Camera Shy

May 2, 2010 at 8:05 pm (Fun, Life) (, , , )

My dad probably bought me my first camera. It was probably a bribe. My dad was an absentee father; I never really met him until I was in my teens. By that time he had started a new family. To treat as all fairly, we were almost always given the same gift. My eldest sister, like my dad, is a camera buff.ย  She’ll fiddle with lens, film, light, and all those other geeky camera auxiliary items.

The camera I got was a simple point and shoot, inexpensive, ie a cheap and dirty camera. It took snapshots; three shots to a picture. I don’t know if this was because of the camera or because of the film. I got three pictures of each shot; a 4 x 6 and two 2 x 2 (I think). They looked something like this.

The good thing about this is that you could keep the big picture and give the little ones away.

This is a mock up. I’d show you the real thing but I have none of those pictures here. My mother has a few and I’d not sure where the rest went.

I probably didn’t take many pictures. Though the camera was a gift, film and processing were expensive and I was making twenty-five cents an hour babysitting. (Yes, you read that right. Then again I could get into a movie for that quarter and use another to get both popcorn and a drink; unlike yesterday, when I paid over $5.00 for a small popcorn. But I digress.)


My mother has over thirty photo albums; I have one. If my mother had her way she would document every minute of her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren’s lives. I hate having my picture taken. My mother complains, every year, that the last picture she has of me is my graduation picture. (I’ve already had my 30th high school reunion). She’s wrong. We had family pictures taken in the early 90’s.

My father probably has as many pictures. He just doesn’t store them in albums. He also has reel-to-reel home movies and the early pictures of my family life. Dad left just after I turned two. I have three baby pictures of me. He took the cameras. They were his, after all.

My mom and dad use photographs to document their lives. I do not. I don’t want pictures of me. I know what my family and friends look like. I want to remember people in stages, through words, not via the naked reality of pictures.

When I do take pictures, I take pictures of things, concepts, memories.

I don’t want to document my life via image. I prefer to document my life with words!

I feel that photos are a way to jog your memory of an event not to replace your memory completely.

Why the sudden interest in cameras, you ask. I got a digital camera about a year ago (after I started blogging). It’s nice to be able to put images with my words. I got a digital camera because I’ve been planning a big trip to celebrate my 50th birthday. I bought this camera and though I’m barely getting the hang of it, I’m starting to see the pleasure in taking pictures.

The month of May will be dedicated to pictures, cameras, and travel. Stay tuned, next week’s post will be “Pictures I Wished Had.” See you then.



  1. halloween spirit said,

    As someone who takes photographs regularly, I have found digital cameras to be quite addictive. No film to buy and the ability to delete anything you don’t like. Hope you enjoy your big trip (and take lots of photos). ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Sandra said,

    Gigi — I agree with Halloween Spirit about digital photography being addictive. I take LOTS of pictures, because I CAN! Blogging is what got me interested in photography too. It’s much more fun when you have a forum in which to share your results, isn’t it? Have a wonderful trip. ๐Ÿ™‚

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