Joel is a photographer, and a really good one, at that. One of the camera hobbies he has is to take a Fun Saver camera around with him, and then develop it at home once it's used up. Even though he's tooling around with a $7 disposable camera, he catches amazing shots.
|(c) Joel Westworth|
|(c) Joel Westworth|
The nostalgia of the Fun Saver really struck me. I'm from that generation that used Fun Savers exclusively because film cameras were too expensive, and digital cameras were only something scientists and movie stars had. But, my uncle got me my first digital camera as a high school graduation present (it weighed 2 lbs and took 8 double A batteries, and had a 1x2 inch screen--and I didn't have a computer with a USB port, so I had no way to download the pictures. Ahh, 2003.) and I all but stopped using Fun Savers.
But, last year, when Joel and I were still getting to know each other, he thought up the idea of filling up Fun Savers and sending them to each other to develop--a cool little way to share each other's lives that wasn't Skype or an email. My first effort was... well, let's just say it'd been about 10 years since I used a camera. Lots of fingers in the frame, bleached out, blurry subjects, "forgot to turn the flash on"moments. You know, professional photography.
|Hey, No Flash!|
The next camera took me a long time to fill up, putting a kink in our plans of doing this monthly (I am forever a procrastinator), but Joel took it back with him after his visit to 'Murica*, developed it and sent me the results last week. I'll say, this roll came out much better than the first one. haha
And while Joel and I were in New York, we carried a Fun Saver with us to document our adventures.
|The creeper finger is quickly becoming my signature camera move.|
One of my fondest memories of his visit is sitting in Washington Square Park in the cold, after we picked up the photos, and looking through them and laughing.
There's something so satisfying about printed photos. Yes, the instant gratification of a digital camera is awesome, but it doesn't really compare to the anticipation of waiting for your film to develop, of the excitement of opening that big yellow envelope, at the surprise at what came out, of the actual artifacts to look at and hold onto for as long as you can. That visceral experience that comes from holding a photo in your hand will never be lost on me. And it's nothing that looking at or scrolling through photos on a screen can replicate.
It feels like printed photos are relics of the 90's, along with Blockbuster Video and landline telephones; or maybe they're just a snotty Hipster trend. But, some 1-Hour places still exist. And disposable cameras are still around. And even though I can tell the pictures I take because of all the errant fingers and blurred subjects and lack of flash, I like that he and I have this physical documentary of our time together. The memories aren't just in my phone or in my computer. They're in a scrap book that I can take out and look at whenever I miss him. And it's forever better than looking through a Facebook album. It feels real. It feels permanent.
And I can't wait to have a shelf stacked with books of our Fun Saver adventures.
You know, if I ever get around to putting the shelf up. /procrastination