I’ve taken to carrying disposable cameras with me wherever I go. They stir up nostalgia and hearken back to many an elementary school field trip where I ran around a historic battlefield or state capitol with a green cardboard camera in hand or days I spent at home, using an entire roll of film to snap pictures of my cat. But mostly, these days, they remind me that there are moments in my life that make me feel something so strongly that I’ve decided to remember them forever.
Disposable cameras, unlike cell phones or digital cameras, are intentional and finite. You get 25 shots, so you have to decide which moments to immortalize and which ones to let pass by. Once you do it so many times, it becomes a way of thinking even when you leave the camera at home. Taking photos this way trains you to be aware of beautiful moments where you felt so happy you could burst even if it was just a Tuesday in a small town in Alabama and nothing was going on, but you’re in a car with your two best friends and you’re laughing.