How a $3 point + shoot made me love photography again | Toronto real life family photographer

It was sitting in the glass case at a small town Salvation Army, hidden behind a weird assortment of “speciality” second hand items like pocket knives and binoculars. I asked the sales lady if I could take a peek at the small camera still wrapped in its dusty old case. A Canon Prima 85N silver point + shoot. Nothing fancy but it looked alright and it was $3. I had the cost of a new battery to lose (which, incidentally, due to my lack of patience, cost me $20 on Amazon but hey, now I own a pack of four).

I should point out that I hadn’t really fallen OUT of love with photography. But was more going through a rut, personally, with not wanting to drag my big camera out for the everyday stuff. This feeling is cyclical — I’ve been here before. And I always know that something — a trip, the change in weather, a new technique — or, in this case — new (OLD) gear, is the spark that gets me out of the personal photo funk and back in the game. I always emerge. That real life always draws me back.

There’s a saying out there, something like, ‘the best camera is the one you have with you,’ and in my case: the lower-tech the better.

All the stuff you hear: Which camera to buy?! How many zillions of megapixels does the latest iPhone have? All of that was backwards to how I was feeling. I wanted less…in order to take more photos of what I wanted to remember. I’ve been in a long love affair with film, but only in the last year have we really started to love on each other again. Finding a way to reconnect my 10-year-old point + shoot self with the knowledge I’ve gained from actually understanding how to compose an image firmly proves the point that it’s not the gear that makes the photographer. You can do more with less.

And the results of this little silver bullet were nothing short of miraculous. Not only did the three-dollar-gem work, but it produced beautifully crisp-yet-creamy images; everything was auto, I had nothing to think about except what I wanted to capture in the frame. That was liberating.

My friends and family know I love a good find, but this was more than that. It was about having less options. Fewer features. Trusting my eye. Accepting what happened next.

I’m frequently caught in the middle of wanting to learn/absorb/listen/read/do/make ALL the things…..and yet also mindfully unattach myself from things. Slow down. Practice lovingly my JOMO. So when I’m somehow weirdly able to meet in the middle, it’s a rare and not-to-be-taken-lightly occurrence. I love this little camera because it’s reminded me that we can still ‘do’ simple in a complicated world.