by Cristine Brache
‘Miami 1999’ is selection of photographs taken with disposable cameras throughout my teen years in Miami between 1999 and 2003. At the time, disposable cameras were everywhere. Film was easily accessible and cheap to process.
By definition, I am technically a millennial, however, being born in 1984 places me in a unique position amidst the transition from analog to digital and the ubiquitous use of internet, particularly engagement with social media platforms. I am old enough to have witnessed the change, however I was not born into the change.
In 1999, I was 15. Being obsessed with photography and video, I always had a camera on me. This was the only way for me to document my life and share it with others. Looking back at these images now, they are extra special to me because this process of documentation was the last of its kind, taken right before the shift, on the cusp of major changes in how people document their lives and engage with cameras.
Of course people still use disposable cameras and 35mm, but it is now an active aesthetic decision. In doing so one is opting out of using the present-day go-to method of documentation of the every day -- which is with a smartphone. To opt out is to opt in to nostalgia, something dated, something missed. And when I say miss, I mean it both ways. As in “you missed the opportunity” and as in “I miss you deeply.”