• Kenzi

Back to Blogging: the Power of Mediocrity

Six months ago I packed up my beloved car and drove across country with my boyfriend to begin our final semester of college. This experience, like much of the past three years, taught me to embrace the chaotic turns we sometimes find our lives taking. There's something about packing up your life into a Nissan Sentra (no easy feat, by the way) that feels big. And scary. But exciting. Watching my old life disappear in the rearview was one of those moments which makes everything feel inexplicably possible.

I guess it's the same kind of feeling that urged me to finally pull the trigger on ordering an honest-to-god film camera just before we left for the west coast. As a film student (graduate, woof) I've spent a lot of time around photography kids. You know, the ones who live for the analog versus digital debate and spend their nights on photowalks with beautiful girls who just want something to post on Instagram. While I have to admit I used to find shooting on film in the digital age inherently pretentious, there's a part of me that's always been fascinated by it. And so, channeling the same energy from the Christmas I decided to gift myself a record player, I suddenly found myself with a value pack of Kodak 35mm and a dream.

In true recovering procrastinator fashion, it took me six months to get the rolls developed. I was cautiously excited given the sheer lack of patience I have when it comes to shooting film. Understandably, a good chunk of the photos didn't turn out. But then, underneath all those sun leaks and colorful non-exposures, I found a few gems like these:

Blackwater Falls State Park | West Virginia | 6am

Interstate 95 | New Jersey | 2pm

Austin, TX

Pennsylvania, probably

On 6th St in Austin, TX | about 7:30pm

Somewhere in NY

And it kind of went like that for four more rolls. Looking at the perfect split of success and failure I'd captured, I felt the kind of power that only accompanies a total lack of experience. I guess it's not technically the lack that's powerful- it's the doing anyway. It's choosing to do something for nothing but the sheer enjoyment. It's learning and maybe failing, but having a blast in the process. I'm not about to be doing wedding photography or anything, but I'm happy to have the means to mess around with film on my own terms.

Really this is just a long-winded way of telling you why I'm here, on this currently non-domain site, posting this for anyone to read. The truth is that for someone who's been a self-proclaimed writer since age six, the last few years of my life have involved shockingly little writing. I like to think that the passion's never left- it's just the structure, the deadlines, the work of it all that tests me. This blog is my way of combatting that. It's how I plan to re-learn the whole business of writing. It's also how I plan to keep myself accountable (you know, by posting this for anyone on the internet to see).

So what's the take away? I guess first it's: This week try something that you've always been interested in, even if you might be bad at it. You'll probably have fun, you'll definitely learn a few things, and you might even surprise yourself. And secondly it's: My name's Kenzi. I'm a writer (mostly), a producer (a handful of times), and a creative (often). I like to make things, especially connections and amateur watercolor paintings. Feel free to stick around, check out the site, and maybe follow my socials. And if you wanna come back next week, I'll be here with a new post. 'Cause that's kind of how a blog works.

business inquiries, words of praise, etc.

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   © 2020 by Kenzi Vaughan