I grew up around photography; my mom must have a picture of me getting on the school bus on the first day of school every year from age 5 until I was old enough to drive. I learned how to develop photos in a darkroom when I was around 10 years old. I took a couple photography classes in high school and learned the basics of framing a shot.

And then I never bothered to take any pictures.

Throughout college, my friend Benny always told me that I never had to worry about taking pictures because he’s Asian and I can just copy all the hundreds of photos that he will inevitably take (his words, not mine). And so I rarely carried my camera with me. I no longer have this excuse.

Only in the past year have I really started to appreciate taking the time to get the one shot I’m looking for. Only recently have I started to use photography to make a statement or capture a sentiment.

Most of my current photography accompanies my posts or makes it into the Photography category. This series, on the other hand, is intended for photos I took before I ever really focused on photography. If the shots are good, it was unintentional, or maybe subconscious. Benny calls them Ugly Sweaters, because everyone likes digging up those ugly sweaters they received as gifts several years ago. And who knows, maybe some of the patterns will look good after so many years in a box?

(Photo: Cristiana in Sibiu, Romania, January, 2009.)