Unwrapping the gift on my 11th birthday revealed a dream come true… A Kodak Brownie camera!
Now, 45 years later, living a life defined by photography, I keep searching for the simplicity of those days. As a dream, this simple little plastic camera, was the embodiment of all the imagined realities that this regularly visited dream allowed me to explore. So on this day, I held in my hands, my “Magic Lantern.” But unlike Aladdin’s original, mine granted me the same wish as many times as I wanted – the wish to render what I saw as proof, to myself and others, that what I saw was real!
Newer cameras, complicated technology, client’s needs and my own artistic aesthetic have changed how I photograph and see but I can still feel, to this day, the simple excitement from that birthday. It is the litmus test I choose to help identify when I’m following “my bliss.” It was this feeling that I experienced, when I first used the Hipstamatic Camera application on my phone, that made me choose to dedicate myself to it for a year.
With the simplicity implied in it’s name – Kodak’s classic Instamatic camera – the Hipstamatic asked me to look at the world with the same sense of innocence and wonder. Not that this is easy to do but I have delighted in the daily use of this “divining rod” to seek out my bliss and collect my “Simply Seen” photographs in search of simpler days and simpler ways!