When my parents divorced, a lot of things were split between the two of them and me and my younger brother. But one thing was left a long time without having a proper owner: the family photographs.
My father bought our old Olympus Trip 35 a few days before I was born on July 1987. That camera was the backbone of my photography learning and was the instrument that captured important moments of my family’s history. Birthdays. Christmas. New Year’s Eve. School events. Trips to Minas Gerais, to the beach, to my grandfather’s farm right in the center of Brazil.
That camera eventually broke down in 1999, a few months after my father gave me a brand new Yashica MG Motor for my birthday. It was a cool camera, but it wasn’t the same as the Olympus Trip. By then, I had no idea what that really meant…
During its 12 years of operation, my parents took a lot of pictures. I mean, A LOT. At first I thought my mom just liked to spend on film negatives, it took me years to realize she was only trying to keep memories of those days. At least on the pictures everything would be OK, forever. My father preferred to take pictures from afar, where no one could see him. At least that’s the way I remember it.
The concept of “taking you camera everywhere you go” was a reality for us. It was so common to see that camera hanging from someone’s wrist that if the camera wasn’t in that particular event, it wasn’t important at all. Mind that this was years before cellphones with cameras came about.
It was amazing to look at all those fresh pics right after they were developed, I used to love the smell of the prints.
What if we knew that those same very pictures would become a huge problem in the future…
The fights over the pictures took years to resolve. A lot of arguing over me and my brother’s childhood memories. It was clear to me that this question would linger among us for a while, but (fortunately) I was wrong.
Finally, in 2012 we were able to reunite all the pictures and digitize the “lost ones”. After all this time, I thought that I would hate looking at those pictures again. Remembering all the things that happened with those pictures in my hand was hard. But it was different. Waiting all these years to see my younger self was worth it. Remembering who you were helps building who you will be.
There’s no better thing than reliving your childhood, right when you’re turning 25. And noticing that your folks have a great taste in framing.