I learned to photograph using my father’s Canon AV-1. The same camera that recorded my childhood. I remember the intricate process of loading the film, lining up the spokes at the edge of the reel, winding it, and praying it had lined up properly. Usually, you could tell if the process worked because the counter indicating how many shots you had taken would start at #1. Once, when I was a teenager, I took what I thought was an entire roll of photos before realizing the counter kept going past the allotted 24 frames. Cautiously, I opened the back of the camera and saw the film had not engaged at all. I had taken zero photos.
Today this camera sits on a bookcase, as a memento of days gone by, both technologically and of my life — a life that has passed through the same lens and body.
Photography is the closest opportunity we have to time travel. When we look at photos we see landscapes and subjects that stare back at us through frames frozen in time. We are there with them, and they with us.
I dreamt of being a photojournalist: to tell stories with images. I dream about it still.