Nowadays, we’ve taken for granted the act of taking pictures. I mean, we live in the most advanced time on Earth where any event can be caught by a snap of a phone. Which, although useful, is also sucking out the charm of having your picture taken. We’ve been desensitized to the act of registering meaningful moments. We’ve lost the spontaneity of having a picture of ours being snapped at any giving moment. Nowadays, we’ve got the ability of having multiple takes taken (excuse the redundancy).
Most of my childhood was registered either by picture or film. Which, for me, is regrettable as i hate seeing me filmed afterwards. It’s like it’s a different person. It even sounds different! I wasn’t exactly camera-shy, the opposite could be said. I was always trying to get the cameras attention and it just becomes awkward to watch. And more so due the fact that what i see on the screen doesn’t match with how I always perceived myself to be. It’s a reality check, I tell you. But it is also charming to see how we went from being these small kids turned into grown-ups.
A couple of years ago, i had to compile a series of pictures for a surprise birthday party. We decided to make one of those corny home videos mixed with some pictures for my dad’s 60th. There were so many pictures of us growing up, pictures as babies, my parents as a young couple, my grandparents… Those are the type of memories that we need, that we cherish the most. It is not an easy task to go through some pictures without letting nostalgia get to you. And i did it during a very dark period for myself. And guess what? It actually helped me see how a full and happy, though definitely short, life can be through a lens. It got to me, of course it did but it made me realize that. You can’t have the good without getting some of the bad along. I spend 3 days organizing albums, scanning pictures, getting the right music. It was therapeutic, to say the least.
It’s crazy dated to go back and see how my mother used to dress both me and my brother. It’s embarrassingly cute to watch us in matching plaid shirts. Or it’s just embarrassing to see me as a young kid on the beach with the tiniest orange speedos. How cringy and yet so fun to rediscover this.
I don’t like to have my picture taken. Or to be filmed. I learned that it is too personal a thing to do. But i don’t really mind, i just don’t like. I’m not a photographer, i don’t have a particular taste for it so i won’t ever judge whoever does it. I’m happy some are able to do it so well. Either taking it or being the object of focus. In the end, in a way or another￼, we are all artists. Michel Duchamp famously said:
“I don’t believe in art, i believe in artists”
But he also said that “not everyone is an artist, but everyone is a fucking critic.”
Smart, this Duchamp fellow.