My parents have been married for almost 36 years. After they said “I do”, they escaped to Hawaii for their honeymoon. They brought with them a brand new camera they bought just for this adventure: a Canon AE-1. That was 1978.
With that camera they immortalized their honeymoon with silhouetted palmtrees against orange sunsets, fruity frozen cocktails, and my dad in his short shorts, swinging from tree branches. Later, that same shutter button would document my mom’s 1973 white Camaro (Queenie), the years at the Pit Stop, my father’s mustache, and the beginnings of their two daughters’ lives.
When I was in highschool, they handed this family historian over to me. I shot rolls and rolls of film and spent hours and hours in the dark room at school.
I sucked. But it was therapy.
I didn’t touch that camera again until this Christmas.
When I re-entered the photography world, I re-entered less brave than my former 17 year old self. I had to re-awaken everything I had forgotten for over a decade. I had to re-awaken the trust I used to have in myself to create this kind of art. Fortunately, when I re-entered the photography world, I did so digitally, and so re-learning everything was less painful than it could have been with seemingly endless resources and room for mistakes.
But when we were watching the fire die down this last Christmas and I asked my mother if they still had that camera, I didn’t really know what I was going to do with it. I have no access to a dark room and all that equipment, but I had learned a lot and wanted to try something new. Well, something old.
To test myself.
To test my trust.
So I have been.