It’s About the Journey

My whole life has led to this moment: sitting at my laptop, typing an essay about appreciating the journey. In a way this is similar to another essay I wrote, about finding beauty in a routine, but this is reflecting on my past and acknowledging how it made me who I am today.

As soon as I set my feet on the floor in the morning, I am embarking on a journey to change the rest of my life. A new person from the day before. I am a firm believer in the ripple effect: how any one thing you do in a day changes the outcome of your entire life. I also believe in the theory that everything has already been written (including my stupid, little, precious life).

I look back at my parents’ photographic archive of my childhood and I recognize similar imagery to what I am drawn to photographing now; except for the forced smiles, “Marygrace, you have to smile.” They wanted me to appear happy, when that’s not exactly how I remember the moments. We are human, shouldn’t it be normal to experience all the emotions? But for some reason, we don’t want to capture the raw emotions, right, at least not when it’s teenage angst. Once it switched, and I gained the power, I started taking photos of myself and the emotions felt more genuine. I was taking photos of myself on my own terms.

I’ve been in possession of my own camera for a decade and since then I have been photographing myself and my surroundings. It’s hard to believe how many photos, and versions, of myself I have access to. I should admit, I don’t always love the memories that come crawling back when I revisit an older version of myself. In addition to making me slightly uncomfortable, I am still able to look at them and say, “I am in a better place now.” 

Every single thing you have ever experienced led you to where you are today.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 95760017.jpg

My childhood isn’t centered around one specific place. There are so many different spaces, things, and bedrooms I recall. I try to think of the feeling of home, but it’s different every time. In a way, I think that is what I am chasing: the feeling of home. I don’t know if I will ever find it, or feel it in the present tense. When I look at my decade-long archive, I remember the places, and I can see the homes, but the feeling is for someone who I was in the past. The cliche milestones tend to become a fuzzy dream once I revisit them in my head. It’s the insignificant moments that made the biggest impact and tend to resurface more often.

I’m not entirely sure what made me start photographing myself – it’s almost like I needed proof and a genuine portrayal of my feelings, which haven’t always been validated or exposed. I’m glad I started when I did because now, I have an archive of several phases of my life. Once you embrace the notion that change is the only constant, you start to feel a lot less pressure and are able to embrace your own journey.

Marygrace is proud to announce her new website, an attempt at making sense of the journey. All of the highs and lows that molded her into the human being she is today. Check it out at this link: http://marygracegladden.com


Film images in article developed & scanned by Gelatin Labs, or self processed by Marygrace


About the Author

Marygrace Gladden

Marygrace Gladden is an internationally exhibited photographic artist devoted to preserving and documenting her human experience.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

0
Your Cart
Your cart is empty

How do I drop off my film?

1. Place your film order on gelatinlabs.com – select ‘Return Shipping’ at checkout’ to get negatives returned (and prints, if you ordered them).

2. Envelopes for your order are provided over the counter. Write your name and order number, and load film rolls inside.

3. Hand over your envelope to a Knickerbocker team member.

Your film will head to Gelatin Labs every Monday and Thursday!

How do I drop-off my film?

1. Place your film order on gelatinlabs.com – select ‘Ship Negatives’ to get negatives returned (and prints, if you ordered them).

2. Our box is located near the exit of the coffee shop. Take an envelope (or your own ziploc), bag up your film, and write your order number. Your film will head to Gelatin Labs!

How do I drop-off my film?

1. At the front entrance, buzz in to be let inside.

2. The Gelatin drop-off box is directly across from the front desk. Place your order via the QR code on the box. Select ‘Ship Negatives’ to get negatives (and prints, if you ordered them) returned.

3. Take an envelope (or your own ziploc) from the front desk, bag up your film, and write your order number. Your film will head to Gelatin Labs!

Turnarounds

At Gelatin Labs, quality is our main priority for every order. Our team keeps film moving through the lab as efficiently as possible, but estimates are not guaranteed. 

Current FLEXIBLE TURNAROUND Estimates:

Order size and options chosen affect turnaround time.

Small orders (5 rolls or less) with fewer options (up to Pro Level scans) take less time. Larger orders (6 rolls or more) with more options (including SuperPro scans) will take longer.

For faster, guaranteed timelines, use our Fast Pass ⚡️ service.

Print With Gelatin Labs

Fill out the form below and our team will get back to you via email with a link for you to upload your images.
Print Form

Please choose your print size(s):

Finish Preference

It’s Time To Get Printing!

Whatever type of work you create, the Gelatin Labs Print Upload will render beautiful, archival prints that will enable you to bring your art off of your screen and into the realm of physical existence. The process is simple: select your print size, upload your images, and pick from three distinct finishes!

8x10 inch

Body text for more information. Body text for more information.

4x6 inch

Body text for more information. Body text for more information.

Start Your Film Order

Welcome to Gelatin Labs, your trusted partner for all your film photography needs! We recognize that each photographer has their unique preferences, which is why we are excited to introduce two remarkable options to cater to your individual needs: Simplified and Customized.

Simplified

DEVELOP + SCAN • PRINT

  • Streamlined options for quick checkout
  • Choose the look & feel of your images
  • Less options for an uncomplicated experience

Customized

DEVELOP • SCAN • PRINT

  • Expanded customization for film types, options, services
  • Upgrade to SuperPro hi-res scans
  • More options for the more advanced user

What is a contact sheet?