People, places, and
...I wish I would have
more pictures of.
I sometimes don't even remember their last name. How would a
help? My mom religiously wrote on the back of every photo where
was taken, when, and who was in each shot. That's one of the best
habits she instilled in me because pictures are forever, but memory is
infinitely fallible over even the shortest time.
||Girls I was involved with.
here. I have precisely zero images (let alone naked pictures)
of some girls I dated. In my mind I remember what some of them
like, but I don't know if I'd recognize them again if I saw them in
||My parents. I have
with my dad's thumb in them than of him full-frame. Dad are
always behind the camera. Once I became one myself, I discovered
this seems to be one of my roles.
||Myself. Since I
this camera five years ago, we've taken fifty-one thousand pictures on
it (yes, seriously. I am not making this up). I've taken
95% of those. I'm just like my dad in a lot of ways, and this is
one of them. There's scant record of what I look like outside of
yearly self-portraits in our Halloween costumes.
||Places I played as a child.
often try to tell stories about a neat spot where we played in the
or the field full of used tires or the "fort" we built, but those
are gone now, and it takes the proverbial thousand words to communicate
the context of my nostalgia.
Houses. Photos taken
xmas morning manage to capture a piece of a room, but even those bits
background are loaded with memories of kitchen cabinets I crawled in as
a child or the stairs I ran Hot Wheels tracks down. Without the
to reconstruct these homes, all I have is a texture-mapped floor-plan
||My dorm rooms. Same
I see the posters of the movies that meant something to me at the time,
the cds of the bands whose music was driving my early attempts on
the textbooks and novels that were shaping my thinking and
||Toys I had when I was a kid.
not so much that I have a nostalgic materialism; it's that these pieces
of plastic were the substrate through which my imagination issued forth
narratives full of conflict and character. When I see artifacts
once held a starring role in these fantasies, stories come back to me
were transcribed nowhere but in the unexplored archives of my mind.
||Before I change anything.
I repaint, remodel, rewire, rearrange, reroute, etc., I take pictures
from every angle. It's useful in making comparisons and
if something went wrong. It's useful for remembering how the
fit together once you've taken them apart. More importantly, my
often erase the features of my past. Renovations cover over the
of the scenes in one's life. I look back at pictures and remember
not just the colors of the walls, but what events they served as set
These days I take
of everything. I look like Peter Parker with a camera perpetually
slung 'round my neck waiting for something to happen. Special
are good cause for snapping a few shots, but it's the in-between
and places and people that inhabit them that deserve just as much
Cameras are a bottomless pit for
Mistakes (in photography) can be erased. Batteries are
Photos are forever... provided you make backups.