I've been sitting on these photographs for a good while now, some of them nearly six years, and as my last day of high school is quickly approaching I figured now is as good of a time as any to let them go.
If you know me at all, you’d know it’s rare to ever catch me without a camera lurking away for just the right moment to jump out and snap the shutter when you least expect it. My friends were the first ones to experience this phenomenon back when I was a first year mastering how to take masterpieces on the grainy phone camera I carried everywhere we went. It was the first time I really discovered that a photo could hold an emotion.
All that year I chased a feeling of nostalgia, furiously documenting everything we did with the most awful, over-saturated, over-filtered pictures that now can only be found within the depths of an old Facebook page that nobody will ever see. Second and third year came and went, new friends were made and new experiences had, fourth and fifth year passed by, yet still I never put down the camera. When sixth year hit nothing much had changed. I got a proper camera and a selfie stick, my friends were slightly taller, but still the subject remained the same. The split second of fear right before falling headfirst off a swing, meeting your favourite band and not having a clue what to say, the late nights with stupid friends doing stupid things. The universal feeling that everyone recognizes of what it’s like to be a fearless teenager as told by the Class of 2016. These are personal photographs of mine; the unfiltered, unpoised ones, a glimpse into the true life of a high schooler as told by one.
This is what it’s like to grow up in the suburbs. These pictures tell the story of what it’s like to jump on a bike when you’re 11 and turn the corner of your street, finally being rid of your parents till curfew. The sense of freedom you feel when you’re on your own. This is the exact feeling after your first kiss, after you accidentally borrow a sheep; when you fall of the boat and into the water, when get kicked out the poshest shop in the city and banished from comic con. The moment when you just catch the last train. The feeling you get crawling through holes in fences and bedroom windows. The feeling after getting full marks or failing miserably and during every tense conversation discussing the shared uncertainty of the future. This is what it’s like saying goodbye to everyone and everything you know and starting over again.
I've been thinking about how the moments in these pictures emit the past few years better than even my fading memories can, and how just as excited as I am to be done and over with high school and move on with my life, this is a time that I don’t ever want to forget. So here it is, the best of the past six years, polished and finished and formatted in the sense of a true yearbook.
This first one starts at our primary seven party, only weeks before my first day of high school, circa 2010.