After six years of taking photos at Automattic Grand Meetups, I decided to do something a bit different this time around. It had begun to feel like I had slipped into a pattern of ‘documenting’ the GM as an event, purely so I could write a blog; a rote exercise, as opposed to one I was personally invested in. To break that habit, this year I left the digital cameras at home, instead just packing the Canon 7, and the tiny Rollei 35s.
I used a mixture of film, including some of my sacred stash of discontinued Fuji Neopan 1600, that is now almost twenty years out of date. As a result, the pictures are often grainy, sometimes underexposed, and covered in the various marks and scratches one might come to expect from such old stock.
So did the experiment work? In some ways, everything was exactly the same. I still spent the week feeling like I hadn’t taken enough pictures, or spent enough time with the people I count as friends, or saying hello to those I hadn’t met before. I still felt like a weirdo constantly brandishing a camera, especially since the company is at a point where it is impossible to meet or even know of everybody in passing. Being inside a hotel for an entire week still wasn’t conducive to the most exciting or dynamic set of backdrops, but… the pictures I did get, I liked. Here they are below.