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Digital camera leads to positive experiences, commemoration of senior year.
April 21, 2023
With all the “lasts” of senior year, I wanted to document everything. The last Friday night lights, the last homecoming dance. In an attempt to memorialize this, I started taking pictures on my mom’s old digital camera.
I didn’t think it would turn into anything, but now it has become one of my biggest hobbies.
My camera comes everywhere with me. I think that’s one of the reasons it’s so special—it has allowed me to capture all the small moments too. By having a separate camera to take photos rather than use my phone, it’s allowed me to stay more present in social situations. This added bonus has turned out to be incredibly beneficial over the course of this year. By living in the moment and taking things slowly, I’ve been able to enjoy and better appreciate my last year as a Central student.
But I also wanted a place to put all of these pictures. So, I created my Instagram, @shysdigitalcamera, and that’s when my newfound hobby fully developed. It makes social media have less pressure too. My camera account feels harmless in comparison to my others. I don’t interact with anyone on it; I’m more focused on using it as a space to commemorate special moments with friends.
There’s also an aspect of taking pictures of people who aren’t in your circle or your close friends. Through bringing my camera places, I’ve definitely met more people, which has been a really positive experience. Documenting other people’s senior year makes me feel like there’s more to the camera than the Instagram or cute pictures of my me and my friends. It’s made everything more approachable, because when I come to events people will ask me to take a picture of them. It feels like there’s this mutual support from everyone, and it’s one of the reasons I started taking it more seriously.
However, sometimes I question: if I’m always behind the camera, will I feel like I missed out on capturing my own experiences? In the beginning it felt like I was missing out, and not seeing myself in those pictures was something I had to adjust to. But over time I’ve realized that having all of those memories from my own perspective is something I value even more.
Aside from my camera, I’ve also explored other ways to catalog everything. I found a camcorder in a junk drawer and have been recording footage for a video I plan on making at the end of the year. I’ve also started getting interested in other types of photography, and have used both disposable cameras and film cameras.
With senior year comes a lot of stress and uncertainties. Friends are deciding where they want to attend college next year, and saying goodbye to everything you’ve experienced the last four years is tough. Having a creative outlet is something that has really helped me get through these difficulties. Right now, it’s mainly for fun, but I’ve decided to pursue this more creative aspect of myself in college. Not only will I bring my camera with me, but I also plan on taking classes that will allow me to develop my love for photography.
My digital camera and the scrapbook I’ve curated through my Instagram are both something that have allowed me to live in the moment, while still recording all the moments senior year encompasses. I think everyone deserves to experience this, so if you happen to stumble upon a camera like me, use it! Explore creative outlets, and have fun with your friends, because that’s what this time is for. While you’re at it, you should also follow my camera account @shysdigitalcamera.