Do you remember your first love? I certainly do. Even though it's been 28 years, that love still holds a special place in my heart...and home.
Before my husband gets suspicious, let me explain.
When I was 14 years old, I got my hands on a Canon AE-1. Though I didn't really know how to use it, that didn't stop me from spending most of my money on film & processing. I spent a lot of money on bad photographs. My love grew, unrequited as it were.
The following year, I enrolled in a photo class at my high school. That was all it took...I was hooked. Photography was (and still is) a magical world for me. In those days (ahem, 28 years ago), I rolled my own film onto reels from a bulk loader, processed & printed everything by hand, and spot touched the images with an actual paint brush (no photoshop or computers...i know, WOAH).
My Canon carried me through my photo education in high school and into multiple colleges, where I eventually received my BFA. Many cameras came into my life through the years, but my love for that first camera was steadfast, even as it's parts began to falter. I spent countless hours shooting, processing, & printing. I managed to get a job working in the photo department of my university, which gave me access to the building pretty much all the time. I would stay in the lab overnight working on projects, taking occasional breaks to nap on the sofa in the lounge area. It's safe to say that I probably (definitely) couldn't maintain that lifestyle at this time in my life, but I remember it fondly. And it all started with that camera...
I eventually found new love with a Bronica SQ-B. Moving into medium format photography was an easy transition & I still very much love the square format, but my 35mm was always close at hand.
Eventually, the Bronica was set aside to make room for digital gear...as I adapt with the times. When it was time to upgrade, my first love came back to me, in a sense. I'm back to using a Canon, only now, it's a bit fancier and there is no film involved.
The old AE-1 has been living in a closet, where I would occasionally come across it while searching for something else.
Today, I decided to pull it out & place it somewhere visible...as a reminder of why & how I got where I am. On days when I'm feeling disconnected, distracted, or disinterested in picking up my camera, I hope that I can look to that old love and it will spark something in me.
I'll end this love letter with a quote from a modern day philosopher:
If I should stay
I would only be in your way
So I'll go, but I know
I'll think of you each step of the way
And I will always love you