Recently, I was doing some reorganizing in my closet and stumbled upon the first camera that I ever bought. I tried to sell it once, but I am really glad that didn’t work out. It serves as a fun reminder of the beginnings of my love for photography. So today I thought it would be fun to take a little trip down memory lane and share the story behind this first camera.
Growing up I always loved taking pictures. I burned through a ridiculous amount of disposable cameras (more than my mom cared to continue buying LOL). Back then I remember the excitement of taking those cameras up to the local grocery store to drop them off to be developed. Oh yes, I am talking about when Schnucks had a photo department and VHS movies for rent. After my umpteenth disposable camera I started saving for a real one. Babysitting money, birthday money, chore allowance – I saved everything. As I researched what “real” camera I wanted to buy, I focused on Canon. That was really the only brand that younger me had heard of. I settled on saving for the Canon Rebel 2000 that came in a kit, with a lens and a bag. After at least a year of saving, the time finally came when I was ready to head up to Best Buy and purchase my then dream camera.
I remember the sales associate asking me “was I sure that I didn’t want to keep saving for one of the new digital cameras?” I was like, “No way, film is where its at!” Waiting long periods of time when you are younger is hard, and its also challenging to envision how much technology will change. Also to be fair, the digital cameras of those times were NOTHING like they are today. So I left Best Buy the proud owner of a new Canon Rebel 2000. When I got home I was so terrified of breaking my new prized possession. I fearfully attached the lens, inserted my first roll of film, and realized I had no idea what I was doing. Even so, I read the manual and started giving it a go. Now that I didn’t have to rely on waiting for my next disposable camera, I was constantly taking pictures – of our pets, flowers, animals, and anything I encountered. Picking up the developed film and printed pictures was always my favorite part. There were lots of terrible pictures, but some good ones too. These prints made their way into an album (which luckily I also kept) and my love for photography continued to grow. My first year of high school I took a photography class and absolutely loved it. Getting to develop our own pictures in the school darkroom was AWESOME. I can still remember the dim red light and smell of chemicals surrounding us as we waited for our images to appear on the paper.
I am really grateful for this first camera. I am also grateful that I have these printed pictures to look back on. In such a digital age, it is a good reminder that printed images allow you to stumble upon these fun memories from the past. My toolkit looks a lot different these days. My DSLR Nikon cameras and lenses blow me away with their capabilities, but my love for photography is still the same. I just have always really loved taking pictures.