China Years, 2014-2015 | random cameras, expired film | NO FILTERS

It’s funny how many people you finding selling all these “vintage” and “retro” filters these days. Apple, random “influencer” photographer, VSCO–all these people and companies trying to monetize that feeling of old film. What is it exactly? Does it make photos feel more timeless? More like memories? Does it somehow give this aesthetic facade of authenticity, or a more genuineness to the photo? Who knows.

All I know is that photo, as much as it is art, will never be as meaningful as the relationship between the photo and the photographer. These collections of 1000s of images I’m scanning and seeing for the first time, some of them multiple years old, simply flood me with memories. I was only shooting film at this time, I didn’t even own a digital camera. I collected 100s of rolls of old expired film from various places (and still have so much.) Images are wonky, I shot haphazardly with various point & shoot cameras, I shot films I wouldn’t even know if the film would even be light-sensitive anymore, and, frankly, I even didn’t care if I “got” the image.

I shoot because I love it. I love framing these moments, I love noticing these moments in life, I love SEEING images.

Once you learn that, you learn that the camera isn’t even really important anymore. It’s just another tool for sharing our experiences. But it will never replace our experiences. My photos tell my story. My photos tell my life. And funny enough, it’s often the imperfect, the improperly framed, the weird/wonky color ones that speak most to me.

So, please, stop trying to make the most powerful image in all of photo history. Stop trying to go viral. Stop trying to get your work noticed. Focus on your experience. Focus on bringing all that you love through your images. And just share that.

The rest will take care of itself.