It’s no secret that I love to take pictures. I have been taking them since I was a wee girl, and hope to still be taking them, like my grandfather is, when I am well into my nineties. As such, I tend to have a number of friends who are photographers (birds of a feather and all that), and I read a number of photo-related blogs and publications. Some of them are serious and some of them fluff so they give me a good cross section of what is happening in the photographic world.
I was pretty excited when, in June, I saw a post on PhotoJoJo that was talking about a neat project being run out of the UK. The premise was that 100 people around the world would be sent disposable cameras, and they would have a week to take pictures of whatever they wanted before sending them back for processing and publication. The angle that intrigued me the most was that the photographers would be selected on one main criterion – their age. The organizer of this project wanted to see the world through the eyes of all ages, so 100 cameras were sent to people aged 1 – 100; one camera per year. I loved the idea and immediately applied for myself and Woo (Willy and Goose’s ages were already assigned to photographers).
Life went on, and I forgot about the applications after a few days. I’d seen a few messages that the project was inundated with applicants after the PhotoJoJo plug, so I figured that there was little chance that either of us would be selected. I was shocked to receive an email in mid-July letting me know that Woo had been selected! Apparently having an interesting story, like being a Canadian boy living in India for a year, helped to tip the balance in his favour. I guess it wasn’t quite as interesting to be a 38 year-old Canadian living in India for a year!!
Woo was just as excited when I told him about it, and wanted to start right then and there! That proved to be difficult, since we didn’t even have a camera yet. I had some back and forth with the curator, and decided that the best course of action was to have me pick up the camera in Bangalore. We didn’t want to risk it never getting to us, or have it damaged by some of the extreme temperatures that it likely would have faced on it’s journey through the Indian Postal System. Of course I failed to have a contingency for when I would be unable to find said camera in Bangalore, and sent one last ditch plea on a local message board as to where to find one. A good friend, who happened to be in the States at that time, saw it and offered to ‘import’ two for me. We were good to go!
Woo shot his pictures in Mysore and Bangalore. He LOVED the idea of taking these pics, so much that we had to restrain him from shooting off the entire roll in one outing! He did have a hard time working the view finder, and accepting that he could not just see the picture after he took it. My explanation about how that was “old school” didn’t really cut it with him, but he pushed through. He saved his last three pictures for the last day of his week, so that he could take the camera to ‘show and tell’, where he proudly told his classmates all about the project.
With the camera completed, we faced the challenge of getting the camera safely back to the UK. Thankfully a friend was travelling there from India, so she popped it in the mail once she got there. The photos were posted online this past week, and Woo and I sat together to review them and have him narrate some comments to accompany each picture. He loved reviewing each one, and has been through them several times, reliving the experience.
We have loved being part of this project, both as a contributor and an observer to the process. There are some great images being posted most days on the website, with many more to come in the next few weeks. For a variety of reasons, there are still three slots available – ages 77, 94, and 96. If you know anyone who fits the bill (turns that age on their 2012 birthday), you should encourage then to apply! There is a REALLY good chance that they will be selected, as the project wraps up at the end of the year. Woo’s pictures, if you are interested in having a look, can be found here: http://the100.thinkplaymake.co/the100/5/. Can you guess what his favourite is?!?!