by Meli C

A trip down camera lane

I took a photography workshop last weekend that got me thinking back and trying to remember when photography became one of my favorite hobbies.  Trying to figure out why I feel the need to take pictures and create tangible memories of my surroundings and my everyday life.

I think I was about 9 years old when I started to take pictures of everything. I got a camera for my birthday, and apparently, I haven’t been able to live without one ever since!

My first camera was perfect. It was love at first site and I took it everywhere.  I now discovered, after a little bit of research, that my Fisher-Price camera was actually the first real, working camera ever made for kids.

It turns out that Fisher-Price teamed up with Kodak in 1984 to produce it. The camera worked with 110 Kodacolor film (each only 12 exposures), required no batteries, had a big orange kid-friendly button and shock-resistant rubber ends that made it extra kid-proof.  As you can see in the picture, it also had a practical string attached so that you could keep it around your neck or carry it around as a purse (oh, the memories!).  I loved the fact that it was bright blue and beautiful!

An interesting side note is that there was no flash incorporated into the camera. You could, however, purchase an external flash strip called the Flip Flash, which was a chemical not electronic strip containing enough flash for 8 exposures. The name “Flip Flash”  actually describes the way it was used. You would plug it into the top of the camera, and after the first four exposures, you would flip it and plug it in from the other side for the last four.  It felt so modern and neat at that time. Specially if you were 9 years old!

I did some scavenging online and found that there are many of us proud once-owners of the Fisher-Price camera.  For instance, check out this flog entry on Flickr.

So now thinking back to when this hobby really started for me, it was definitely as a kid. I always enjoyed looking at photo albums and being able to relive a particular moment through the pictures.

How  many of you have ever looked at a really old photo and said something to the effect of “Oh my God, what was I thinking! Look at those _______ I was wearing!”?  What’s more gratifying than rediscovering a great picture after you’ve completely forgotten about it?

Even throughout my college years I was still for the most part using my traditional camera with film. It wasn’t until my senior year that I purchased my first digital camera = the best thing since sliced bread! No more buying film and paying for developing unnecessary pictures! Now you get to take all the photos you want for free! :)

I guess I never outgrew this hobby because I started young and  it evolved with  me over time.  I was always curious to see pictures of my parents before they were grown ups and had me, but there wasn’t much to see. It makes me happy to think that someday my kids, nephews, etc, will have a chance to see my pictures and get to know us a little a bit better because they get to see moments of our lives that will live on through these photos that I so much enjoy taking.

I leave you with my current prized possession…It seems as though I’ve come a long way since my Fisher-Price camera.


1 amf { 05.20.10 at 7:55 pm }

First off- Meli I love reading your entries. It’s a wonderful break to my day.
Second – thank god you have a passion for pictures!! Thanks to you, you’ve captured so many memories through out the years. I love nothing more than to go through old photo albums to relive some amazing times.
Third – I used to have that camera – wow seeing the picture of it really takes me back.
miss you,

2 Ant { 05.21.10 at 5:38 pm }

You have got to try toy cameras!!! :)

3 Meli C { 05.21.10 at 6:13 pm }

I’ve played around with the toy camera iPhone app and I love it.. it’s seriously making me consider trading in my blackb just for that!

4 Sai { 06.09.10 at 6:19 pm }

I used to have that Fisher Price camera too!!!

5 Me & My Fisher-Price { 08.19.10 at 3:21 am }

[…] cousin Khania sent me this picture today after she read my post about cameras. In the photo I am 9 years old, and at summer Camp Mishannock in Kingston, MA (which […]

6 Elena { 07.11.12 at 2:47 pm }

I still have mine. I got mine for my birthday too so we are probably around the same age. LOL

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