I always carry my film camera when travel. It’s an ancient Ricoh FF-3AF that my husband picked up somewhere years ago and bestowed upon me recently, an upgrade (downgrade? I think it’s from like 1982) from the Lomo Diana I used to use that ended up being just way too unpredictable to bother with.
But while I always carry my camera on my travels—it’s actually always just in my day-to-day bag for, you know, day-to-day Kodak Moments™—I always end up taking far fewer photos than I intend to.
I don’t know why. Actually, I know why: I always feel a bit self-conscious. Case in point: a few days ago said husband and I were wandering around Melbourne’s CBD when a dude quickly walked up to another dude sat real casually in that graffitied nook of Centre Place where it turns into the arcade and took his photo and then just kept walking.
My immediate reaction was one of discomfort. Like, he just walked up to this strange guy and took his photo like it wasn’t no thing. I was like, “Did you see that?” Brett was like, “Yeah, it’s street photography, mate”.
I don’t know if it’s my experience of working in events where every attendee has to sign a consent form for photography, or a general lack of confidence, or being a woman, or a combination of all of those things, but it kind of seems … invasive? Like I imagine I would get yelled at for violating someone’s right to sit there and not be photographed by a stranger, which I feel would be fair.
I mean, I remember randoms taking not-so-stealthy shots of Brett and I during our travels through China last year (mostly Brett as he’s tall and has a real bushy beard and wears myriad hats and things), and it made me super uncomfortable. I hate the thought of making people uncomfortable like that.
I guess there’s a part of me that also doesn’t want to be judged for taking a photo of something that the onlooker deems stupid. The fear of what other people think has held me back from doing a lot of things my whole life, and it’s something I’m always working hard to overcome, but it’s still there, and it sucks.
ANYWAY. The point of this little overshare is that I’ve been lucky enough to visit some really lovely places around Australia in recent months and I managed to overcome my camera awkwardness to photograph some of them.
Film process and scan by the wonderful people at Hillvale Photo in Melbourne.