Remember when Facebook photos didn’t look like professionally filtered, lit and cropped art pieces and actually looked like…snapshots?
I distinctly remember when I first joined Facebook, because I did it in 2008: way, way after everyone else (I also did this with Twitter, Instagram, and virtually every other technology-related everything that I have ever encountered). It was about three seconds before I started blogging and taking ten thousand photos of everything I did and everywhere I went, so very quickly my feed went from the occasional random shot to…well, lots (and lots) of occasional random shots. Most of which you’ve probably seen before if you’ve been reading my site for the six (!!!) years its been in existence.
My life has always looked the way my life looks: sometimes happy, sometimes not, definitely messy. But the way it appears – that’s changed in a big way. And while that’s partially because of what I do and partially because of the fact that I didn’t used to be interested in photography and now I am and partially because of how the nature of social sharing has changed…I’m a little conflicted about it.
The other day, I was adding photos to my personal account and accidentally hit the “back” button…which brought me to the very first photo I ever put up.
It’s like a grand display of everything I wouldn’t put online today. (Except for the dish pictured below left; I distinctly remember being extremely proud of that meal. I was only just learning how to cook, and those pork medallions ended up being one of the very first recipes I put up on my first blog – which was part of the now-defunct collective NonSociety – when I started up just a couple of weeks later.) Nowadays I probably would, like, take the foil off that plate and rearrange the food so it looked prettier and be dressed in something other than a ratty college shirt if I was going to take a photo that was going to end up online (or maybe not – this post features exactly the same shirt that’s pictured above – but you get what I’m saying). I would have taken the mail off the table. At the very least, I would have hit the old red eye reduction button.
But there’s something that’s so cool about seeing life the way it really was: stacks of mail, devil eyes and all.
So just for fun, I thought hey: let’s take a look back at the glory days, when Facebook photos were blurry and funny and you had to wake up early after a big night out to make sure your friends hadn’t tagged you in anything unfortunate (because really: by now everyone knows better than to do that to a friend. …Right?).
(Also in case you’re wondering why a couple of people are missing their faces, I blurred out anyone in photos that haven’t already appeared on the site and who are also not Kendrick.)
I LOVE this photo. This was taken by one of Kendrick’s bandmates when I went to visit them on tour – it’s of the moment I first saw him backstage after about a month-long separation.
When I first moved back to the city from Los Angeles, I reconnected with a bunch of old friends from college, and we did lots of wine tasting trips where thirty or forty of us pitched in for a schoolbus rental, met at someone’s house early in the morning for bagels and mimosas, and then spent the rest of the day driving around to various upstate NY vineyards. It was SO FUN, but a particular type of fun that I associate with the big group of friends I had in my mid twenties (many of whom I’ve lost touch with over the years).
This is from the very first shoot I did when I joined up with NonSociety (why I did a shoot to launch a blog I’m not entirely sure, but those photos did end up coming in pretty handy). I am on my roof. Wearing a black ABS ball gown that my friend who worked in their publicity department at the time sent over for me to borrow.
I also look like I’m about sixteen years old, which makes me feel ancient.
I have no idea where we are in this photo or who we are with, but I am fairly certain that it is some Brooklyn bar or another and that that guy is a musician in some band or another, because that’s what our life looked like for about three years.
(DAMN those are good shoes.)
Definitely another Brooklyn bar. Definitely have patchy memories of this night.
There were many, many years when I didn’t take any photos at all – remember way back when you didn’t have a camera with you everywhere you went? And you had to actually develop film if you wanted to see it? – but when Francesca, Kendrick and I went on this trip to an art installation where you could stand in a pool with a water-filled glass top, Francesca took the shot of us above. I made it my profile picture because I thought it was the coolest photo ever.
Oh the braid. The braid. (I wore my hair like that erry single day for a good two years.)
Something else I wore for a solid two years: a jacket (usually a blazer) and a pair of shorts. #stylin
(Still have those shorts. Still wear them. Ssh.)
And finally there’s this: a photo taken on the day that Kendrick and I moved out of our Hell’s Kitchen apartment into our (slightly nicer, definitely bigger) apartment on the Upper East Side. I love this photo because it was a moment when so much in our life shifted; not just the move, but our jobs and our relationship and our friends and the way that we lived our life. Not all of it changed in a good way – the best changes came later on – but when I look at this I see a kid standing on the edge of adulthood, thinking about jumping.
It doesn’t matter.