The Insistent Documenter

Last weekend I was packing up to go on my yearly church retreat. I was particularly looking forward to it this year, as it didn’t happen last year, because of well, we all know. The church retreat is our time to form community and really reach out to God. Oh and we totally hang out, play games, laugh with the kids and generally have a lot of fun.

As I was getting ready to leave, my biggest decision was not what I was going to wear or what shoes to bring. It’s New Hampshire. I brought my finest LL Bean. My biggest decision was which cameras to bring. Yes. Cameras. Plural. I settled on my trust Canon D-SLR monster machine, my delicately elegant Rolleicord and a dark horse, a camera called a Holga which I acquired for the princely sum of $35. Two of those are film cameras, so those pictures will be up here. Eventually. Eventually. LOL.

Maybe it was being in the New Hampshire woods that got me thinking about this, that I have been obsessively sort of documenting my life since I was very young. I was 10 when my parents gave me a camera. It was a camera with four settings on it that came with their Time Magazine subscription but a camera nevertheless. It was kind of like — go. Start photographing.

Even in high school, I had a small Ricoh camera that I got to use on class trips. I had a little all automatic Nikon as well, the only Nikon I have ever owned. When I went to college, I decided to take the leap to finally follow my long interest in photography. I dragged my Canon AE-1 everywhere. I have pictures in buses, classrooms, the school library, around campus. Oh and then I dragged it across half of Europe. There was that.

If I’m really honest, I prefer two cameras. One for the formal stuff and the other for the casual, weird stuff. In Washington, I had a Lomo LC-A, a strange little spy camera that I took everywhere with me, into rooms where photography really wasn’t allowed. Then I moved on to a small waterproof digital camera as my daily carry. Now that I’m back to film, I’ve experimented with regular point and shoot cameras, a Sprocket Hole camera and now this Holga thing, which I still have no idea how the pictures look from. I wonder a lot of the time — do I really have to take this picture? I mean is this really necessary? I mean I’m probably late but I do it anyway. Insistent, incessant documenting, I guess.

So here’s some of my documenting from the past few months from the Rollei, Holga, film, sprocket hole and digital going through Florida, Georgia, Vermont and well, up the street.

One thought on “The Insistent Documenter

  1. Hi Natalia, wonderful pictures, such variety. And always interesting blog. Good to meet a fellow enthusiast/obsessive! Thanks, Gareth

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