memorytapes:five

every morning i wake up, i feel a little better in my space. i read this article about people who suffer from depression and this idea of an ‘impossible task’, it could be something super simple that you just avoid doing because it feels impossible. the writer talked about how she would have her friends come over and help her with the simplest tasks. stuff like doing laundry, going grocery shopping, sending a letter. shit that should be simple felt like such a burden. i felt that and i didn’t want to feel that way anymore. the last three years in my home have been rough, and i think that’s even an understatement. i got walled in with impossible tasks. half painted walls, finding reminders of shit i didn’t want to be reminded of, letters that weren’t meant for me to see. i would spend all day working from home and the second i was done, i would leave my house. spend time with avery, read at a bar, go out and take photos, see movies by myself. i wanted to do anything but he here because i felt surrounded by these impossible tasks at hand. making the decision to start processing my own film slowly made me want to be at home. putting in late nights to learn everything that a few months before felt like an impossible task was so rewarding. everything was full cycle and it felt like i was becoming a better photographer with every roll i’d shoot. a lot of people think it’s a pain in the ass to shoot film, and it is.

mom, thank you for helping me start over (and just being you).

dylan, you already know how much you’ve inspired me and i hope we continue to push each other to be better.

gabe, thank you for learning with me, all of the late nights in the lab, and enabling me to eat zekos at 2am on week nights.

and like that promise ring song, ‘things are just getting good’. so lets keep it going.

anyways, thanks for reading and here’s a playlist: memorytapes:five.

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there’s helicopters over my head, every night when i go to bed.

and i always tell myself that i should go to sleep (but i never do). it feels like this is the only time i have to sit here, listen to music, and start typing out some words about how i’m feeling. last week i was sitting in a camper van in fucking iceland, and while gabe drove us down the north coast he put this record on. i kept singing this line back to myself in my head, “do you feel ashamed when you hear my name?”

i’m back home now, and i won’t lie. it is just now starting to feel like my home. there was shit packed into drawers and closets that i couldn’t find the courage to deal with until now. it reminded me not of a failed relationship, but of something that felt more like resentment. the carelessness and disregard for all of the lives that had came and went before. going through everything with my mom (thank you for your help, i love you), i couldn’t bring myself to throw away the memories of a family i’m no longer even a part of. the memories that sat in a musty laundry room and outside in a shed, for the last four years. maybe left for me to find and then feel bad for throwing away. but me being me, a me that i’m happy to be. i’ll pack it neatly, and return it. maybe it’ll mean more this time around.

photographs were taken on a fuji klasse w on a mix of kodak portra 160 and fuji superia 400.

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i felt more purpose in spending my mental capacity on the thoughts of being a better father, a better friend, even a better reader. rather than focusing on social media and partaking in the endless scrolling. i would be lying if i said i didn’t get derailed by the attention my photography received, by the people i met all around the world through our similar interests. i started to learn how to be relevant on the internet. it made me feel good, temporarily. making sure i posted every other day to stay in the algorithm, using the right hash tags, posting at the peak hours, all that shit. for what? to have my photographs be seen for a fraction of a second by people that i would never meet or even have any real interaction with? all the gratification i received at the end of the day, through instagram, meant nothing to me. it was sort of a false inspiration to keep doing what i was doing but not without also making me feel distracted and starting to take photographs of what i knew other people would want to see. i realized that sharing my photos in person, even though i left no trace of how to contact me, or who i was, felt better. knowing that the people who took the time to look, knew the street names, the architecture, the laundromats and their neon lights, the feel of our city. a place that we all dwell together. thats the gratification i want. that is what i want to take photographs of. i want to make connections and have conversations with the people that connect with me on a deeper level. it’s so easy and cheap to create things for the sake of attracting a “following”. i cannot imagine being one of those people who saw that as a viable source of income, or could feel comfortable selling out for ad revenue or click through revenue. now there’s ads for these fucking people to teach you how to make money off making dumbass youtube videos. i cannot believe this is even real.

