I wish I had bought a better camera sooner.
The past decade — my first date with my wife to our marriage, the Kansas City Royals’ worst seasons to their World Series run, college, jobs, and everything in between — has been captured on my cellphone camera. Like beer and pop music, it was easy to make do with what’s cheap and available, only to look back on a life of Dave Matthews and Bud Light and wonder why I’d gotten by on “good enough.” I regret that.
On a recent trip to my childhood home, I discovered roughly a dozen shoeboxes buried beneath a pile of winter coats in the closet of my old bedroom. I brought them into the living room where I cut the shoeboxes open one by one with a pair of craft scissors. Each was stuffed with nearly identical materials: two dozen or so sleeves of developed 35mm film featuring younger versions of my family and friends I haven’t spoken with in nearly a decade, beginning around my 13th birthday and ending with a shot from the night before I moved to New York City for college.