Story Behind The Picture: My Love For Photography Through The Years

My Canon EOS 70D

I took this photo while I was looking in the mirror of my teenage bedroom more than five years ago. I was using my Canon EOS 70D, which I bought at the Adorama store when I was staying in New York with my mother (I highly recommend it if you are in the city and need to buy not just a camera but also lenses and other photography equipment).

I can’t precisely recall when my love for photography began, but the first memories I have of taking pictures date back to my second year in primary school. I was about seven years old and I started using Kodak disposable cameras that were all the rage in the early 2000s; I would bring them with me every time we went on a school trip and I would take lots of group pictures with my classmates . Later on, I would have the photos developed and the results always included some blurred or out-of-focus pictures, even though I still have a few good pictures with my old friends that I’ve kept to this day. I also fell in love with Polaroid cameras, which were mostly used to take pictures at the birthday parties we were attending as kids.

During my third year of primary school, our class was encouraged to take up extracurricular activities (there was a time when I even took carpentry classes and I remember it as a great childhood experience because it was a very relaxing and creative class); I opted for some photography classes where they were teaching us how to develop photo negatives, which I saw as something magical and interesting. I know that technology has almost completely replaced the chemical process nowadays but I still feel nostalgic for that era and it felt really engaging to take part in this activity because it required precision and attention to details in order to get the photo developed with the right contrast.

In my early teens, I was one of the very few people who would try to take photos with the first cellphones equipped with a camera; I was using a black Motorola PEBL U6, which had a very cool design, but the photo-camera had about 0.6 megapixels, so using that phone to take pictures was mainly about having fun and experimenting.

Fast forward to 2009 and that’s when photography definitely became part of my everyday life. I got an iPhone 3GS for Christmas and I still have some of the first pictures I took with it because the quality was definitely better than other mobile phones. Along with the iPhone, I was also using digital cameras for holiday photography (mainly a Panasonic DMC-FX3) until my parents gifted me a Canon EOS 1000D, my first Reflex camera, which I was bringing with me everywhere. The 1000D was always present on the first and last day of school, during Christmas holidays and in the summertime; the year I turned eighteen, it got to a point where the camera was attending pretty much every single 18th birthday party with me and I quickly became the official photographer in my group of friends (only now do I realize how risky it actually was, as the camera could have been stolen from strangers or someone might have dropped it or spilled a drink on it).

When I switched to the 70D, the 1000D camera was still in perfect conditions so I gifted it to my father; however, nowadays I am being much more careful when using a Reflex camera, in fact I tend to use it only for still life pictures at home or while traveling with other people. While I know that the latest smartphone models offer amazing cameras (especially Apple iPhones), I love my 70D too much to stop using it; as it is a semi-pro Reflex, I feel it allows me greater freedom of expression and it encourages me to print my pictures on large formats. The only downside is probably that some of the lenses are quite heavy to carry around, but the outcome is always worth it.

I could not imagine my life without photography. About two years ago, during the first phase of the pandemic, I opened a Flickr account and it’s what got me through what was a really tough time for everybody. I started posting all the photos I had taken over the years and I found a great international community, making friends and observing the work of other talented photographers who are a constant source of inspiration for me, since they encourage me to improve my technique and get out of my comfort zone. Photography is the light that kept me going at a very difficult time in my life and I will always be grateful for it.

“Photography is, for me, a spontaneous impulse coming from an ever-attentive eye which captures the moment and its eternity.”

Henri Cartier-Bresson

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