Looking back I wished I had the maturity (and foresight) to know that I should have taken more photos of my childhood – the neighborhood, the stores, the neighbors and those I interacted with – documenting life in Northeast Philadelphia in the 1970 – 1990’s. Sure there are the photos of my first day at school each year in my Catholic school uniform with my friends and photos of the dogs we dressed up (all kids do this right?) but missing are the photos of life all around me. Back then, the camera had flashcubes (yes, squares that plugged into the 110 film cartridge camera) and the really neat invention was the Polaroid One Step camera with instant photos that magically developed in front of your eyes.
But as much as the “instant” world was starting to appear, lost was the daily struggles all around us. The gas lines of the 70’s that alternated by license plate numbers on odd and even days, the labor strikes my dad was involved in, the Hands Across America line up we participated in on Frankford Avenue. If only I had a camera to capture the moments of the community, the societal events of the times and the emotions of people. As I travel now armed with a myriad of cameras – phone, blackberry, DSLR – I’m hungry to capture it all – to find the hidden gems but they seem few and far between in the world of selfies, facetime and social media. Try as I might, I’m a dabbler in the photography arts (see my #FriFotos) which is why I was so engrossed in the Oscar nominated documentary, Finding Vivian Maier.