Memento: Cale Sennett

No matter where we travel to, there are things we take with us—or things we bring home to remember a place. That’s the purpose of this series: to learn about the #LojelCollective's favorite items or keepsakes, and the stories behind them.

A few years ago, I started taking travel photos on one specific film camera. I decided I wanted to be more intentional with my photography in order to collect moments and stay present—not just pictures of myself in the perfect outfit for social media. We all take photos to remember places and people, but the pressure to share things online can be overwhelming.

Instant photography provides more immediate gratification than social media. Taking a photo with my Polaroid Sun 600—and immediately being able to hold it in my hands—cements my memories.

photo by Cale Sennett / @calesennett

Bangkok, Thailand: Bangkok’s tropical wet climate brings torrential downpours without warning. After a cloudless evening exploring Yaowarat Road, a ferocious storm came through, forcing everyone to take cover. At first I thought my night was ruined, but then I picked up my camera and started to notice the light reflecting off the colorful umbrellas overhead.

photo by Cale Sennett / @calesennett

Now, when I take a photo, I breathe deeply, feel my surroundings, raise my camera, and capture the moment while staying present. I only develop photos once I’ve finished a roll, and keep prints of my travel photos in a box that I can sort through to relive each moment. These photos aren’t intended for social media; they’re meant to be souvenirs that I can share with close friends and family for years to come.

Cannon Beach, Oregon: Standing 235 feet tall, Haystack Rock is one of the most pictured natural structures in the Pacific Northwest. Most tourists plan to visit around low tide, to get as close to the rock as possible—but I decided to step back and study its size from a distance.

photo by Cale Sennett / @calesennett

Cannon Beach, Oregon: Treat your iPhone like you would any other camera. Notice the way it translates color—is the yellow you see on your screen the same as the color that’s in front of you? Are you capturing an object from the right angle? Anyone can be a photographer with the right mindset.

photo by Cale Sennett / @calesennett

Chase Jarvis believes that “the best camera is the one that you have with you.” You can make do with anything—a disposable camera, an iPhone, a Polaroid. I use a Nikon L35AF or Canon AE-1. Film photography challenges my patience in a world where everything can be seen by anyone in an instant. It reminds me to slow down during the whirlwind of traveling.

photo by Cale Sennett / @calesennett

Joshua Tree, California: When we travel, we tend to notice the things we overlook at home. In Joshua Tree, the sky speaks in color all day long: it says “look here”, “wake up”, “relax” Suddenly, you realize that it’s the same shade of blue as your baby blanket, the water at the beach by your house, or the packaging of your favorite snack.

photo by Cale Sennett / @calesennett

Cale Sennett is a photographer, musician, and creative programmer based in Seattle, WA.

Written by: Cale Sennett