Growing up, cameras felt like something brand new. Obviously they weren’t, but the technology was definitely still developing, and clearly there wasn’t a “smart” anything. I still remember the few times that my Mom started looking for a new camera. We would drive to the tiny little camera shop in our town, and very cautiously accompany my Mom inside. This definitely was a “don’t touch anything” sort of outing. She would carefully look over all of the options, and thoughtfully ask questions about the different features of each camera. And then after a few months (or sometimes longer) of deliberation, we would go back and she would excitedly pick out her new camera. This was a big deal.
I even remember being excited when I got to use a disposable camera for the first time. And can you even imagine my excitement when we found out that there were disposable water cameras?!? That felt like a really big deal. (And in fact, one that I still delight in to this day.)
For the better half of my life, the only option for having an actual hard copy of a photo was to take the film to our local Walgreens, and drop it off to be developed. We definitely did not have the luxury of being able to “check” to see how a photo turned out. And since film was expensive, and more of a special treat, we didn’t take multiples of anything. All things considered, it’s pretty remarkable how many great photos we have to look back on.
While I am self-admittedly not the kind of person who jumps on the bandwagon with every new gadget, technological gizmo or update (much to my husband’s dismay), I would say that I do make an effort to stay current. But even considering my old-fashioned tendencies, I do have to ask. . .when did people just completely stop using cameras?
During our recent Italian travels, I asked a nearby couple if they wouldn’t mind taking a photo of us. When they responded with a enthusiastic “yes,” I handed over our camera. Yes, a real camera. As the gentleman cautiously took the camera from me, he looked a bit perplexed, and said “hey, wow. . .I didn’t even know that people still owned these things.”
Well yep, people still do own these things. And in fact, I love having a real camera to use. But at the same time, I am starting to realize more and more that people don’t quite share the same appreciation for some of these seemingly “outdated” pieces of technology.
Yes, it can be bulky. And yes, it’s another thing to lug around in my purse. And then it’s another thing to carry in my hand, or to pull out, or to put away. But personally, I could never imagine living in a world without a real camera. In fact, in a lot of ways I miss the days when our only option for taking a photo was with a camera. Because in those days, life didn’t just feel more simple, it was.