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2002: Costa Rica Revisited

You read that right—Two Thousand Two. Eleven years ago. I took these snapshots long before the idea of being a professional photographer ever occurred to me. I had just happily checked out of the real world and was embarking on a trip around the real, real-world; starting with a few weeks in Costa Rica. The around-the-world travels got the kibosh, but I had a few great weeks of surfing, hiking and living the pura vida in a tree house. This was two years before I made the decision to go to Brooks Institute of Photography. So why am I posting these photos now? Well, I am going back to Costa Rica in a few weeks to shoot an adventure travel trip for Backroads and I got to thinking about the last time I was there. I had to dig for these old film scans. After I looked through them I thought, “why not post these?”. It’s funny to look at them. There was something a little heartbreaking about looking through these old images. Sure there was the old boyfriend, who I tried to edit out for the most part (out of respect for him and his family, not for me), but that’s not the heartbreak I’m talking about. I’m talking about seeing the young, carefree optimism in the eyes and smile of a young woman, and the body of a young woman who surfed everyday and lived on tropical fruit and fish tacos—my old young-body; my old optimism-infused smile. Of course those observations might not make much sense to the viewer here, because I’m not posting those images of myself. But I am posting the ones I took with those eyes, that body. May you stay forever young.

PS: If you’re a fan of Brenda Ernst Photography on Facebook, you can see one of those awkward crop-out-the-ex photos.