Does anyone remember when you would go on a field trip you would always pack a disposable camera? This is before everyone had a digital camera, or cell phones had cameras (even before everyone had a cell phone!). Your name would be scrawled across it with a Sharpie so you wouldn't confuse it for someone else's. Of course, your parents thought it was so you would take pictures of the Liberty Bell, or the Washington Monument, or whatever other important thing you were going to see. But you always knew it was for snapping a picture of the boy you thought was cute who sat near you on the bus, or you and your girlfriends lined up and pretending to be the Spice Girls or the cast of the Rocky Horror Picture Show.
In a tiny cabinet I keep thousands of these photos from summer camp, field trips, European excursions and even just a regular day in high school. Each one is a moment captured in time. There were no do overs, there was no retouching. You snap the picture, and then you would have to wait to see it, wait to see what that moment held and the camera saved.
In Boston last weekend I realized that they wouldn't let me in to the Dispatch concert with my DSLR. We stopped to get a disposable camera and try our luck photographing the show, and if there was any film left, the rest of the weekend. Thinking about it now, its only fitting that I should take one of these to see Dispatch. When I fell in love with their music I was 14 at summer camp, and all we had were flimsy disposable cameras and the mystery and waiting to see what would develop.