Take photos of your friends when they’re happy and when they’re hungover. Take photos of them when you’re driving at a hundred kilometres an hour on the highway and they’re laughing and throwing their head out the passenger window. Take photos after the first drink and after the tenth.
Take photos in the rain outside the pavilion when they’re pointing up at the name of a band you’ve been waiting months to see. Take photos of the mundane, of the nothingness; of her slumped in the corner of your bedroom browsing Instagram or him sitting on his skateboard smoking a drag. Take photos of the nudey runs and the shit you get up to in the class when your teacher’s back is turned. Take photos when they’re pashing their first lover and when you’re smashing them in Monopoly and their face is full of frustration.
Your friends might not like the photos you take, but that’s okay. One day they’ll look back and laugh at their haircut or their clothing choice and they’ll be glad they have that memory there.
Make sure they take photos of you. One day, when so much of this fades and you have your own little children around, they’re going to look for photos of you. Don’t be afraid to get in front of the camera and look like shit, that’s the you they’re going to want to see. Not the girl with the on-fleek eyebrows and pursed lips, not the girl with titty shots and box gaps. They’ll want to see you mid-laugh when you’re showing all your teeth and they’ll want to see you playing soccer on the beach.
They won’t care if they can see a fat roll. They’ll want to see you climbing out of the pool at a house party, your clothes stuck to your skin, your makeup running down your face and your hair all stringy. They’ll want to see the real you, and you’re going to want to remember the real you too, the girl with no filters.
When you’re living off two minute noodles and you can’t afford rent and you owe your parents a grand or two and your best friend’s birthday rolls around, print a couple of photos of you together and scrawl on the back–tell them how much they mean to you and if they remember the whirlwind of youth you shared together.
That means more than a bunch of flowers or a Pandora bracelet. Just tell them you love them and give them something to keep to remind them of the fact. Nobody does anything with photos anymore, and to be able to hold them and tack them on your wall or stick them in your journals is something to be treasured.