In Photographs: The Last 7. The First 11.

During the last seven days of the year, a flood of emotions swept through friends and families. It was inescapable, a palpable energy threaded into every conversation and task. And yes, there was a lack of energy produced at every task as well. What I couldn’t do, I knew why. And what I could do, I knew why as well. 

For the last seven days of the year, I stayed put in my friends beautiful apartment on the 21st floor, for a writing retreat of sorts. In exchange, I walked her older dog, who replaced the snug of my two kids at night. Like them, he jumped at my every limp, waiting for me to wake up with the sun to walk and feed him. Unlike them, he sat in a corner of her living room while I tapped away on a keyboard—hoping words surfaced with given space. 

When I was done writing (and in-between too) I hung my film camera around my neck, in an attempt to have photographs fill the gap of those peculiar days—the first 11. I thought I took many, and was pleased with the $90 dollars that rang on the cash register, in exchange for two handfuls of film rolls of possibly never-forgotten but surely documented days. The result is simply… there was an entire roll that is mostly dark. I didn’t expose it right. Maybe it saw too much light as the canister was placed in my camera. It could have very well been the way I removed it. What’s done is done, and as I zoom in on a photo and try to piece apart the origins, I run dry. I care even less. 

On my way to drop off the film with River, I found myself rambling in excitement about the sheer surprise of film. You spend days and weeks shooting, trying your best, and catching good light, only to hope that those moments translate. The thing about shooting film lately as a hobby, is that it translates no matter what. The grain and the texture tell a story. The time passed and events evaporated from the surface of your memory, allow it to to do so.

And on the eve of the inauguration, a blurry city on the precipice of change. Here’s to finding ways to story-tell, always.

4 thoughts on “In Photographs: The Last 7. The First 11.

  • Reply Monica January 21, 2021 at 1:45 pm

    Hi Latonya, I am finally retiring from my occupation for the last 18 years, I wanted to ask what film camera you use…the photos are amazing and I would love to try to capture images in my home like you.

    Thank you!

    • Reply latonya January 25, 2021 at 10:34 pm

      Hi Monica, It’s a Cannon AE-1! I think its a great camera for those who really want to learn all of the parts of film photographs. It’s difficult at first, but there are plenty of youtube videos that will walk you though to allow you to learn. There are plenty of simplified point and shoot cameras, but I rather learn about aperture, loading, exposure all the annoying details. x

  • Reply Juliet January 25, 2021 at 9:04 pm

    These are gorgeous. The second to last one – the lighting, the power pose – I love it.

    • Reply latonya January 25, 2021 at 10:23 pm

      thank you so much, Juliet!

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