I got my first camera when I was nine. These days cameras are prolific and attached to just about everything. My kids have been taking pictures with my phone since age two. But “back in my day” cameras were special. Kids really didn’t have cameras mainly because they needed film and that could get expensive quick. In my tween years I was into exploring and recording life – mostly through writing and sketching in journals. Pictures seemed like a logical next step, so I begged my parents for a camera. When my birthday came around I wasn’t disappointed. I remember the first trip I took with that little point-and-shoot camera. It was a trip up to Vancouver, Canada with my papa. I loved my papa but he was gruff. He was an old school cowboy type and there was just no crying in baseball. I’m not sure why I was selected to go on this trip with him. It was the first time in my life I went anywhere for a long period of time without my parents. But there I was, camera in hand, read for my first solo-ish adventure. I’m pretty sure he had no idea what responsibilities nine-year-olds were typically given. On the first day alone we drove nine long hours, we pitched a tent in the dark and then he told me to start making dinner for us. Um, OK? Needless to say the trip was a different kind of adventure. I grew up a lot that week.
I was so grateful for that little camera. Just as I have been for all the cameras I’ve had in my life. Maybe they’ve been tiny crutches. Mini safety nets. I’ve used them to be brave and venture out on long walks by myself. I’ve used them alone in big cities where I had no one to talk to about the glorious sites. On that trip, I used my camera to help steady me when I was unsure and a little scared of the unknown. I step aside from my camera to enjoy life a lot too, but I love the warm embrace of that lens. Like my books, it teleports me into a world of creativity and magic. I love the the way the light manipulates the simplest of objects and the way my lens creates a myriad of angles.
I’ve been using my camera a lot lately to be my family historian and I love that too. But as I started outlining what my year of self-discovery might look like I knew instantly that my camera would have a role. I’m not a professional. I barely know how to use my now grown-up camera. I’m not seeking a career in photography but it is a huge passion for me. I love the way the lens makes me look at things in ways I never would have without it. Just about every time I download pictures from a family trip, I notice that a few of my artsy clicks have slipped into the mix of family adventures and it always makes me smile. So alas, I will be slipping little artsy clicks into this space. I’m hoping my camera will give me the courage and the patience for long walks in interesting places. You can find some of my snapshots on my Instagram @findingcorine. Here are a few from a recent trip to Chicago.