I’ve received many presents in my time. Loads. But being asked to pick one, the best one I’ve ever been given, is a difficult, horrible task. I’m sure that as I child I did my fair share of wanting and whinging, and got my fair share of best-present-evers. Today though, I’m going to talk about a present I got as a surprise.
For Christmas 2007, Iain got me a camera. It was totally unexpected (although now he tells me I had been complaining about the camera I had at the time). Along with the camera, he presented me with a photo album, a few pages of which were already filled with photos – things like graduation ball snapshots and general photographic silliness. I absolutely loved it, and I still do.
To this day I carry the camera around with me (almost) everywhere. Most of the time I remember to bring a memory card with me as well, which is helpful.
I think that although the camera is amazing, and definitely far more than I was expecting to receive, that the fact that it was packaged with an already-started photo album is what made me super happy. That kind of portrays a message; it makes you think of memories, of making memories, of the future. At the time, it all sort of made me think “Oh, this person really likes me, and wants to stick around at least long enough to fill this photo album with memories that include me,” which was really, really nice. That’s what makes a good gift, I think; a good gift isn’t about how much money you can spend on someone (although I imagine the camera wasn’t cheap!), it’s about the thought that goes into it. Clichés are usually clichés for a reason!
Honourable mention goes to Lite-Brite though!
My new favourite thing right now is my Actionsampler camera. It’s small, it’s plastic, it’s awesome! It takes your picture four times! I accidentally reached the end of my film on Thursday – I’d thought it had 36 shots, but it only had 24! – and persuaded Iain to drop it off at Jessops in town for me on Saturday. He picked up the prints for me too, because I was having an epic lie-in, and it was so exciting to open up that envelope and rifle through my never-before-seen photos! There’s something quite romantic about using film, I think. We’re so used to instant gratification when it comes to
everything photographs these days; it was quite exciting but also very frustrating not to be able to see what I’d just shot. It’s such a common thing to go completely snap-happy with my digital camera and then just delete, delete, delete. I’d never used this camera before either, so I was also a bit dubious as to whether it would actually work properly, since it’s just a cheap wee plastic thing.
Some of my prints are spectacular failures due to not having enough light or me pointing the camera in entirely the wrong direction, but some turned out really well, and I think I’ll definitely keep this camera handy when I go on adventures, because I really like the kitschy effect it delivers! I especially like the multi-exposure parts between the frames – I’ve actually been reading up on how to do double-exposures and how to reuse an already-exposed film by fishing out the wound-in end and reloading it into the camera, so I’m sure I’ll have enough photographic experiments to keep me busy for quite a while!
I uploaded a few of the more successful pictures to Flickr, but here are a couple of my favourites: