My parents had an 8mm video camera when they were dating, so I was documented in black and white from birth . It wasn’t easy to sneak up on us when we were kids, inconspicuous shots were not an option, unless we were outside. Inside, the camera required two huge lights (as a child, they seemed like stadium lights) which were turned on, WHOOSH and then mom saying “pretend I’m not here”. Well, we did the best we could trying to commence doing whatever we ever were doing while sweating and squinting pretending the camera and it’s heat projecting spot lights were not there.
Of course this was “back in the day” where you had to get your video reels developed, so it wasn’t until weeks later that we would fire up the ole’ reel player and see what pictures emerged.
Sometimes the whole film was white, sun exposure, or dark, when the stadium lights weren’t used. And sometimes mom and dad viewed surprise footage when one of us kids got a hold of the camera when they were gone; usually on Thursday's bowling night. They could usually figure out who the videographer was…when the 3 other siblings were on the receiving end of the camera.
These memories came rushing back the other day when I downloaded the photos on my (now defunct) camera to my computer. I had the same thoughts as my parents so many years ago…
”I don’t remember taking that photo(video)”
“hmmm, where was I”
“when was this”
“Why would I take that?”
With 41 kids it’s not always easy to figure out who was taking the photos…but with the now common selfie, the moment of truth arrived:
Mr. Saoun, may you never change.