One day my buddies and I were hanging out, doing what I can’t recall, but it was probably vaugely hip, because Mike had brought along his Holga camera.
“Holga. People like those for wedding photos.” I said.
Mike seemed really skeptical. “Are you sure you’re thinking of the right camera?”
“Yeah, for like, hipster photos.”
“Yeah. Huh. Surprised people would want to use a Holga for a wedding. They’re really… hit or miss.”
“Who knows why hipsters do the things they do. Anyway, you should bring that camera to my wedding.”
We’d go on to hire Mike as the second shooter for our wedding, and bring that camera he did, along with a Pentax K1000, if that means anything to you artistic people. [Mike carried around THREE cameras all day long. WEDDING HERO!]
The film photos came back about a week after we got back from our honeymoon. I was still flipping through our digital photos almost every day with smiles and happy sighs; that love hadn’t even started to fade. I didn’t feel like I needed “more.” So I didn’t expect to be as blown over with happiness as I was when I flipped through the set. All the wonderful emotions of our wedding weekend came back in a rush, much more powerfully than they had with the digital shots.
Then it hit me: my brain was conditioned in the first twenty years of my life to look at a film photograph and think, “this is a memory.” Even though it looks less like real life than a digital image, it taps into feelings that are more real.
And the film photographs carry a special weight with a richer sense of time and history. I can imagine my children looking at these photographs more easily than I can imagine them looking at the digital images, even though I’ll obviously be sharing both, and even though my children will never develop the emotional attachment to the look of film that I apparently have. Film is antiquated, so these month-old photographs already look like something from the past, like something for the next generation to use to peer into ours. And that makes them powerful and even more beautiful.
So, thanks to Mike Rubino’s camera collection and hard work, I have something from my wedding day that I didn’t know how much I wanted: sometimes out-of-focus, sometimes-gritty, imperfectly-lit frames from my memory of that wonderful weekend.
When I look at the digital photos from our wedding, I think “that was beautiful.” :
When I look at these, I think, “that REALLY HAPPENED.” :
All photos by the wonderful, delightful, generous and talented Mike Rubino. Thank you, Mike! [Louis, I still love you, don't worry.]