First it was a Pearl that had no memory card. If I had too much fun on an evening, and took a million pictures, the Pearl would prioritize them for memory space over emails and texts and I would wake up with none of either. So I developed a habit of uploading them to Facebook.
In doing so, I unwittingly had created an online diary, visible to over a thousand people with whom I shared varying degrees of acquaintance, documenting for them and everyone, my life in sequence – my friends, my neighbourhood, my home, my hair colors – shifting relationships, seasons, the hours I kept, the places I went, and how long I stayed for… I gave a lot away and it changed a lot of things.
At the end of that realisation, that there were thousands of archived photos online, spontaneous and low-res, which spanned my life through what were the tumultuous years from 27-31, I thought, maybe I should hang onto those. I asked a very techy friend how I might scrape them out of facebook and into my own memory. He hacked the API or whatever, and I was able to download entire albums in one click.
I never stopped taking photos. I now have an accidental and unplanned and growing archive of almost 20,000 BlackBerry photos. Intimate, even more intimate, scenic, character-driven, blurred and flared and bright – they are an incredible tapestry and I continue to value the ability of the ubiquitous mobile phone camera to gain entrance to private moments, to quietly document without artifice.
Throughout the blog there are photo posts tagged ‘blackberry’, and now you know why.