Remember that winding sound. The click, click, click, click of the dial on a disposable camera? And then that purring whine of the flash re-charging? If you're old enough- you remember. When I close my eyes and think back- that was the sound of the beginning of my photography journey.
We were on a first name basis at the Walmart photo counter as soon as I turned 16. Every weekend I'd drop off a disposable camera full of that week's highlights and browse the craft aisles for an hour until I could pick them up. (What- first name status at Walmart is not something a lot of people brag about? pshhh...)
Before I knew anything about exposure or aperture or shutter speed, I knew the most important thing about photography to me: I wanted to freeze moments so that I could look back on them someday. While a lot of my friends could spend every night surrounded by people, I found that I always appreciated at least a night or two of quiet. Time to sit on my bedroom floor surrounded by edging scissors, construction paper and rubber cement, listening to Train, and creating somewhat-rudimentary scrapbooks. Yeah... I didn't have a lot of boyfriends, but I had shoeboxes and shoeboxes full of photographs.
These days, I'm no longer winding up disposable cameras, and I no longer visit the one-hour photo counter with any regularity. I like to think I've learned a thing or two on the technical side and that maybe the photos are improving too. A few things haven't changed, though: I still never want to miss a moment, my greatest passion is capturing those moments in photographs, and I still listen to a whole lot of Train.