Some time ago, I was going through old photographs I’ve taken. The feeling of holding those moments in my hands was rare, raw.
I take photographs with my phone, but it doesn’t make me excited, or optimistic. My niece and nephew are younger than phones that have lenses and image sensors, and I desperately want, when they hear the word “camera,” for them to think of an object. Not an app. A tool of glass and metal; of opening a mysterious box and having to put a weird, light-sensitive plastic in before it works. I want them to think of occasion. That taking a photograph is special, something you dress up for. That photographs are things to save, not in a cloud but from a fire. I want them to hear the question “did you bring the camera?”
Most of all, I want them to take a photograph, and not know how it turned out until hours, days, weeks later, because I want to know they had those butterflies.
I hope their lives are moved by pictures they see and take. That photographs are something they discuss with friends, experience with lovers, and remember with family.
I want these things for them because I consider myself blessed that they have been true for me, and I have been shaped because of them. I want to make photographs, because I can’t imagine doing anything more meaningful.