Is that an instant camera?, my friend asks as I (unsuccessfully) pretend I’m not taking a photo of my shoes. I was trying not to be obvious – we are always trying not to be obvious, aren’t we? – and yet, by the time the shoe photo is finished developing, she and I have moved on from talking about our chaotic Tuesday and have begun reminiscing about the instant cameras we used to own.
Our cameras saw us through late night midterm exams and our first concert date with a boy (me: Dave Matthews Band; she: Teitur). They snapped joys and freedoms; they captured anxiety and grief. They developed as we did, I suppose – gaining clarity and perspective with time and time alone. You simply had to wait, and sometimes shake it up, and wait again.
She then shared with me an idea I thought so brilliant, so perfectly obsessive that of course we tackled it that afternoon while the kids played on the deck. She told me that when she was younger – in junior high, I think – she planned her outfits for summer camp by taking a photo of each individual article of clothing, then mixing and matching to plan various ensembles that might last her for weeks on end.
You can imagine her regret that she hadn’t kept those photos – the endless snaps of boy band tees and acid wash denim with neon lining – and yet, she noted, her method was surprisingly effective. She was the greatest dressed camper with the lightest suitcase.
Hours later found us in the backyard snapping photos of 25 items I’d be wearing all summer – a minimalist continuation of last winter’s Wardrobe 25. And while we snapped and sorted, captured and coordinated, we giggled about how these photos will shape our memories twenty years from now. Bee will roll her eyes at my Birkenstocks and I’ll say to her, wait. Just wait.
Our fun little experiment is up on Pinterest, if you’d like to see – a board full of tiny peeks at what I’m wearing this summer. It’s what I’m imagining my mother wore decades ago.
And it’s what I’m imaging Bee might wear in decades to come.
p.s. This project was produced in partnership with FUJIFILM INSTAX®. Thanks for reading!