When I was 13 years old, I got a Canon Sure Shot for my birthday. I was so excited, for many reasons, but the biggest reason was that it took 35mm film. I had always loved taking pictures, whether in front or behind the lens, but I was always relegated to 110 film, Polaroids, or *gasp* disc film! Remember disc film? Terrible photos from them…
Anyway, I felt so adult when I opened the back of my new camera and attempted to load the film. I put on this air of self-confidence that I was NOT feeling, but figured I’d fake it till I made it. To be honest, I was scared to death. I knew the dangers of 35mm film (which makes digital cameras a blessing) – unwinding too much and not having it catch the spindles correctly, not unwinding enough and having to open the back and hoping not to expose the film, or horror of horrors – exposing the film. In my house, that was a life-ending mistake. We took photos very seriously.
So there I was, attempting to load my first cartridge of film, with the whole family watching me expectantly, and I carefully pulled out the little tongue of extra cellulose acetate, lined up the perforations with the spindle in the camera, and took a deep breath. I closed the camera back, and heard the satisfactory whir of the film loading into the camera. Or so I thought.
Once I took the whole roll of film, listening every time to the camera advance to the next frame, I went into my room. I was paranoid and figured it was darker in there than the rest of the house and it might help the film. Well, I opened the back, and the film was still in the same position as when I loaded it. It damaged me for the next two years. I wouldn’t touch another 35mm camera.
In 10th grade, I ended up on the yearbook staff, and my first 35mm Canon SLR was placed in my hand. I had to swallow my fear of film (I couldn’t go around to the other photographers asking them to load my film every time), but me and that camera were inseparable for the next 3 years.
With the exception of one other camera in my collection, I have always had Canons. Maybe it’s allegiance to the first “real” camera I ever had, or just because I feel they are superior to any other brand, but I know that I will always have a Canon camera. My digital EOS is like my child, and I only bring it out on special occasions or when I’m going out shooting something in particular. I also still have a Canon point and shoot 35mm, but it’s pretty much retired unless I want a retro feel.
With the holidays coming, flashes are going off all over the place (but thankfully not flash bulbs), and people are embracing their favorite camera. Whether you’re a Canon fan or not, I hope you take many a beautiful picture of you and yours, and enjoy the holidays!