we are not here for long, if the whatever medium you use, whatever you’re trying to create is for anything other than representing of the ups and downs of your life to the people in your real life, you’re selling yourself short.

photographs were taken with a bessa r3m + zeiss 35/2 on fuji superia 400/cinestill 50d

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dear avery,

first off, looking back at some of these photographs really makes me realize that we go to bodega maybe a little too much. hopefully soon your rice & beans only diet will evolve a little bit. oh well, i’ll still love you either way. i always found it a bit sad that i never had any letters from my dad, to go back and read after he was gone. it took me til you were four years old to feel like this was something i wanted to do. unfortunately, he didn’t get that long with me so i won’t hold it against him. i want nothing more than to live as long as possible so i can continue to be your dad, and watch you continue to grow into the human i know you will. but in the event my time runs out, i want you to have these pictures and these words so you never forget how much i love you.

dear avery,

i hope by the time you read this, that things are much different. right now it seems like no one lives their lives for themselves, but rather to make themselves look like their life is just super-fucking-awesome, like all the time. i hope that by now you know, life isn’t always super-fucking-awesome. it gets tough, tiring, overwhelming. without a doubt, at times you will feel defeated, and that’s okay. surround yourself with people that love you, and they will build you back up. it is the people like this, that make your life awesome. the long term friends who know a side of you that i won’t ever be able to know (that’s also okay). so please take a lot of pictures to remember these people, and to catalog your lives together. don’t take pictures to make other people feel left out, or to try and prove how great your life is. i’ve found that our own happiness is better kept a secret. i hope that you’ll look through the photographs of my life and feel how great of a journey it has been. what an honor it’s been to just exist. from being your dad, to visiting amazing places with my friends, and just simply capturing my every day. this is what photography is for.

love,

dad

 

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bessa r3m + portra 400

after work, i ride my bike downtown. i walk around and get my mind off of work/life/shitty people. i shoot a roll of film and listen to music. observing the city to my own track list. even though at this point it’s all familiar to me, i take it in. hoping to be changed by something or someone. lately, i’ve been inspired on how i don’t want to live my life: glued to my phone, too busy peering into someones perfect life to live my own. so here i am, further motivated to live my own life. to catalog it in writing and photographs. ones that will help me remember my good and bad days. i’m still learning the concept of a home. having my own, and being at peace when i’m here. it’s important for not only me, but for avery to have a place that can’t get taken away from us. i see so many people (even friends) fighting a constant battle with always having to be somewhere new. to prove how exciting their life, and masking running away from their real life under the trigger word, wanderlust. we’re meant to root.

the photographs below were taken with a bessa r3m, a mix of glass (zeiss 35/2 + nokton 40/1,4), with portra 400, developed and scanned at home.

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the purpose of this.

some of my favorites from the last three months. a mix of my bessa r3m, contax g1, and olympus xa2. developed + scanned at home. i haven’t even went public with this project yet, besides sending it to a few close friends. i’m not not sure what direction i want to take it in, other than having an outlet to share the photographs i make. it’s not the kind of stuff that people on instagram want to see, but it’s my life and thats why it is so important to me. i ditched that shit because people don’t want to make photos for themselves to remember anymore, it’s more about ‘curating’ a life that seems better than everyone else’s. it’s weird seeing people you fuck with start to act like someone that they aren’t on the internet. what good does it do? to be so unauthentic at trying to convince people that you’re authentic? my life is pretty standard: i’m a single parent, my house is usually a mess (a 4 out of 10, so not too bad), and i work a lot. my free time is spent doing shit that makes me happy. reading, spending time with daughter, maintaining relationships with my friends/family, riding my bike, documenting my life with a camera, and two weeks out of the year i try and travel and see new places. i wanted some place i could share my thoughts + photos and this seems like the best place for that, for now. so if you’re reading, thank you.

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