Saturday, April 12, 2008

My First Camera




When I was nine, there were two things that were more precious to me than anything: my dorkie, rainbow Mork suspenders and my Polaroid. (I had a closet full of Barbies and all the trappings of her glamourous lifestyle, which, as any self respecting BarbiePhile knows, belong in a completely different category)... anyhoo... ignoring the suspenders...

The Polaroid.

It was a gift from my Nana. I was her favorite. Yep... that was my role. And because of that, I got whatever I wanted for my birthdays. I wasn't a selfish or spoiled child. I understood finances and the limitations of ours and Nana's so I never pushed it. (One year, I got Barry Manilow's Even Now, easily less than ten dollars at the time. You could have knocked me over with a feather when I opened my gift! My whole Mexican family, too, for that matter. They weren't quite sure what to think of my fascination with the CopaCabana guy that seemed a little, well, you know...)

The next year, I got the magical box that spat out photos in an instant. WOW! I KNEW I was special 'cause that was WAY over ten dollars! I had to save for the film by doing, I don't know what... selling avocados?? I can't remember. But save I did. As you could only snap ten images per pack, and again, being a family of modest means (read: butt-ass-poor), I made every shot count. I learned to have a steady hand. I learned to make sure the flash was always ready to go. I posed my friends and family to fit inside the little red square. In short, I was training to be a photographer.

My Nana passed away a little less than nine years ago. I don't miss her temper, but I sure do miss being The Favorite. Now I have to say goodbye to another life marker. Although it was announced a couple of months ago, I was in denial about it. Seriously. Don't laugh. I had a really tough time with the headlines: Polaroid will no longer make the instant camera.

A moment of silence... please...

My Nana planted a seed that I am now reaping the rewards of. What was a fun hobby turned into a passion and is now a means of self support. So before there are no more of the precious pop-up insta-magic boxes and any remaining film cartridges that limit my shooting to ten images, I'll be stocking up.

I'm picturing Elaine and the Sponges.


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3 comments:

Jasmine said...

If you wanna buy be a present before they all go away I would LOVE some polaroid film and a polaroid attatchment for my Holga :]

- Jaz <3

Gustav said...

I love that camera - Santa bought me one of those oh so long ago....

littlepurplecow said...

I have great memories of my mom's Polaroid as a young girl. It had a strip of disposable flash bulbs that ran across the top of it. I'd save my allowance money to buy my own film cartridges. Thanks for sharing this at Shutter Sisters, Sug.