When I was five, my parents handed me an Instamatic 126 cartridge film camera so that I could take my first photograph. We were living on the 7th floor of an apartment building in Flushing, NY. I saw a fire truck peeking out of the firehouse on the street below and I framed the shot. I was very gunshy about pressing the shutter because I wanted to make the photograph perfect. I kept looking up and then through the viewfinder to make sure the shot looked good. My mother urged me to take the picture but I wasn't ready. After five minutes of deliberation, I pressed the shutter. Click, my very first photograph.
Later that day, we went to the Queens Botanical Garden, where I took more photographs. Here is one that I took of my parents:
I meant to put them on the edge of the frame, right? To commemorate my first roll of film, my father took this picture of me (right) and a friend.
We were both wearing bright purple winter coats and I had a long stocking cap tucked into my hood. How dorky! My mother saved this camera which I loved just playing with through the years.
Our kids have taken tons of photos with their own digital camera. I can't honestly say which was the first photograph taken by each of my children, I may have even deleted it! But at least I have my own memory of leaning on the windowsill, giving birth to my lifelong love of photography.
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