The Life of Dustin Curtis
For years, I’ve taken photos as memory markers. Whenever I want to remember a moment, place, or feeling, I pull out my phone and snap a photo of whatever I’m currently looking at. There’s no art involved, and I don’t try to make the photos look good; I just try to make sure there is enough information in the frame to give a good understanding of the exact moment I’m trying to record. For example, here is Sunday, April 14th 2013 at 15:08:30 EST, as I write this sentence at The Standard hotel in Manhattan:
Without even realizing it, I’ve taken at least one photo every day for the past five years. In total, I’ve snapped the shutter on my iPhone or DSLR at least 28,000 times. The photos have formed a profound and very high resolution timeline of my life. They are my story. But more than that, for me personally, the experience of scrolling through the pictures and seeing them whip by in a blur is incredible: each photo snaps a lost memory palpably back into focus.
When mobile photo sharing was first becoming popular a couple of years ago, I thought the winning app would facilitate the sharing of photos like these, as memory markers, not as symbols of artistic expression. If you want to share a moment with someone else, using a photo is still the highest resolution way of doing it; you can get so much information from a quick glance at a picture. Unfortunately, I was wrong. Instagram handily crushed the competition by focusing on filters that take boring photos of moments and turns them into beautiful, rarely-posted forms of artistic expression. It’s close to what I want, but not close enough. I want the moments to be shared continuously, and raw.
The closest I’ve come to sharing my moment photos was on a Posterous blog I had a few years ago. I would email the photos to my Posterous address, and they would show up as a list, in real time. It was awesome, until Posterous was bought by Twitter and shut down. But thankfully, one of the founders of Posterous has started a new service, Posthaven, that does most of what Posterous used to do. So I’m going to start posting those kinds of photos again. You can view them here: