I talk a lot about the generational power of film. That's not really what it's about. Don't get me wrong, I'm not backtracking, suggesting we part ways and you go and shoot digital-only for the rest of your life. If you want to, fine, but I'm not encouraging it. The magic is in living first, seeing second, and every once in awhile, in a moment that hits you so hard, giving in and letting your body and mind manage merge fast enough to catch it.

Because we're catching it. We're not taking it. We're catching it when we make an image.

And if you get any of those steps mixed up, if you document first before you live or see. Or you see before you live. You cheapen the image you've taken, you make, you cherish it less.

It's what I love about old rolls of film. We never got that order wrong back then. Us now, with our iPhones and our mirrorless cameras, we screw it up all the time. But a roll of film back in the day, you weren't wasting a frame. You might accidentally click a shutter, you might have some out of focus frames, but that's not the same as intentionally spending 90% of your time documenting before seeing being living. There was always heart, each frame a unique moment worth remembering.

I want to share with you a roll of Kodak Gold 800 from the '90's I scanned today. It's got a lot of heart for me. Maybe for no one else. But it's magical. You can tell the person holding the camera is shifting, the height changes, the people in the frame rotate in and out. I miss this beach, and I miss these people. I barely remember these moments, but I can feel the boundaries of where it lives in my soul even if I don't know exactly what lives in the space. It makes me emotional in a way my iPhone roll never will.

I challenge you to break all the rules except for the order of operations I present here. The PEMDAS of photography. Live. See. Let mind and body meld, and catch it.