digital photography. Even if the capacity has to be found elsewhere, at least I’m not having to buy albums or sort through bags and boxes.
This year we are getting married and will be paying a person to take photos of the day. This feels a little like walking back into a past world and I have to admit I’m quite excited about it. I have a physical photo of my son and daughter in law’s wedding and one of his graduation. I’m looking forward to adding to that small collection with one or two mementos of our day.
The rest will no doubt remain a digital record, but one, I hope of genuine pleasure and happiness.