1992 Application Photo

I’m archiving again. I’m kind of always archiving. I used to have the excuse that it was because I was a writer, and I needed to hang onto that sort of thing. Now, I know how to both indulge that instinct when useful, and curtail it when it’s not. This last week, the project has been to scan photo negatives into my computer. Some friends seem horrified at the idea of throwing away negatives, but I think the quality is degrading anyways, and that they’re simply not useful in this form. If on the computer, they can now be recalled and shared, but still in negative form… well. The scenarios for needing a high quality print from an original negative are slim – it’s not like I’m a professional photographer. So, I think the computer images will do just fine. And while they really don’t take up that much space, in some ways, they do feel like baggage from the past, from a different time and technology, a different mindset. It feels good to process and clear them out.

I just scanned all the photos from my time at Expo 92 in Seville, and in this stack was a group of negatives labelled “application photos”. From the clothes, I would suspect this is from just when I arrived back in Canada from Spain: the purple shirt that was slightly too big but I was so proud of (from Noa Noa in Denmark), and the tan coloured jeans, likely from Mango in Spain – just a glimpse of the clothes horse that I have since become… I still have my long hair, but tied back in a ponytail to try and look clean and tidy.

What I’m amused by is that there is nearly a whole roll, twenty photos, of me IN THE EXACT SAME POSE. Neither I, nor the photographer, thought that if I was trying to take photos to get just the right one that perhaps varying the pose, the background, or the distance would give a wider range of photos to choose from. But no, I am smiling slightly more, or slightly less, I’m leaning back against the concrete wall of a university building, a bit awkwardly, my hands are clasped in front of me – I still do that. I can’t quite remember what I was applying for though! A scholarship, I think, one of the Commonwealth ones to study at a university overseas, though I kind of remember using these photos for grad school, and otherwise. It is fun to look back though. Of course I’m reading into it, but I see in that expression a sweet kind of blankness, completely unaware of the life that is to come, but anxious for it and ready to make it happen.

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